Library

Below are the books I have written. Beside each book is one sample poem. If you enjoy these poems and would like to get any of my books, please click on the book's title to order it or go to the Order Books page.

Remembrances of 1913-1923 at Glasnevin Cemetery

The Graves of Glasnevin: CD by the Clareville Invincibles

Turning Points: Poems of a Life

Touching the Infinite: Poems on the Compassion of Jesus

Girl Through My Window and other poems

Elegy and other poems

Loving Emily and other poems

Rosie Reilly and other poems

The Corner of a Field and other poems

The Woman Next Door and other poems

The Awakening and other poems

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Remembrances of 1913-1923 at Glasnevin Cemetery

Table of Contents


Introduction

1. Historical context for the decade of conflict

2. Ireland’s participation in World War One: la defense de la France

Photographic remembrances of 1913-1923 in colour

3. The Rising of Easter 1916

4. The War of Independence in Ireland

5. Women and the movement to Irish independence

6. Re-construing the decade of conflict 1913-1923

7. Christmas in the Trenches

References

 

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remembrances

This book summarises the narratives in prose poetry music and song for the remembrance ceremonies at Christmas of 2013, 14 and 15, for the souls of 500 people who died in WW1, the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Independence and the Civil War and whose bodies are interred close together in Glasnevin Cemetery.

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The Graves of Glasnevin: CD by the Clareville Invincibles

Grave and Song Title

The Manchester Martyrs - 'God Save Ireland' (TD Sullivan)

Daniel O’Connell - 'Extracts from letter to Queen Victoria'

Arthur Griffith - 'Twenty men from Dublin Town' ( Arthur Griffith)

Charles Stewart Parnell - 'Avondale' (Dominic Behan)

Cross of Sacrifice - 'Silent Night-Christmas 1914' (Lynch/McConnell)

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa - Extracts from oration by Patrick Pearse

Elizabeth O’Farrell - 'The Proud Flag of Surrender' (Mick Brophy)

Kevin Barry - 'Kevin Barry' (Traditional)

Fr. Francis Gleeson - 'Hymn des fraternises' (Philippe Rombi)

Michael Collins - 'The Curlew Stood Silent and Unseen' (JohnnyMcEvoy)

Eamon de Valera - 'Extracts from radio broadcast' by Churchill/ de Valera 1945

Jimmy O’Dea - 'Biddy Mulligan' ( Seamus Kavanagh)

Brendan Behan - 'The Auld Triangle' (Brendan Behan)

Luke Kelly - 'The Parting Glass/ Restless Farewell' (Traditional / Bob Dylan)

Peadar Kearney - 'The Soldier's Song/Amhran na bhFiann' (Kearney)


All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go to the Clareville Day Centre

 

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Graves

This CD has been produced by Michael and Sean Brophy as an intergenerational project involving the Clareville/ Claremont community and the Glasnevin Trust with support from Dublin City Council and the HSE. It is Clareville’s inclusive way of marking the centenary of the birth of the Irish Republic in 1916. The Clareville Day Centre has the O’Connell Tower, the grave of “ The Liberator,” as the backdrop to its location in Glasnevin. The centre provides healthcare services to older persons within their own community, in a holistic way, which honours their status as elders of their community, and enables them to continue to flourish in their lives.

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Turning Points: Poems of a Life

Friendship

When I think of friends
I think of easy company
of no masks, ever,

I think of shared experience
That binds together,

I think of judgement suspended,
I think of understanding
Of walking in each other's shoes,

I think of acceptance
Of what we are,
I think of belief in what we try to be,
In authenticity

I think of you and you and you
My friends
My dear friends,

I think of you.

 

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Turning Points

A hardback 160-Page collection of poems about the ebbs and flows of the life of the author over seven decades since 1943. He offers a retrospective view of his life in Dublin, through the medium of some new poems, and a selection of his published work in his previous eight collections. Each decade is punctuated by a crisis or necessary turning point, as he makes sense of and responds to the events of his life. The collection ends on a note of optimism and encouragement to the reader to squeeze each day into the brimming vessel of their life and to celebrate the gift of friendship.

