New Writing

Elephant and Blackbird

This is the opening of a new book for children.

Jukebox was lost. He had reached the end of a cul-de-sac and was standing underneath a large chestnut tree. The rain was coming down harder than ever. He didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t going back to the circus, that much he knew…continue reading

A Visit from My Father

I wrote this during a recent stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. It is where I have written the first drafts of the majority of my stories. I write the story long-hand, type it, print it, then begin the process of moulding it into something that might or might not be published. This story has a way to go yet but I’m hopeful I will get there.

When my father knocked on the door of my cottage, I knew that he had made the long and tedious journey to say more than a father-to-son hello. I believed I knew what he had come to say and I did not consider myself strong enough to stand in the refuge of my living room and listen to the words coming out of his sneaky mouth. This is why I did not open the door. This is why I retreated to the darkest corner of the room and leaned my back into the wall and waited. I waited for my father to abandon his knocking, to walk around the house, looking in through all of the windows, seeing the general disarray, coming to understand the nature of things here, to understand what had become of my life. I waited all this time, in the darkest corner of the room, until I heard the car door closing, and the engine starting up. And when I heard the car tyres bouncing off the uneven, neglected driveway as it descended the steep slope, I knew that I would be all right for a while longer, now that my father had come and gone.  Continue reading


The Dog, the Accordion and the Stars

I’d been reading Dermot Healy around the time this poem came out of my head and onto the page. If it ever gets published (and it does need some work), I’ll dedicate it to that late, great Irish writer who was a friend to so many. Read here


Unlocking Time

This is an extract from a full-length book for the young reader. It’s a complicated story. It has, I think, the potential to be my best book, but right now I am a long way from that stage.

Sometimes I stop and look around, searching for Jesse, and each time I stop the dog stops, waiting patiently until I start walking again. Every now and then I call out above the stalls, ‘Jesse!, Jesse!’ but something tells me that she isn’t going to hear me because the dog has everything under control and that if I follow him I’ll find her.

We appear to be walking into the middle of a maze that is closing in on itself as we proceed. We take right-only turns, every time we reach a corner. All the time the passageways are getting narrower and narrower, and the stalls are getting smaller and more tightly packed together. The music I heard when I saw the dog first is fading in and out, so I am never sure if I’m getting closer to it or further away. Continue reading