Snow Day – Poem by Billy Collins
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with – some will be delighted to hear –
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and – clap your hands – the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.
Callan county Kilkenny
3 Times and You Lose
I had a nightmare
I lived in a little town
Where little dreams were broken
And words were seldom spoken
I tried to reach you
But all the lines were down
And so the rain began to fall
On this little town
… On this little town
The little people
Had very little left to say
Their words had all been shortened
It didn’t really seem important
And I had a feeling
That you were very far away
But then a little voice inside me said
“you’ll never get away from here”
And it’s 1, 2,
3 Times and you lose
Of course it doesn’t matter how you say it
I’m all out of luck
So there’s nothing really more to say
I’m throwing it all away
Well we had opinions
But now we all think the same
We never look at one another
Only when the other suffers
And I thought I saw you
A December Sunset – Callan, county Kilkenny
Often when out for an evening walk at this time of year the sunsets across our local fields can be just amazing to view, the sun is low in the sky all day long in December when compared to a mid summers day. With out getting to detailed this changes the angle of the sun and it seems to make the last few moments of day light last longer. This along with the mist and early frosts that can sit of the fields, haging above the hedgerows is just great to see 🙂
This painting is created using a PC application called mypaint, I have spent the last few weeks doing my best to get up to speed with how to make the best use of it, at first just using some of the drawing tools and ink pens but as you can see – I hope that I am now getting more use to the painting and colour tools..
The paint is posted the moment I feel its finished , I very much like the idea of this as it helps me to close the processes involved and to stop me coming back and over working anything. Its a little hard to describe but its a great feeling to start and finish a painting in one session and then be able to learn when you feel that you have finished !!!
Callan, County Kilkenny – life in a small town from a personal point of view
Today I found myself without any transport other than my much loved bicycle, which has been used a great deal this year, on evening and weekend cycles just the two of us out doors.
By lunch time I was feeling a little trapped and went out again for a cycle, out of the town into county Tipperary, on the way back into Callan I stopped for five minutes to take a look at the moat field and the Kings river.
I have lived in this small town now for well over a decade, it’s amazing how fast time passes.
In my first few years living here, I found that there was some pressure to get involved with what was happening locally and did so, taking part in some local exhibitions with other local artists and photographers, however it almost eight years since these times. In the years that followed these exhibitions, I did wedding photography and portraits along with some commercial work. I also keep up with painting and my art.
Standing today looking across the view of the town it occurred to me that I am much happier now, as in these days that I feel a little less involved with such deep local happenings. I don’t know if anyone else has experience in their lives when moving from a bigger urban part of the world to smaller places?
In a city everything feels much more established and if you get involved with an event then you find that you are only one of many before you who have been involved. Your involvement is only a small part of a much bigger well established picture. You can help as much or as little as you want and it is mostly understood that your involvement is for your personal growth and expression as much as it is about the establishment your offering your valuable time !
To Myself however the biggest difference relates to the personal interests that people have by getting involved in local events in the first place, in the large context of a city most people get involved in order to be self expressive, to help themselves grow personally and to add new elements to their lives, this is all about the self and very little to do with the local town or even others. After all the local town should be about everyone living in it !
Personally!! I found this to be a massive difference when coming to live in a smaller setting, with massive respect to people, most people’s lives are slower here and general activities less available, this I feel increases the pressure on their involvement in almost anything. Personal Involvement becomes deeper and seems to almost take on an irrational level of importance!
As an example I was asked many times to attend some meetings, in the build up to a local festival in the town. I think this was due to the fact I have local family and had held some local exhibitions, one when the town was 800 years old. It was not until I realised that these festival meetings started almost the moment that the last festival had ended, to plan the next year’s festival, that I had some concerns. I wondered sometimes just who could benefit from such an exhausting process? In the end I decided that I personally would not benefit and would only end up exhausted!!
One thing you really notice in a smaller place is everything is about the town , here in my own example “Callan” and less about the bigger general activity you want to be involved in ! e.g. Art or Walking or Cycling. The emphasis is on “Callan” infront of all these things not just , the Cycling club or the Art club !
I can fully imagine that if any one local reads this they will wonder if I am having a go at them personally! , well I am not! All I am doing is pointing out my personal observations and experiences when doing my very best to make a transition from one place in the world to another!!
I don’t know why but It’s a small bit hard to say these things on my blog, however I feel that this is one reason for me having a blog in the first place, so that from time to time I can express personal feelings along with sharing images and the poems that I do share. It is also much easier to do so now as these days I am feeling that in my life I have found a more relaxed existence, a more laid back approach to local life.
