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Aine MacAodha ~ Poetry and Lens

Aine MacAodha

My photo
Omagh, North Ireland, Ireland
Writer/poet,avid photographer with a great interest in Celtic Myths, Mysticism, crystal healing, orbs in photography, Chemtrails, the sky above and the beauty in the Irish landscape . I live in Omagh North of Ireland where the Sperrin Mountains are my inspiration in any season. I have three poetry books published titled 'Where the Three Rivers Meet' and 'Guth An Anam ~Voice of The Soul and my latest Published by Lapwing Press Belfast, 'Landscape of self'~ You can find my links at top of my blog.

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Friday, 31 December 2010

Best wishes for 2012

'Athblian shona duit
 Happy new year to you'

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for following my blogs and tweets and for your encouragement and comments on my work, I would like to thank, Ami of Pirene's Fountain, Jeff Side of Argotist online and Karen Bowles Luciole press for their friendship over the years as I have journied in my writing.

Many thanks also to friends on Facebook some old and new, I hope each and every one of you will have all that you hope for over the comming year, peace and blessings to all, Gra, Aine

My daughter Penny and Hubby Mark and Grandson Caleb.

Penny and grandson Caleb, first christmas, so cute!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

That age~ Poem

Greencastle Oham stone.
That age

I think I’ve reached it:

this middle ground in life.

Crows feet emerge without

negotiation; bunches of

greying hair hover like

mist on the October hedge.

My offspring have fled the

roost, making their own now.

Wasn’t easy being Ma and Da.

I think of the failed mixed

marriage, the 80’s being a

time of change—

fusing bodhran and lambeg

was no easy task.

I’m beginning to resemble

my mother. Her frown and

pondering nature, her hand on

hip, stares out to the horizon …

my father’s need for the headlines

I stand still in a changing field,

like the Ogam stones of Tyrone,

grey and pointing skyward.

There are many tracks before me,

all leading down some road.

Morning pains subside in

the summer heat, like the

creaking wood of the stairs.

I think I’ve reached it:

endured the dark nights of the


What now?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

My poem in Enniscorthy Echo

Scalderverse •

Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford is currently celebrating the 1500th anniversary of its foundation in 510AD. As part of the anniversary celebrations, local newspaper the Enniscorthy Echo will feature a weekly poetry column, entitled Scalderverse.

I was delighted that my poem 'Heirlooms' has been picked for publication in the Enniscorthy Echo now celebrating it's 1500th anniversary.
My mother now deceased was Mary Sullivan and lived in a small row of houses at Vinegar Hill before moving to Wexford town and then North.  At a young age I read through her old Irish ballad books that she had collected; many began as poems which started stirring poetry in myself. This poem was inspired by a Willow patterned plate she recieved  from her mother I now have it and it sits pride of place, so it thrilled me no end to have this published in her home town newspaper.


If willow patterned plates could talk

the stories they would hold

given from mother to mother

words ingrained on the soul.

It would carry tears of an uprising

from the home at Vinegar Hill

‘Basket women’ some called them

mopping their men’s blood spill.

They too became fighting women

took all sorts to the men in the fields

hidden in wicker baskets

on the bars of their bicycle wheels.

It sits with friends in the hallway

the pattern now faded to grey

almost a century come Easter

with a life time of tales to convey.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Author of the Month


With thank to the writers and especially Margie Bernard, Author of 'Daughter of Derry' who is the Editor and facilitator at Derry Playhouse Writers group for selecting me for writer of the Month.

It was at the Playhouse Theatre back in 2000 that the group was officially formed as a 'writers group' and has recently celebrated it's tenth year and is still going strong. It was a real eye opener (in a good way!) for a country girl like myself but one I will  treasure as this was the beginning of my journey into serious writing, honing the craft and meeting other writers each with their own voice and gift.