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Touching the Infinite: Poems on the Compassion of Jesus

Touching the Infinite

‘Sir please come now
Before my little boy dies’
Go, your son will live

Jn.4: 49-50

Moved with compassion
Jesus touched their eyes
And they could see

Mt.20: 34

Be compassionate…
As your heavenly Father
Is compassionate

Mt.5: 48

 

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Touching the Infinite

Touching the Infinite is a collection of poems arranged in Haiku form based on the theme of compassion as displayed by Jesus. The following extracts show the author’s focus on Jesus as he concretised God’s compassion for all humanity. Through these Haikus the reader is invited to reflect on the meaning of his or her own life, to have it illuminated by the sayings of Jesus, to live the value of compassion and to become lights themselves to a broken world.

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Girl Through My Window and other poems

Girl Through My Window

Seeing the Divine
In your lovely face
Your uniqueness.

Mother crocheting...
Snow-flaking her cottage floor
With white lace flowers.

Do not grieve for me...
This day I celebrate the
Rebirth of my spirit.

You stand in a drizzle...
Soaking wet, your hair spirals
Loose in russet curls.

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Girl Through My Window and other poems.
Girl Through My Window is a collection of poems arranged in over two hundred and fifty verses or Haikus based on the universal theme of love. The following extracts show the poet's focus, as he shifts his attention from love of his partner through other loving relationships, love of nature and love of life and life's characters.

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Elegy and other poems

Elegy

I see moon and stars…
While they are set in heaven
You stay in my mind

Swan and her cygnets
Mother smiling at her child
Lover and his lass

Stream runs to river
Dolphin tumbles to the shore
Mountains kiss the sky

Until I can see
Limits of the universe
You are in my heart.

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Elegy and other poems
These poems are like one complete poem written as a healing exercise after the poets wife Emily died to this life in 1999. The form chosen for each poem is the haiku, a seven centuries old Japanese verse-form with three lines and seventeen syllables. These tiny poems gain their effect not only by suggesting a mood, but by conveying a clear picture to the reader that serves as a starting point for thoughts and emotion. Readers will find themselves blown into a world of excitement, terror, confusion, lovemaking, yearning, soul pain, desolation , joy and tranquillity.

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Loving Emily and other poems

Loving Emily

I have loved you all our days,
But especially when you were

Sharing your wisdom with your grandchildren,
Knitting cardigans for a new baby,
Peeling potatoes while watching "Fair City",
Doing a crossword on a long flight,

Talking softly to a Stephanotis,
Holding forth on our Celtic forbears,
Throwing a sheet on the bed and getting it straight first time,
Cooking a dinner for twelve of our friends,

Buttering croissants at "la Deviniere"
Walking the prom at St. Jean,
Minding sick children at the baths at Lourdes,
Contemplating Monet at Giverny and Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise,

Watching the sunset at San Francisco,
Strolling through the Chicago Art museum,
Marvelling at the majesty of the Canadian Rockies,
Peering through the mist at Niagara,

Listening to Beethoven’s 4th at the Barbican,
And Cesar Franck at the Gaeity,
Or to Vivaldi in a church in Paris,
Listening to each other like soul mates,

I will love you all the days of my life and,
Then I will love you to infinity.

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Elegy and other poems
This book is a celebration of the life of the poets wife, Emily and of the aftermath of the sad moment when she became history. The poet likens his task to that of a painter searching to bring something into being out of nothingness. Love is the greatest of virtues. This book will appeal to and have a great resonance for anybody who has experienced great love in their life and the pain of the grief that accompanies separation and loss.