I have managed to separate how I feel personally from how well this town is doing or even what the people of this town are doing. How I feel in myself is about me as a person, the things I do or chose not to do. To be content in myself is less about being over involved with activities, things that mostly only keep me active without having any true personal benefit, I have also become able to analyse if it is only others who want to completely benefit themselves from my personal energy and time.
Three Poems all with the title “Small town”
By : Liz Anne
Jul 25, 2012
When I say I want more
Than this small town could offer
When I say I give more
Than this small town asks of me
When I say I’ve loved more
Than this small town could know
When I say I need more
Than this small town wants me to
I mean to say I am more
Than this small town would let me be
By : Rebecca Hattaway
Oct 29, 2012
In her smile I can see something-
something like satisfaction,
or even pride?
that she has everyone fooled
but no one is falling for the bullshit.
Secrets don’t exist here.
It’s a back and forth game,
and she denies it until the end.
Most people play along,
“Just humor her,
Let her think we buy it.”
By : Silence Screamz
Oct 25, 2014
Small town people
Small town minds
Gossip turn sour
No secrets left behind
Small town girls
Small town boys
Turn off the lights
Lock up your toys
Small town crimes
Small town night
Light up the fires
Creeps into sight
Small town games
Small town sins
Takes it on the chin
Small town stories
Small town fairs
Drowning in the lake
A Monday Morning Poem
Its been a great weekend here in Ireland, Saturday was blue sky’s all day, while we had rain for all the day Sunday, oh well that’s Ireland – all seasons in one weekend.
While I was inside staying out of the rain, I did some tasks then reading followed with some writing, a couple of poems!
Of which this is one …..
Some think To Judge the very Sky itself
Some think to Judge the very sky itself,
from the rain it brings to the snow that falls,
from the shade and shape of each cloud that rushes by.
Judging its flowing expressions, as the very stars,
that rise at night and fall into the day.
Some think to judge the very sky itself,
as if this act will make them fly !
Yet the Sky looks back and never see’s,
the Stars shine down and never hear.
To Judge the sky, is as pointless a Human act as can be !!
Some think to judge the very sky itself,
but the Sky never hears their words.
They are like black grains of sand, lost along the ebb and the flow of Tide and Time !!!
“The Road Not Taken” by : Robert Frost is a favorite poem of his, I often re-read it and sometimes think of it when out in our local woods here in County Kilkenny.
This weekend I hope you can find time to walk your own path and roads, enjoy yourself and get to relax and put the last week behind you .
The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The crows will only grow louder, by Laura Breidenthal. “Outward self-expression is a personal right , your right !!”
I first came across Laura Breidenthal poem some two years ago and posted it the very day after, Its a great poem full of feeling and motivation !
I think we have all face these feeling at some point in our life’s and anyone who is outwardly expressive will have most of all.
I feel this poem relates to those moments we all have when other people, usually through negative and insecure motives try to put you and your creativity down in order to better themselves.!
I want to share this poem because I want it to act as a powerful motivation to keep going despite anyone Else’s opinion, if you do get someone putting you down know this its usually because they feel your creations are better than theirs if they have any and that they don’t have an idea how you do what you do.
Self expression is how your learn and how you get better at what you love !!!!!
If you read this post my advice is not to let anyone affect your personal rights to self expression, instead CROW Loader and BLOG more than ever 🙂 🙂 🙂
Outward self-expression is a personal right , your right !!
You may see a post using this Poem again and again during the year, I love this poem so much !!!!
The crows will only grow louder
By : Laura Breidenthal
There is no celestial place for you to guide my thoughts
Can you not see that I am free from you?
I am a crow perched high in the treetops
You will hear my crowing and you may hate it
But, you cannot take away my voice!
Yet still, as fire oppresses forests of life,
You can abuse my freedom to find your glory
You may discard these words for your love of gods,
And in so doing you may simply ignore
All the cries that I so passionately utter
But my infectious species will guide your mind straight back
To that once so lonely treetop where you merely glanced
And there will be multitudinous, oppressing thoughts
That shall enslave you and bind you unwillingly
The crows will only grow louder when you turn away—
When you pretend to ignore with your remaining, strangling pride
For my voice is a production sent from above
Dispatched to judge you pitilessly for your swelling lies!
