Tomorrow is Tuesday but not just any Tuesday, on Twitter it’s #TopTweetTuesday thanks to the wonderful poet Matthew M C Smith, editor of Black Bough Poems and author of the superb poetry collection Origin: 21 Poems (buy on Amazon and read ‘Footprints’ and ‘Daughters’ and you’ll see why it’s unmissable, passionate, thought-provoking, and he’s Welsh- so what more reason is there to adore it) and it’s a day where one poet hosts and all other poets are invited to come by and share one of their poems or the poem of their favourite writer of the moment and the host comments on it and reposts it so even more people can see it and read it and share it and love it. It’s about loving poetry and raving about it and sharing it.

Well, tomorrow I’m the host, so if you’re on Twitter and have a poem that you love and want to share then it’s easy- either drop by @blackboughpoems to see how it works or just type @blackboughpoems and #TopTweetTuesday and @deuxiemepeau into the tweet along with your poem and whatever else you want to say and off we go…


See you all tomorrow, on Twitter.

Wear something fabulous and share something even better.


A DEER BY A DOLMAN IN DUBLIN for Poetry Day Ireland


It’s Poetry Day Ireland so I am supporting from abroad. This years theme is Truth or Dare so throughout the day I will be posting a few of my older poems on Truth and a few more on being Irish…

A Deer by a Dolman in Dublin

Where you there, all the time, I asked myself,
for I have not discovered the powers of hindsight,
as our words wove like the wind around the whispers
the woods were once witness to?

Where you there all the time, I asked myself,
in that soft spot of spirit in the fold of our minds?

I had whispered, along the way, as feet caressed
the crumbling clay, as a heart trembled in a throat
that tried not to tumble through words,
I had wished for a grace to ground us like that curve
of concrete on the caress of the mound that grounded
what had once grown tired into the ground.

You were there, all the time, I told myself,
as I caught the river as it cast reflections
of trees rising up and roots growing down
and I realised we are not just man,
we are not just the mound we lay beneath.
We are inseparable, like these reflections
sinking into the stream, we are not one,
but the other, not beast or beauty, but both,
finding our way along the water to a bed to call comfort.

You were there, all the time, a dear Deer, by a dolman,
in Dublin, listening to our songs of the living
and the loving and the dreaming and the dying

laying our poems on paths already pressed
while the deer stood and wondered who would come next?


All words and photographs of Dublin by Damien B. Donnelly


Last Saturday at 2pm in Ireland, Dublin, in the Phoenix Park, in the shade of a house and in the shadow of a tree in the sunshine, Kevin Bateman gathered together a group of poets for his latest spoken word event ‘I can Dream and You can Love‘ which went out live, as usual, on periscope and every poet was revealed there and then, no pre announcements, no listings of performers beforehand, as is so usual in these days of social media. Kevin indulges ingeniously in the mystery of the moments that unfold when a name is called before the camera rolling and their words fill the air and travel across the skies.

His choices for these locations are often sacred grounds, off the beaten track, forgotten by guide books and now, thankfully, reclaimed as the performances unfold. This last location in the Phoenix park was on the Hill of the Mariners were one of the oldest dolmans in Ireland is located, Knockmaree Dolman. Discovered in the 1800’s, two bodies were found in the tomb which dates back to almost 3500bc and the bodies were suggested to have been sailors, hence the name Hill of the Mariners. Watch the show and you will hear how it took Kevin almost 10 years to find this dolman that has been left to hang beneath a shadow of a tree, in the stillness of the silence, sometimes in the sunshine, often in the shade.

For this event, Kevin gathered 8 poets including himself and you can watch the video which had over 1000 views on Periscope in the first 24 hours of its life. The links below are for Periscope and YouTube.

The poets, who all performed 4 poems, under a theme of love, dreams and the current climate in Ireland, were, in order of appearance;

Kevin Bateman (on Twitter as @Bate_Kevin) drew us into the crime controlled streets of Dublin while leaving us tender with the line ‘…do not let the dead rest in photos, let them move on…’ from his poem A Room of Utter Sadness.


Supriya K Dhaliwal (on Twitter as @supriyadhaliwal) painted for us a cornucopia of Indian colors and tears and whose poem Meet Me in the Morning on No Man’s Land will long linger in my ear as a beacon of hope.


Jasmina Šušić enthralled and captivated us with her raw emotion, passion and her willingness to drop the guard and share her gentle side with We are Soft Animals but Our Hearts are Weak.


