Monthly Archives: December 2022

Winter, as it Should Be

A view of the distant pyrenees, with a little snow, and a forest still sporting spots of orange, in mid December.

            Somewhat as it Should Be

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Frozen fog has shut off any sights without the vale:

Only a few fields below the road and trees along:

Ash still green but paling, poplars rising glorious 

In gold and rowan orange glowing. Goldfinches flee 

But return easily to glean seeds to fuel against the cold

Ice clad grass banks and crown clods in shaded corners.

Chilled fingers fumble at the pen with these words, so I

Turn to the house, for use in clutching logs, and later,

Thawed to type by the fire, stopping by the spring

To fill the water bottle for a dram. The flow has not

Yet been helped by the recent rain and snow, I see,

But we’ve returned, somewhat, to winter as it should be.

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I wrote this a few weeks back, when the weather was a little different. It’s clear that this Christmas is not white in much of Europe, but it’s whiteout in much of North America…. neither exactly what anyone wants…

Well, anyway, happy Christmas. Hope you’re warm wherever you are.

Some News on Novels

It’s been a while since I published a new novel.

I hope to have a YA set in Ireland out in the new year.

Meanwhile, some news: I’ll shortly be getting my copyright back on the five novels published with Tirgearr Publishing.

Once I do, I will do my best to get them back up for sale on Amazon, first as Ebooks. I am considering publishing them in print as well, and I have to admit I am in two minds – if you have an ebook, then it’s best to just download them. But if not… well, I hope there are folks out there who’d love to read them in print… I will get back to you on that. If anyone wants to comment either way, feel free.

As we see the fall of Twitter, and the fact of Meta failing and the Facebook basically falling also into disuse by at least a large proportion of folks in my friends lists, I am thinking of where to actually connect to readers and friends, apart from just here.

It’s true that the life of a writer is always hard, and getting readers to pick up our books never easy. The social media space has made it possible for some of us to sell some of our work.

And yet, at the same time, the whole selling scape is not often our favourite space. I personally rarely go on Facebook now – and I am one of the few people on the planet who legitimately need such a space to stay in touch with all the lovely people I’ve come to know over the years in my real life travels round the world. I feel the threads tying us together getting slacker, though, thinner. And in some respects this is inevitable, It would happen faster without the internet, but eventually it will happen anyway, as the years stretch on and we all get older.

In other respects, writing is something I will do regardless of who reads the work, and I will do it (am doing it because of constraints of real life) in my own time, despite the marketing mantra of getting new books out in front of folks’ eyes and having series to pull them in.

If anyone reads my poems you’ll see that it is out in the real world of Nature that I am happiest, and the writing comes when I am not there, from ideas I get while I am.

Those writings will come, as long as I live, and if the history of art has taught us anything, it’s that fame and life are not necessarily concurrent. We can only enjoy the work, and worry about everything else after. Nor is financial return any indication of merit.

I will continue to post my blogposts to Facebook, but you’ll not find me there much otherwise, so if you want to get in touch the best is to comment on these posts here on WordPress, and to write me at davidjmobrienauthor@gmail.com

For when Twitter dies, I have joined Mastedon, and I here’s my page for anyone to follow: @David_J_OBrien@mastodon.ie

Meanwhile, here’s a poem I wrote a few years back. I think I might have posted it before, but it came to mind while writing this.

Enjoy

            Threads

As we walk our world, we weave

A kind of tapestry about us:

Threads spread out, linking our lives 

With those we meet.

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Wonderful, a wheel of whirling strands

Swirling about us like glinting gossamer

Whipped on morning breeze across sunlit fields;

The thoughts and talks and memories

Shared and cared for across continents 

Over centuries.

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But ultimately bitter-sweet,

For they inevitably wear thin over time,

We often fail to keep all attended to

To stop them breaking,

Trailing, frail, forgotten in the tangle,

And even the strongest spun silk can snap:

Stretched taut across landscapes,

When we walk too far.

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Those we best attend to, too,

Weaken, and fade to invisibility

Eventually, severed, taken from us 

When their own weaver leaves this ether.

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How long will our own cloth survive,

When we’re not here to hold it?

As those that know us no longer 

Hold memory of what we told them,

About our many connections, never

Mind our own names, and actions,

Faint after just a generation.

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No wonder some strive to stencil

Their names in stone set into cathedrals,

Or indelibly upon a novel, poem or play

Which will carry on without us

When we’ve gone upon our way.

Glorious

This is a shot I took in a different place than I had the inspiration, when I had the time to stop and shoot it. It’s not quite as glorious, but it’s damn lovely all the same. Autumn took a while to arrive, but it’s great to see it.

            And It’s Glorious

The storm has eased, eventually.

Though cold, trees still, dripping yet,

Leaves left, strewn upon the street:

Sheets of gold and ochre. Streams of

Sticks and twigs clog the gutters,

Grown to spreading pools, reflecting 

Gorgeous tempest survivors overhead.

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And it’s glorious: a rare, raw, glimpse 

Of our world without the concrete.

At least until the sweepers resume,

Scouring nature with their plastic brooms.