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Rosie Reilly and other poems

Rosie Reilly

I see a shining face
Years deep in polished affection,
Her waist length hair
Tied up in a bun
With a band for a chignon

She smiled with her eyes
Through a pair of
Corporation glasses
Bathing me in the glow
Of a simple woman’s love

In the evening she
Brought me by the hand
Down Capel Street
Past the bright shop windows
To the bus stop on the Quay

Waiting in the breeze
Whipped up from the Liffey
She cradled me to her waist
Singing "Forever and ever,"
Rocking with the rhythm,

The memory of her singing
Drifts back in time
When my mind meanders
Along the river of life
To it’s source.

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Rosie Reilly
Sean Brophy is a poet who celebrates life and community. In this volume he likens his life to a stage on which a cast of characters, some now ghosts, have walked and spoken their lines or thrust lines upon him until he learnt to assert his own voice. He believes that everybody’s life is worth a novel or at least a slim volume of verse. He reckons that this is a book that anybody could write and therein may lie it’s appeal to a wide audience.

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The Corner of a Field and other poems

The Corner of a Field

A small stream dances
Down the drain of a ditch,
Bounded by a barbed wire
Fence with old wooden stakes
Holding hands as tipsy partners
At the start of a crossroads ceili,

Wild fuchsia overhangs the field
Filled with orange mombrecia,
Pale bells of convolvulus.
Purple loosestrife,
Red clover, mauve marsh thistle
And creamy clusters of elder flowers,

Meadow grass stands tall,
Blades blowing with the breeze
Swaying around dock leaves,
Beyond a young mans bends to pitch
His fork into mounds of hay,
Throwing a net to secure his prize,

Yonder an old cowshed leans against
The wind, its stones clinging together
In a dry defence against time,
The old gate stands shut,
Three staves and crossbars,
Calvary in the corner of a field.

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The corner of a field
The author sets out to celebrate the ordinary in life, especially in nature. He celebrates life in the corner of a field in the west of Ireland, at a traditional Irish music session, on a rainy evening in Dublin City and at the graveside of a poet in Flanders. Readers are invited to join in this world of awareness, to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, to see the poetry in life all around them.

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The Woman Next Door and other poems

The Woman Next Door

This is a book about people as individuals. As the poet realises that each person is on earth for a specific purpose, to be worked out in the uniqueness of their lives he tries to celebrate this reality in his poetry. As you read these poems, perhaps you will feel affirmed and join in the celebration of your own life.

The Woman Next Door

The woman next door was old
When all around me looked old, still
She seemed to have a gaiety,
A fun-provoking grip on life
As outrageous as her Drumheads
In the company of Gold Flakes

She took care of an old aunt, Biddy,
Bedridden locked in her one room
Up against the gable wall of Guinness’ Brewery,
Huddled like the beggars against the
Ancient walls of Jericho, relieved
Only by their piety and hope

Caring came easy to her, or
So it seemed, her twinkling eye
Alive with mischief, pulse quickening
Signalled a world more in keeping
With the anarchy of a young boy’s mind
Than the sober sisters in Warrenmount

Sitting close to the turf fire, warmed
Inside by sheeps-head stew I dined
On stories of Balaclava and other
Deeds of foolish heroism and as
The glimmer of gas flickered and
Danced with the licking turf flames

She drew images of fantasy to be
Mined later from the pages of books,
For all her charges were the equals
Of stiff necked students of Her Majesty,
And one the faithful lens and focal point
Of Beckett for Dubliners to come.

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The Awakening and other poems

 The Awakening

Like a flower unfolding in the sun,
The petals of her mind reveal themselves
Stiff from the habits of thirty five years
Ploughing the same furrow, barren and unchanging

Promise the daughter of hope,
Denied its opportunities, withered and dried up,
Oxygen is life, but hydrogen is living,
Nature blends and adapts in her diversity

Epics, romantic, catalytic, Gaelic and Homeric
Provide the spark, the motive power,
The long awaited nourishment,
Having seen the sun, she reaches for the stars.

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The Awakening

This book is, among other things, a hymn to friendship. The note of concern with friends and friendship is struck in the opening poem:

   When I think of friends
   I think of easy company
   Of no masks….