  The Playhouse offered a variety of Creative Writing Masterclasses with theatre director David Gothard and Playwright Dave Duggan,  'Dance Lexy Dance' to name just a couple and we also completed  a Eurocats community Arts certificate with the Playhouse and Omagh's plain speaking community group.

The Derry Playhouse Writers meet from 1-4pm every wednesday and have done from it's beginning, a great  space to get the creative juices flowing.

 November 2009, the  Playhouse Theatre celebrated its official re-opening after an extensive renovation. http://www.derryplayhouse.co.uk/

Please  click on the links and have a look around at the writers site and find out about the other writers and their works; you won't be disappointed,

Aine x

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Recent residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre

My recent residency/writers retreat at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Newbliss county Monahan was in June when I spent just four blissful days but wasn't my first time at Annaghmakerrig; affectionly known as the big house. My first time there was due to Omagh District Council offering me the Tyrone Guthrie bursary back in 2000 and it was my first time to be among such a diverse group of talented artists. I first came to know of Annaghmakerrig by a good friend and fellow Derry Playhouse writer member Bridie Canning (RIP) who told me to look up and read about this eden away from all the stresses of life and to consentrate on my writing which was difficult to do at home with then three teenagers and working part time and newly divorced; so I relished every minite of the two week residency. Since then I have tried to get back at least once a year. The first time there I put together my first book of poems titled, Where the Three rivers meet.

The big house
 Sir Tyrone Guthrie bequeathed his family home and estate to the State with the proviso that it be used for the benefit of artists. It was an inspired decision and one that has positively reshaped the cultural landscape of Ireland forever.

My room was very comfortable with a writing desk overlooking the lake, a large window that opened out wide so that I felt I was out of doors, a large fireplace with pictures of the Guthrie family and every morning early I would see a hare or a deer sauntering through the shrubbery, thats the thing, you sit down to write and one is distracted too by the beauty of the lake as the misty rain often starts at the far edge of the lake and takes it's time before reaching the window. A full bookcase with every poet one could think of there at my disposal to read, and read I did, often late into the night with no sounds except the creaking of the old floors cooling down. No TV, phones or radios, complete peace. I was thankfull for the time to gather another collection and get it into some order before publishing it although there is still editing to be done at least the bones are there.

Mrs Warbrigg. She was a companion to Lady Guthrie, stories of her roaming the corridors made me weary at first, I stayed in her room at the top of the house once and every creak I heard I swore it was her, but no, it was just the sound of a cooling floor, I think....

Tyrone Guthrie bust.

 The garden beautifully kept by Geraldine Sheerin the Organic Gardener, just to wander through the garden and get the wave of various herbs and plants assalt the nostrils was uplifting.  The Chefs' would serve the platters of leaves and herbs with freshly baked bread all an art in itself. The only stipulation was when the gong rang out at 7pm all the artists would sit down together for dinner and a chat, often someone would start a song or read a few paragraphs from their works. Most of the day was your own to do your work, such a serene place surrounded by a forest and a lake it was easy to relax and write, draw or sculpt or just ponder on your next creative venture.

The beautiful garden

A view out to the forest and lake.

Thanks to all the staff including,

Patricia Donlon Director (resident)

Mary Clerkin Finance Officer

Ingrid Adams Resources Manager

for their warmth of welcome.


Annaghmakerrig 2002

The big house greets with an air of mystery,

petitioning to the gods a poem or song

to touch all our yesterdays.

The lake pretends to scowl at night and

wraps the waiting horizon in thought.

The ruthless breeze is laden with insight.

Songs find their way through the air.

The hearth inherits the fallen spruce,

whilst artists gather their cares.

Spoken signals gather like crochet,

fermenting works that ooze out in dreams,

and filter into daylight

(c) Aine Mac Aodha

The big house as evening falls.