I was lucky enough to be invited to perform among these precious talents which made this the first time to ever read my poems in public, to ever read in public! I read 4 poems which you can find here on my blog…

Spelling Peace https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2017/11/19/spelling-peace-day-19-of-a-month-with-yeats/

Carved In https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2015/12/05/carved-in/

Salmon Dancers https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2017/11/03/salmon-dancers-day-3-of-a-month-with-yeats/

Wilful in the Wild https://deuxiemepeau.blog/2016/07/27/wilful/


Jessica Traynor (on Twitter as @JessicaTraynor6) struck a fire in our historic hearts with her gem of a poem Matches for Rosa, for Rosa Luxembourg and brought us right up to date into an Ireland of today, questioning the right for individual choice with her poem Tender Butchery, my own skin still shivering with the powerful line ‘…the world has no business wearing my skin.’


Catherine Ann Cullen (on Twitter as @tarryathome), along with her ever listening dog,  carried us around the world on the triple spirals of the triskele and took us out and under the harsh waters of homelessness by the Royal Canal in Dublin with her poem entitled Flood, ‘…and they flooded the walkway… so she might float out of sight…’


Eilín de Paor (on Twitter as @edepaor) pulled us in with unexpected treasures found along the way, a nod to lasting impressions still loved though lost and ‘an intimate poem for such an outdoor area’ Island Life where a woman surrenders to ‘…each suckling lap…’ of the first wave of motherhood.


Maeve O’Sullivan ( on Twitter as @writefromwithin) also brought us to India and returned us to Ireland through two bejeweled haiku sequences and grounded the force of an ocean of love in the sonnet Fathomless ‘…the twist of your hair in my knuckled fist…’


Periscope link: https://www.pscp.tv/w/bVcMWDFlUkV4cVlWVnhQUXd8MXZPeHdBTFhwRE1HQs6p0u7wzeWUvfUmOmse42HeaA_-COCeSHxdhfL9zQuH

YouTube Link:

Extra photos of the group are curtesy of Harry Browne who can be found on Ficker.com

And you can just see the deer above that was watching over us from the not too far distance…

SUNDAY SHARING; Dancing — Jane Dougherty Writes

Sunday sharing could not be done without this beautiful dance with the wilderness by Jane Dougherty of Jane Dougherty Writes. Check it out and come dance with the rest of us…

The Secret Keeper’s weekly writing prompt provides five words to incorporate in a poem. Sometimes, I don’t get on with the words at all, and it takes a lot of work to fit them all in. Sometimes they just jump into line of their own accord. This week was one of those times. The words […]

via Dancing — Jane Dougherty Writes



I am touched and thrilled to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by fellow Paris lover, the lovely Alison Pierman (even if she herself compared it to a pyramid scheme/chain letter). I’m not fussy and have little time for shame, I’ll take any and every award going. 

So, Alison, thank you very much and I promise we will share a glass of vin rouge the next time you come to Paris for a visit.

Firstly, there are rules that go with the acceptance of the award (did I make it clear that I am accepting this award- it’s mine!): Here goes:

    1. Thank your nominator (done!)
    2. Post the Liebster Award logo on your website (done!)
    3. Answer 10 questions posed by your nominator (done- see below- I’m not kidding)
    4. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers for the Liebster Award (and notify them in the comment section of their blog)  (Or they can see if if they read this…)
    5. Pose 10 questions to your nominees

1. Paris or Provence?

It’s Paris for now and the foreseeable future. I first moved to Paris from Dublin, Ireland, when I was 22, naive, non-french speaking, no job, no friends, no contacts, It could have not started any worse but it was the start of a wonderful romance, Living With Paris, me and my lady of light. I left when I was 24, distracted by London and Amsterdam and have just made it back here last year. So I’m putting down roots this time. Thick roots, deep roots. I turned 40 here last august which seems fitting if life really does begin at…  Perhaps Provence will be my pasturing period, when the novels are filling the shelves and I’m seeking a deeper inspiration barefoot on the soils and bald under the sun.
2. What is your favourite topic to post about?

Poetry is my thing, always has been, ever since I was a kid trying to figure out the world and my place within it. It was cathartic at first before I braved that great barrier of letting other people read what I had scribbled (it took about 25 years) and from there it took off. I tend towards personal reflections mostly, even in photography I’m drawn to scenes that show reflections in windows, puddles, still waters, moments captured that will evaporate minutes later. I’m intruded by the stillness that can be found amid the hustle and bustle. Someone commented recently how most of my photographs of Paris are devoid of people. Substance, shapes and shadows but no people. It’s funny because I think that’s how I actually see this city that was home to me from the first moment my feet made contact with its streets. It’s always been Paris and Me and when I walk through the city, that rarely changes while I constantly do, I see no one else but me and my Lady, in her pearls and Chanel twin set. I hold a cane next to her to look more distinguished as opposed to delusional. 
3. Do you blog as a hobby or a career?

