John Llewellyn James recounts our experience of All Ireland Poetry Day: After surviving everything Fermanagh weather could throw at us at Portora Castle last year, we sought shelter this time for our Annual Poet’s Corner on All Ireland Poetry Day, sponsored by Poetry Ireland, in our local shopping mall, the Erneside Centre. We felt somewhat alien in this high temple of capitalist trade, and wondered whether some monetary messiah was going to come over and kick over our table and jump up and down on our hymn sheets.
Nevertheless, the leader of our band of brothers – and one sister – renowned Fermangh poet/writer Seamus MacAnnaidh stood up to brave the incessant muzak and deliver thoughtful verse on our historic local fortifications, that left one in the grip of thoughts of bygone ages and in the throes of thirst for more. He was followed by our canny wordsmith John D. Kelly, who carved intricate patterns of word play with gentle rhyme and no little reason.
Our good Doctor friend, Gordon Williams, was next and his patience (or should that be patients?) was tested by the throaty vocals of diva Bonnie Tyler, he prevailed and delivered a prescription of laughter with his pun-laden poetry. The Welsh songstress gave way for her fellow countryman John Llewelyn James, who performed a poignant peon for his mother. Next up was our latest rising star Paul, who crammed more thought and feeling into one stanza, than one would find in many a contemporary novel. Our roster was completed by Dianne Trimble, who stepped out from behind the camera to provide a gentle and thoughtful evocation. We had survived the breach and emerged victorious with all our fingers intact.
Our sincerest thankst to Poetry Ireland for their continued support and our thanks to the staff and customers of Jamm who played tolerant hosts to our group. Also to our cheerleader Pete Byrne, who shied away from participating, but made every effort to support us and drum up business for our gig on Saturday as part of Fermanagh Live Arts Festival (more about that another time).