The lake

Monday, 20 September 2010

St Patrick's Well & Magherakeel Monastic Site

  On a recent visit to Castlederg in County Tyrone I stopped at the small village of Killeter  (Coill Íochtair meaning "lower wood") which lies along the pilgrim trail leading to Lough Derg (St. Patrick's Purgatory) St. Patrick stopped at this well to quench his thirst before the walk to Lough Derg. So before winter gets its grip on the land I wanted to visit St. Patrick's well, locally know as Tober Patrick. Surrounded by beautiful country side. Fairly nearby is Magherakeel Monastic Site.

 The Sperrin landscape has some eye-catching and ancient spots off the beaten track and I have visited many of them although, to be fair many of these are difficult to locate and signposts are often scarce, this was easy enough to find once out of the Castlederg area; it was signposted.

St. Patrick's Well

New pillars and entrance gate.

St. Patrick's statue.

‘The Plain of the Church’ or Magherakeel Monastic Site,   (6th-century). A small piece of the wall remains of what was St. Caireall’s Church named after the founder or local patron saint. The local primary school in Castlederg is also named after the saint. Magherakeel graveyard stands near the foundations of the original Catholic parish church, St. Caireall's, which was destroyed in the early
1600s during the Plantation.

 On researching I could not find out much about this celtic Saint although it could be, (Saint Kerrill aka Caireall mac Curnain who was a Christian missionary in what is now east County Galway, alive in the mid-to-late 5th century, not real sure.       Below at the shots.

Magherakeel Monastic Site

A small piece of the wall remains of what was St. Caireall’s Church

The graveyard with beautiful old headstones.

Add caption

Lovely old stones.

Hope you enjoyed, Aine xx

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Magpie poem

The Magpie

Two tone thieves gather like senators

or tenors, slightly tipping as if heavy bellied.

Green and purple smudged feathers glint

as the sunlight catches them.

They chatter on the trapeze of a fairy thorn.

Ever vigilant, a salmons glance towards glinting

treasures, presumed below in suburbs.

They come, silent now, a pilots precision

gliding towards the gold milk tops

shining like fools gold on the door step,

cute enough, they scan the house for noise,

I stand; still as an Oak tree.

Carefully they pluck the lid

lap up the cream stash the lids in their beaks

and make off for the hill top again.

                                                            Still, I love these birds beautiful to look at and very noisey at times.

Lughnasadh, Lúnasa; Lammas.

As  Lúnasa; Lughnasadh, Lammas celebrated in August I got to thinking of my late parents who never  missed the Ould lammas Fair in Ballycastle. They'd look forward to this from June and often talked about the sights they'd seen from Horses, musicians and bedding to tools  being sold. It was a sort of pilgrimage especially for my mother.  When they would return they'd often bring Yellow man a honeycomb rock or type of toffee and dulse; seaweed which I disliked but enjoyed the Yellow Man, very sweet made with syrup and brown sugar although my father when in the humour would make us toffee and fudge and I liked it better. I attended a writers weekend back in 2000 in Knocklayde near Ballycastle a wonderful refreshing place with breath taking hills and valleys. Never been to the Lammas Fair though. I have great memories and stories told my my ould fellagh.

  Lammas fair in Ballycastle is one of the oldest in Ireland at over three hundred years old and still going strong. from the last Monday and Tuesday of August. It is associated with the Lammas harvest festival.
A ballad written by local shopkeeper and bog-oak carver John Henry MacAuley enhanced the local fame of the fair. MacAuley was also a well known fiddler, but died in 1937 before his song became famous.

~The Ould Lammas Fair~

by John Henry MacAuley

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle long ago

I met a pretty colleen who set me heart a-glow

She was smiling at her daddy buying lambs from Paddy Roe

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

Sure I seen her home that night

When the moon was shining bright

From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!


At the Ould Lammas Fair boys were you ever there

Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?

Did you treat your Mary Ann

To some Dulse and Yellow Man

At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!

In Flander's fields afar while resting from the War

We drank Bon Sante to the Flemish lassies O!