It’s a mixture. I studied fashion design in Dublin, during the early Irish chapter of life, and have been a pattern maker for various fashion brands for almost 18 years, but these days I see myself as a creative person, merging inspirations and interests from writing, fashion, baking, painting, drawing, taking pictures (I’ll never die of restlessness). In my heart I’m a writer, in reality I’m both, but at the bank I’m just a pattern maker who gets paid. One day I’ll be both financially.
4. Cats or dogs?

I had a cat once, he used to pleasure himself whenever anyone came to visit. I had a dog when  was a child, my mother may have frightened him away, she’s not really an animal lover as much as a shoe or bag lover. Maybe he feared for his skin! Can I pick a teddy bear instead. They need less looking after. My plants die quickly- I’m just saying…
5. Writing superstitions or odd habits?

On the metro on the way to work in the morning when everyone is rushing about and finishing their makeup or just eyeing each other up- it’s a world of inspiration all in one carriage. You got to capture it before the doors open and it runs away. No big superstitions but I love wiring on planes while flying over the world, clearly the altitude offers a different perspective both geographically and mentally. I’m off to Turks and Caicos, in the Caribbean, for my dear friends wedding on Wednesday so that’s a lot of hours to cut the clouds into super soft sonnets. 
6. Where did you go on your last big trip?

The last big trip was moving from Amsterdam to Paris. It took nearly 16 years to get back here finally but I’m here and it’s home. The shortest/biggest trip was India in 24 hours for work, a pit stop on the way to China but it remains in the memory, floating on a colourful swirl of sumptuous sarees sailing from motorbikes that broke through the insanity that was called traffic, including wandering, worshipped cows and goats lead by blind men who wore smiles like others wear worries. The next big trip is Wednesday. Caribbean here I come. Oh good god- wish me luck, Irish skin burns to a crisp like pig’s cheeks!
7. Favourite current fictional book?

I’m reading John Boyne’s Beneath the Earth, at the moment, a collection of short stories from the author of The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas, and I’m mesmerised by the various voices he has captured within the pages and between the lines. Did I mention that he is Irish.
8. Favourite current biographical book?

Katharine Hepburn. I’ve read 3 different ones so far and loved both ‘Me, Stories of my life’ by Katharine herself and ‘Kate Remembered’ by A. Scott Berg. I can hear her in my head speaking to me when I read them. She was just radiant. The eyes, the cheek bones, that voice, the timing and the determination. I wish I had her balls! I was born in the wrong time. I want to be in a screwball comedy with Kate and Cary, in black and white, of course, in a three piece suit and shiny shoes, and a hat and a cane! And later on, when I live in Provence, I want a lake like On Golden Pond and loons that look out for me as they fly over head. 
9. Number 1 on your Bucket List?

I’m working on editing my first novel, The Journey Home, at the moment. Seeing it on a bookshelf would be No. 1 on the Busket list. Or a book of poetry. I found a letter in the family attic I wrote when I was 16 to my older (less haired) self. It said that I was to have a book of poetry polished before I was 30- maybe I meant 50! I was also supposed to remember to that I am a total romantic! As if I could forget- romance keeps hitting me in the face!
10. What blog hashtags you follow?

Poetry, Nature, Photography, Paris, Steampunk (just throwing that in there!)


I nominate, due to the beauty between their lines, the following Creature Creatives:

1 Jane Dougherty Writes:  janedougherty.wordpress.com

2 Jennifer Calvert at Ink and Quill:  jennifercalvertwriter.com

3 Paula Antonello Moore at the Expressible Cafe pmooreblog.wordpress.com

4 Peter Notehelfer Gathering Stones Strung on Threads  notehelfer.wordpress.com

5 Elan Mudrow tricksterchase.com

6 Karma Linguist karmalinguist.wordpress.com

7 Musing of a PuppyDoc phoebemd.com

8 Crumbs of Expression  crumbsofexpression.com

The 10 Questions:

1 Why did you start writing in the first place? Can you recall your first attempt?

2 Where do you find inspiration?

3 Do you have a daily, weekly writing routine?

4 How difficult is it to set aside time to write?

5 If you could be any author, director, actor, sportsman, who would you chose? Why?

6 What is your favourite book, film and song?

7 If possible, what period of time would you most like to travel to and experience?

8 How difficult is it to write about personal experiences?

9 Fact or fiction? Is it easier to make up or to write from observation?

10 If you were to join me on my Caribbean Island holiday, (I said if) who would you most like to bring with us to keep us entertained?

And so that’s the Liebster award in a tough nut shell.

To those I have nominated, please don’t feel obliged to respond or continue this on, but I hope you feel a little twinge of pride. I’m certainly thrilled to have discovered and loved the lyrics and lines that beautify your blogs, along with a whole world full of other geniuses out there who are, so far, unmentioned by me…

Keep up the good work and to quote Gidget all grown up;

 “You like me, you really like me…”(Sally Field oscar speech for Places in the Heart,)

And to steal the most recently cool parting line… Damien Out!