Pictures from the mind (2)

In the late of a summers evening

As the sun set on another sunny

school holiday day

We played, do you remember

Blind Man’s Buff?

I clasped my hands around your eyes

You giggled

I smiled a pleased smile

Now here we are again

Brother and Sister

Long ago cut loose from the apron strings

Some 60 years or more.

We watch them from our windows

As we move into greyer twilight

Our precious grandchildren

Playing Blind Man’s Buff.

(c) Chris Black 2017.

Van Morrison, Elvis and Berry Gordy all revered Jackie Wilson : Mr Excitement!

The Immortal Jukebox

‘Jackie Wilson was the greatest singer I’ve ever heard. The epitome of natural greatness .. he set the standard I’d be looking for in singers forever’ (Berry Gordy, Founder of Motown).

‘I guess that makes me the white Jackie Wilson’ (Elvis Presley when hearing some called Jackie Wilson the black Elvis).

‘Jackie Wilson was the most dynamic singer and performer I think I’ve ever seen’ (Smokey Robinson).

Just in case you thought these luminaries were exaggerating take a listen to Jackie’s debut solo single from 1957, ‘Reet Petite’ and you’ll hear that there’s no hyperbole involved.

Jackie Wilson was born to sing.

Jackie could sing with the elegant power that Ted Williams brought to Baseball.

Jackie could sing with the ‘don’t you know I’m better than you in every way’ confidence that Muhammad Ali brought to Boxing.

Jackie could sing with the ‘wow, that’s brilliant’ style of a Scott Fitzgerald…

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Pictures from the mind.

I watched as he plodded home keeping between the drills.

Reins slung over his right shoulder

The grey mare sauntering behind

Chewing from a well earned nosebag.

Hat in hand, head bowed in prayer

The chimes of the Angelus bell ringing out

6pm – the village church some 4 miles away.

He lifted the latch on the half-door

Whistled the sheepdog, beckoned to me

It was milking time.

Later we’d sit, drink tea and eat chunks of home made bread.

I well recall the night you died.

(c) Chris Black 2017.


Meaning is always incomplete.

Why rage at the blank page?

It cannot corrupt.

Nor will it corrupt

It is lifeless

Until that is

It is struck with

a blunt instrument.

Then and only then

will it come alive

Alive, yet still blind

as to what the person in charge

Of the blunt instrument

has laid down

Remember then

Paper never refuses ink

So think

before putting pen to paper

Fingers to keyboard

for on your head be it

IT being the


(c) Chris Black 2017.

Successful Book Launch of The Galway Review 5

The Galway Review

Galway Academic Press and The Galway Review want to thank Clare O’Regan, an American photographer living and working in Galway, Ireland for attending the launch of The Galway Review 5 and sending us these beautiful photos of the book launch.

This anthology featuring local, national and international writers was officially launched by Éamon Ó Cuív, TD and former Minister on Thursday, 27th April, 2017 at 7:30pm, during the Cúirt International Festival of Literature at the Hardiman Research Building at National University of Ireland, Galway.

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Just for the fun of it.

WIN_20170522_15_15_42_ProDown at club FUNK-SHUN situated at Overall Junction, Crosscut Saw  were belting out the Laundromat Blues.

Their Personal Manager i.e. ‘The Hunter’ possibly, who’s to say, was Born under a bad sign, that day when he took the phone call, he spoke in a rather belligerent manner storming – I’m not in a bad mood, feeling Down don’t bother me.

The very thought of you flying in from Kansas City gives me a lot more than Cold Feet.

I almost lost my mind on getting that news. Even though OH, Pretty Woman, As the years go by, knowing that I love Lucy, You sure drive a hard bargain. Go right ahead ditch me at your peril, but keep this in mind, someday and it may not be that far away You’re gonna need me.

(c) Chris Black 2017.

While listening to this album the tracks jumped out at me I thought just for the fun of it have a go write a story.

Give it a try just for the fun of it.

Song titles included in story in italics. 

There I am in the paper #28 (take 2 I did it again!)

My thoughts on a page.

Here is my article from last weeks Irish Examiner’s Feelgood. It tells the tale of what happens when a Dublin girl meets a Cork/Kerry accent.

Recently one of my children has spoken of the possibility of leaving home to work in Dublin. I was only a little younger than she is when I left to live in Cork. I’m not sure if at the time I believed I’d never go back, but twenty-seven years later I’m still here and while I’ll always speak of Dublin as ‘home’, I love living in Cork.

Our home is a village five miles from the city centre. Recently I tried to explain to my children that in Dublin they would be classed as ‘Culchies’. They totally disagreed, insisting they are residents of Cork city, but as I sit here typing, the fields opposite full of cows, I don’t believe Dubs would agree.

Definitely not…

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As the song says

Sorry is the hardest word.

Sorry, I’m sorry that I haven’t taken time out to say I’m sorry

Sorry for the wrongs I’ve done

Sorry for all the wrongs you think I’ve done

Sorry for not answering promptly when questioned

Sorry for answering when you believed I should have kept my mouth zipped

Sorry for turning up at those inappropriate times

Sorry, I should have been aware they were ‘private’ meetings?

Sorry for dressing casual when you believed it a formal affair

Sorry, but it was just an outdoor BBQ they were not royalty?

Sorry but Royalty do casual also

Sorry for having an opinion

Sorry I ever started to say sorry?

I’m certainly not in the least sorry

It has just opened my eyes as to what a sorry person you really are

I’m just glad now you broached the subject of are you not sorry

Are you not sorry?

(c) Chris Black 2017.

It has been whispered

You need to become a pen

In order to place words upon a page

Only then will ink flow through that single vein

Your efforts, they will not be in vain?


As pen and paper in harmony engage

The sound of nib on parchment,

music to the ear

Then and only then will the mind open

Pages will be embossed, embellished

What was to be professed will now be laid down

From the very first word, you had the lead in

Both pen and parchment now grow in stature

You are the baton, you conduct the word orchestra

They in unison obey its rise and fall.

Those who lend an ear or peruse, in the end may be mystified

As to how this phoenix rose from the ashes of the mind

Some may compliment, others equally satirise

You however in your cocoon

May well next time, sing a different tune.

Say to those who criticise, in pidgin English

Write a poem from the heart, wait for the plaudits

In fact now would be a good time to start.

Carefully choose your writing implement

Switch on the thought processor.

As for me – it’s time to cap the inkwell, time for recess.

(c) Chris Black 2017.