But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann

Her pouting lips all sticky from eating Yellow Man

As we passed the silver Margy and we strolled along the strand

From the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!


There's a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde

It's lit by love and sunshine where the heather honey's made

With the bees ever humming and the children's joyous call

Resounds across the valley as the shadows fall

Sure I take my fiddle down and my Mary smiling there

Brings back a happy mem'ry of the Lammas Fair


Lughnasadh; Celtic harvest festival,  its name taken from the Celtic god Lugh. years later Lughnasadh was christianized as Lammas, the Anglo-Saxon, hlaf-mas, "Loaf-Mass,"
 In rural areas, it was often remembered as "Bilberry Sunday," a day for a climb up the nearest  hill and gather  a few black berries; gods kitchen supplies. Bilberry Sunday on Croagh Patrick in  County Mayo now known as Reek Sunday celebrates Saint Patrick.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

New poems published in Poeny Moon

My two poems and photographs are in Peony Moon, thanks to Editor Michelle Mc Grane xx


There are many writers on her lists and it's a great site with many links to others.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Aine Mac Aodha - Poetry & Lens: My book on Amazon.com

Aine Mac Aodha - Poetry & Lens: My book on Amazon.com: "My book on Amazon.com A bit of shameless promotion i'm afraid!! Above is my book, 'Where the three rivers meet' now available on Amazon.co..."

Thursday, 8 July 2010

St. Mary’s Church of Magheraculmoney Parish And famine graveyard

The graveyard surrounding ST. Mary’s Church at Ardess, near Kesh in County Fermanagh is a ancient pre-plantation graveyard and in a survey it is estimated that there is a total of 433 marked grave headstones, flat slabs and crosses. The oldest visible date is 1679 of both Catholic and Protestant.  Some wonderful old celtic crosses and a stump of a tree where the hangings took place excuted after the Maguire rebellion 1594. It is difficult to find so ask a local in the nearest town of Kesh and they will give your directions. A facinating place to visit.


St Mary's Old church Ardess.

The place of the Hanging Tree

Famine Pit

Running right across and dividing the pre-plantation cemetery in two is a huge fourteen foot wide trench grave. Described locally as the Famine Pit the huge long narrow sunken grave of 120 feet had remained in an overgrown, unkempt state serving as a harsh visual reminder of the Great Famine period 1845 - 1850. Ardess Community Association’s immediate objective was to mark the 150th anniversary of 1847 (known as Black 47) by restoring the unmarked famine pit and creating a sensitive memorial commemorating the many forgotten famine victims from North West Fermanagh.

It is a well kept graveyard for the age of it and it's quite eery to look into the famine pit and remember the forgotten victims who mostly came from the Irvinestown and belcoo areas.                                                    




A poem I wrote four years ago called Black 47 and is published in my book, Where The Three Rivers meet'       http://www.amazon.com/Aine-MacAodha/e/B003MGH3M2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0                                                             

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ami Kaye's new book and web site.

Ami Kaye a friend and one of the  Editors of   http://pirenesfountain.com/  has  a new collection of poems published,  'What Hands Can Hold ' at her beautiful web site http://www.amikaye.com/ .

Review by Karen Bowles, Publisher of Luciole Press.

Aine x

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Janus figures (ancient souls)

Caldragh Cemetery located a few miles from Boa Island outside the town of Kesh on Lower lough Erne (County Fermanagh) is were these beauties can be found, well beauties to me. Old souls with stories to tell! I try to visit many of the ancient sites across Ireland, some well documented others off the beaten track which is better.. Although having said that it is difficult at times to locate these sites; often you need permission from the land owner and many sites are  poorly signposted, so visitors from elsewhere must find it hard going to get to them. This is well signposted fortunately! Things are changing with the preservation and upkeep of these old graveyards.
The larger one is known as The Janus Figure' ( Janus literally means two-faced )which is two figures back to back, male and female. The third and smallest of them is Lusty Man' found and brought to the cemetery from the nearby island of Lusty Beg. Celtic idols as they're known have that ancient feel and pull; although many disagree as this is a christian graveyard. I have never seen Sheila-na-gig figures - however, have read much about them and the smaller of the two is a woman, I think is a Sheila-na-gig type.  The Janus figures are reputed to be over 2000 years old.