And the choirs of ferocious beaks shall open forever
Harmony and dissonance as one
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Gallery of a foggy morning in Callan, County Kilkenny
The Following images are from a local vintage motor show, held in our local town of Callan each year as part of the towns summer festival.
Its amazing just how much pride is take in restoring these old tractors and Vintage cars, to take them out and show them off each year is clearly a pleasure to these local Farmers and car lovers.
I should name this post “BOYS and their TOYS !!!!!”
Kilkenny Vintage Motor show : Gallery
The art of Glass making has always fascinated me, the skill needed to produce glass objects goes back hundreds of years and is a wonderful craft to see performed.
One area that the craft can be viewed at its best is in the making of Stain glass windows, the windows above are located in the modern chapel at west-court, Callan, County Kilkenny. the chapel is round in its structure and uses these colored windows as one of its main light sources during day light hours. I have many images of this great space but for this post just want to show the glass itself.
I very much like the handmade feel and look of this glass, containing many natural defects, these just add to the wonderful effect as the light passes through. The design and the colours used are just amazing to study and bring a great effect into the chapel building.
Glass windows like these are made my hand and by blowing the glass into a bubble then Breaking of the top and spinning the hot glass into a large flat sheet. This flat sheet is then cut into the needed shapes for the design of the window being constructed.
This image is of the Friary Green, Callan, County Kilkenny on an early Autumn walk.
Remembering the Workhouse and its uncounted and unnamed dead.
During the years between 1841 and 1922 the Callan workhouse operated as a place to house and offer support to may of the poor and fallen people who lived in the surrounding areas.
I want to share here some images and facts about both the workhouse and the associated grave yard that is located just one kilometre south of the town of Callan.
Both these site still exist today and a visit to them is both very moving and haunting.
The Workhouse now operates as a home for people with special needs and many feel that this is a great outcome considering its original use and its history.
A visit to Cherryfields Grave yard is very moving, I have included some written details below with some recent images, the thing that personally hits me the most about this place is that no one knows how many people lay at rest here as there is not one single name to be found anywhere.
My final Gallery at the bottom of the post reflects on the contrast between cherryfields and other local grave yards, where all the graves are marks with stones, the only technical difference being the level of finance you or your family possessed.
The Callan Work house
The Callan Union of workhouses was situated partly in Co Kilkenny and partly in Co Tipperary. It comprised an area of 106,633 statute acres with a population of 42,707.
The Callan workhouse was contracted for on May 29, 1840 and was completed in 1841.
The management of the workhouse was as follows: Master, matron, clerk chaplain, schoolmaster, porter.
It cost £5,500 to build and $1,140 to fit out. The entire complex, situated at the south end of the town, covered an area of six and a quarter acres. It was built to accommodate 600 people and its first admission took place on March 25, 1842.
Thirty-three Poor Law Guardians, elected from various areas in the Union, had overall responsibility for the workhouse.
Built, as mentioned to accommodate 600 people, it had at the height of the Famine thousands of unfortunates clamouring for admittance. Even by 1851 it was still crammed to over capacity. The census for that year lists 2,102 people as residing in it.
The statistics for the Famine in the Callan area are grim and mind-boggling. Between 1841 and 1851 a total of 1,411 people, 688 males and 723 females, died in Callan Workhouse, and 2,104, 1,050 males and 1,054 females died in the temporary fever sheds, a grand total of 3,515 people. These virtually all died during the years of 1846 to 1850.
After the famine years, the workhouse settled back into a more normal level of operation and continued to function right up until the 1920s. In 1922 it was garrisoned by Free State troops during the Civil War.
It was later sold to private individuals and public bodies.
CherryFields Grave Yard
on approaching Cherryfields – Callan, A plaque on a pillar at the graveyard reads: In memory of the uncounted victims of famine and poverty buried here, most of whom died in Callan Workhouse 1841-1922. The Plaque was erected in 1986 by Callan Heritage Society.
The now disused burial ground is the resting place of those who died in Callan Workhouse and who had no family or friends to claim them.
It is located in a remote one and a quarter acre site about one and a half miles south-east of the town off the Clonmel Road in the townland of Baunta Commons.
Because cherries grew three in times gone by it is still popularly known as Cherryfield.
Most of those buried in Cherryfield were victims of the Great Hunger which devastated Ireland during the 1840s. The Callan area of Co Kilkenny was severely affected by this catastrophe.
Tales have been passed down about the endless procession of funerals from the Workhouse. It is said that often up to six bodies at a time were carted out for burial, and that it was not uncommon for corpses to fall off the ‘funeral cart’ because the boreen into Cherryfield was so rough and muddy.
