It is a fact that I’m from Ballymena and though I have not lived there since 1978, still I feel it is fitting that some of my poems should go back home and that is why I am so pleased always to be between the covers of A New Ulster.  And I like to include at least one poem that hails from my upbringing. In this issue that poem is “A Far Cry”.

The title reflects that I am a far cry frae home. In fact I may even be considered a far cry from being an Ulsterwoman any more, having lived in Wales and England now so many years — and I seldom go back. It’s not that I don’t like the place — it’s beautiful — go and find out for yourself — the Glens of Antrim — the Causeway Coast CarnloughPortrush —  all stunning. I lived in Portrush as a student and I met my husband there. But I have had the privilege of seeing a great deal of the British Isles and I have found beauty wherever I went — because these green isles are exceptional despite the awful weather! Ulster however is the greenest place on Earth!

What makes this an Ulster poem is the language and the cooking. It’s all about potatoes and home cooking and love, from the first line to the Willow Patterned plate. My mother used words like deaved — which I do know the meaning of — it is an old fashioned way of saying deafened. Scunnered means sick. I think that gets used elsewhere in Britain too. Doiled? Not a clue where that one comes from but I always took it to mean overwrought. I’d be interested if anyone else know that word.

Potatoes were always the staple and I have written about that before — scroll down after following the link to CHAMP in THE LINNET’S WINGS SPRING 2008, ISSN 2009-2369, Druim Cala, Dromod, Co. Leitrim 00353 71 96 58858

One of the other poems this month is very much the topic here in Northumberland — there are Say NO signs about wind farms all over the place. “Revolution maybe — On the wind” is about the opposition to wind farms in areas of outstanding natural beauty.  People here think that the planning is insensitive — as long as they can’t be seen from London eh? Wind power is a tremendous thing but I agree — the planning is insenstive as is the design of these monstrosities.

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