This week I find myself in a creative mood after a bank holiday weekend running a kayaking course in Kerry. It’s time for a poem!! (what will I be waffling about next??!!). I think that true writing should be unselfconscious or at least as unselfconscious as possible. Otherwise it’s not true or honest or real. My blog is a kind of narrative of my journey with Self -expression is a liberating experience for me. Writing, kayaking, singing, dancing. painting, laughing. Whatever form self- expression may take it’s important. The essence of each of us is in why we do what we do and not what we do. This blog explains my why. Plus if I get run over by a bus tomorrow I would like to think that somewhere I left behind something of myself other than my bills my guitar and my kayaks!

We all know that life can be hard but every now and again the world seems to throw us a break. A passing smile, a ray of sun, a happy coincidence, a kind word, time spent with special people, a good day at work, a good day on the river and so on. Days when things seem to line up in the right order and you just feel that little bit more content and less bothered by things that bothered you only moments before. Days when your heart and your head, your thoughts and your actions are working in harmony. When extraneous factors seem to release you from their grip, if only temporarily and you feel a sense of peace and liberation. Know what I mean? I hope that you do. So this post is dedicated to those days and that feeling which I like to call suaimhneas.

One of my favourite poets Michael Hartnett coined the phrase “speaking in English, dreaming in Irish”. For some reason this phrase resonates with me every time I see the Atlantic ocean on a wild day. Inspired by a rough sea at Rossbeigh, Co.Kery on Sunday I wrote the bones of the poem below. My minds eye was recalling the sights and sounds of the previous few days. Well I wrote it in my head while I was keeping an eye on my clients in their kayaks at the same time! It’s title is Suaimhneas. It is the word that best explains the state of peace and contentment within which my imagination resides when I am dancing with natural beauty and all is right with the world. Thanks to Eamon for correcting my Irish grammar and refining my makey uppy Irish phrases and to Maryanne for helping with Latin verb conjugation! And sincere apologies to anyone who actually speaks Irish! Please feel free to make me aware of any errors. I clearly don’t speak the language very well but these words came to me that day so I might as well share them with you here!

I hope that you have more good days than bad and more suaimhneass than…..well you know whatever the opposite of suaimhneass is! 🙂


Bhíos ag súil i measc na cnoic ard dorcha
cois tra cois farraige cois bringlóidí.
Chualas glór na gaoithe ag seineann faoi rún
ag cogarnach dóchas.

Níl ann ach anois .
Gaineamh na bheatha á scapa timpeall.
Eitleog láidir ag damhsa mar fhocla i m’intinn.

D’oscailis mo shúile, shinis mo lámh agus
carpsi diem, quam minimum credula postero.
Ar feadh nóiméad, le haigh nóiméad,
meangadh ar an domhain,
thuigis suaimhneas.

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