Gota love that face!

(c) Aine MacAodha 2010 All rights reserved

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My book on Amazon.com

My book on Amazon.com

 A bit of shameless promotion i'm afraid!! Above is my book, 'Where the three rivers meet' now available on Amazon.com  for $7.82

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Lates issue of Pirene's Fountain up online.

I spent a good part of the weekend reading the latest issue of Pirene's Fountain and have enjoyed the many poetic voices that I have read. This issues featured poets include, Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar and J. P. Dancing Bear;  who was interviewed by one of  PF Editors Ami Kaye,  you can read the interview here,


Also loved the vibrant artwork of Elisa Boughner, check her folio page. A great read all round, thanks PF!

This is issue 7 of PF and I am honoured to have had poems in several issues.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

My essay at, https://luciolepress.com/Aine_MacAodha.html

My essay, published in Luciole Press. edited by Karen Bowles. Go to the Luciole press link above and you will also find links to many artists and writers, including the editors page.

all copyrights belong to Aine MacAodhaCopyright 2007-2010. Luciole Press. All rights reserved.

Editor Karen Bowles

Luciole Press Spring/Summer Issue 2010 is here. Please read the "Editor's Note"Share
Cover of the Spring/Summer Issue 2010.

Painting by Pär Strömberg

READ the full Editor's Note here: http://www.luciolepress.com/Editor_s_Note

There is also work form myself too.

Home Page: http://www.luciolepress.com/

Karen Bowles


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Muck, by night

Muck, by night
Originally uploaded by Aine MacAodha
Lough Muck (yes that's it's name)! a few minutes walk from me, one of my favourites although not widely known. I recall swimming in it every summer in childhood, good memories walking out to the lough and getting real sunburn and burnt feet wearing only moses sandles.

Ancestral home.

Ancestral home.
Originally uploaded by Aine MacAodha
Taken near Sloughen Glen just outside Omagh/Drumquin, Out of the side of a hill, amid brambles and giant ferns, a shell of a house appears with postcard views out over the Tyrone countryside,I listen to the quiet sounds of spring, and remember that the regeneration of small towns has crept nearer and nearer to the beauty spots. One day thismay well be gone.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Flowers in youth.

Went out this morning to admire the display of youth in the Daffodils and Crocus and came on snowrops having a ball. Great weather her today in Omagh clear skies and the Mountains called but I will have to leave them for another day as my first Grandchild is due any day now and my daughter and her husband are getting nervous so I cannot ramble as I would like; for now. Exciting times :)

Monday, 8 February 2010

New poem publishes in http://soylesipoetrymagazine.com/

Nesrin Eruysal Söyleşi Üç Aylık Şiir Dergisi

Kenneth Rosen, Alfred Corn, Reshma Aquil, John Muckle, Immanuel Mifsud, Cem Uzungüneş, Carlos Barbarito, Koray Feyiz, Ken Fifer, Mark Cobley, Thor Stefansson, Tree Riesener, Barbara Crooker, Hedy Habra,Aine MacAodha

Edited by Nesrin Eruys




You can download the issue or read online, Aine.

Monday, 1 February 2010

New Poem 'Imbolc'

Had fun with the movie maker with this one, a poem for Imbolc, Bede, Bridgits day........ The snow is on the ground around Tyrone and the hills dusted with it, cold, but lovely to look out at; the wild birds are enjoying the feast in the garden although those crows chase the Robins, the robins are territorial and put up a brave fight. Have to get a photo of them but as soon as the door opens, the dogs out and they're off!

                                                                                                 Tara, watching the birds!