Originally it was intended to have a ‘pauper’s graveyard’, as the terminology of the time called it, located in less remote place as Lord Clifden proposed, but because Baunta Commons consisted of large areas of poor agricultural common land there was little problem in acquiring a cheap site.
The graveyard was crudely fenced off for many years but was fully enclosed by a wall in the 1860s. A substantial gate and entry piers were also erected at that time.
Contrast of Cherryfields to other local Grave yards
The surrounding areas of south Kilkenny, contain many old grave yards all of which are wonderful to visit, they hold great records of the people who lived locally and now rest in these places.
The Changing faces of the Kings river
The Kings river has its source in the Slieveardagh Hills in South Tipperary and has many tributaries of its own.
It flows southeast from the hills and crosses into County Kilkenny. It is joined by the Munster River before passing through the town of Callan. It continues eastwards from Callan, past Kells and joins the River Nore west of Thomastown.
Having made a small photographic project of the river, the images below are taken over about a five year period. They are just some of the images I have captured, I feel they show how the passing seasons and the Irish weather effect this little river.
Callan, Autumn and Winter
The weather here has changed, it’s colder and wetter and starting to feel a little more like autumn.
Winter is just around the corner so I have put together this set of images, they show Callan as it can be in the winter months.
Callan a sense of place : Autumn and Winter
One sight I love to see in the summertime is the Peacock butterfly as I walk through the local county kilkenny woodlands, They add so much life and colour to the green of the hedgerows and paths.
Unlike some wildlife they are not hard to find or take pictures of, you do need to move very slowly in order not to disturbed them and you need a camera with a macro lens.
The butterfly conservation website has the following details.
Scientific name: Aglais io
Red wings with black markings and distinctive eyespots on tips of fore and hind wings.
The Peacock’s spectacular pattern of eyespots, evolved to startle or confuse predators, make it one of the most easily recognized and best known species. It is from these wing markings that the butterfly gained its common name. Undersides of the wings are very dark and look like dead leaves. A fairly large butterfly and a strong flyer.
Although a familiar visitor to garden buddleias in late summer, the Peacock’s strong flight and nomadic instincts lead it to range widely through the countryside, often finding its preferred habitats in the shelter of woodland clearings, rides, and edges.
The species is widespread and has continued to expand its range in northern parts of Britain and Ireland.
Size and Family
Family – Nymphalids
Wing Span Range (male to female) – 63-69mm
UK BAP status: Not listed
Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
European status: Not threatened
Common Nettle (Urtica dioica), although eggs and larvae are occasionally reported on Small Nettle (U. urens) and Hop (Humulus lupulus)
Countries – England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales
Throughout Britain and Ireland
Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = +17%
Common and found in a range of habitats.
I took these images of Mrs Hennessy, from West St,Callan Back in 2007 for a photography exhibition in the town.
She was a big friend of Joe my brother in law, who runs a local shop. We asked if she would let us take these pictures and I think she truly enjoyed them being taken.
The images played a big part in the exhibition and she came to the opening evening.
Sadly she passed away a little time ago, the local news paper published the following comments Callan Mourns . The family placed one of the photo’s on her coffin during the funeral service.
So here’s to you Mrs Hennessy, I hope your still busy making bread, at rest but most probably still busy !!!
Nineteen bear barrels for collection, 6am Monday morning and the weekend is clearly over!
This morning’s sunrise was just as wonderful as the sunset yesterday, I took Molly our ten year old Golden Retriever out for a walk on the local green, the sight of the rising sun through the trees was a great start to the day.
Each year we have a local dog show and for me its one of the best events held local.
I just love watching the dog as they show off their abilities, through different stages of the afternoon, here are just some images that I wanted to share.
Callan, Co Kilkenny
Back from my trip and what a Morning to return on….
Bridge Street, Callan, Kilkenny
To me Bridge St, Callan, Kilkenny – as it moves its way across the kings river, is one of the most amazing streets in Kilkenny, So much could be done with this small street, yet it has Remained the same for so long.
Over the Years some people have had a go at bringing the street up-to date, However most have failed leaving their remains behind, i.e. At Least one Ghost Estate and Empty Businesses. However the reason I like Bridge St so much is that again and again It has resisted and returned to its original condition.
Kilkenny Landscape Photography, By Kilkenny Photographer : Nigel Borrington
Kilkenny Photography by Kilkenny photographer – Nigel Borrington