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Monday, 31 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #26 - LOST IN TRANSLATION

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.

Original Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan (But you can RT!)


LOST IN TRANSLATION

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Sunday, 30 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #25 - BACK TO BASICS

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.

Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan (But you can RT!)


BACK TO BASICS

He took delivery today
of a hand-mill for grinding corn.
“A quern,” he said, caressing it,
“two big flat stones, one
with a hole and a wooden pin
to control the revolution,
back to basics food production.”

He read the instruction 
and, after several tries,
said: “Sod this for a game of soldiers,
“I’m off for a burger and fries.”


Saturday, 29 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #24 - OLD FARMER JAKE

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.

Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan (But you can RT!)


OLD FARMER JAKE

Old Farmer Jake was always one
of the local troublemakers,
he got kicked in the groin
on the banks of the Boyne,
now he's got a couple more achers.









Friday, 28 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #23 - BLAH BLAH

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.

Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan (But you can RT!)


BLAH BLAH

Blah, blah,
You’ve had the news,
Blether, blether,
Now the weather,
All that yah-yah
Takes it’s toll,
But at least you’ve got
The remote control.

Click.


Thursday, 27 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #22 - MONSTER IN THE CUPBOARD

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


MONSTER IN THE CUPBOARD

There's a monster in the cupboard,
I hear it breathing in and out,
Waiting to grab a hold of me,
Of that I have little doubt.

Some days it's cold and frosty,
The days when I need my duffel,
But on reaching in to grab it
I swear I hear a shuffle.

Just like football strikers,
I have to be quick on the bounce,
In and out in seconds before 
The monster has time to pounce.

Family says I imagine it
And urge me to stop my bleating,
Saying the shuffles, creaks and gurgles
Are from the central heating.
(Yeah, right!)




Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan




Wednesday, 26 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #21 - POSSESSIONS

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


POSSESSIONS

All he owned was a cow,
a dog and a bible.

The hillside was his bedroom,
his lounge, kitchen and garden.

His roof was the sky,
his light the sun, moon and stars.

He made a note to ring the bank
about his mortgage application.




Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #20 - THE HEE-HAW LANTERN

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


THE HEE-HAW LANTERN

In the gloom of the grey, stone cottage
he observes the naked candle flame
burning away, prone to the faintest breeze,
liable to a quick-wick-snuff-out sneeze.

He needed cover to protect the light,
to avoid the getting-up and relighting chore,
he sat awhile and pondered hard
then headed out the kitchen door.

He looked at his donkey and had a thought,
his old, knackered ass on its backside,
he looked at the head, what an image it made,
a blueprint skull for a lantern shade.

How the donkey died is another tale,
but its spirit lives on in a different guise,
now the cottage lighting is a bit more stable
with a hee-haw lantern on the bedside table.



Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan






Monday, 24 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #19 - MEG MARIGOLDS

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


MEG MARIGOLDS

Old Meg she was a cleaner
washing walls and floors
like her mop she was old and ragged
from a million scrubbing chores.
Her arsenal was a bucket,
a chamois, a duster, a broom
her aroma was disinfectant,
her B.O. could clear a room.
She sang as she washed the tiles
with a frog lodged in her throat,
she whistled a piercing tune
with no danger of hitting a note.
Her breakfast was a fag and coffee,
her lunch was a coffee and fag,
she was skinny as an HB pencil
her tired flesh heading south in a sag.
But the work years took their toll
there was no way she could duck it,
Old Meg slipped on a skiddy floor
and finally kicked the bucket.



 Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

Sunday, 23 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #18 - HANNIBAL LECTER'S DINNER PARTY

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.



HANNIBAL LECTER'S DINNER PARTY

He had friends for dinner
and from the evidence of empty dishes,
despite the calorie intake,
his friends were quite delicious.





 Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

PRESENTING POET ROBIN MCNAMARA

It is a pleasure and a privilege to present poet Robin McNamara


Robin McNamara, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy


Robin McNamara lives in Waterford City and with over 45 poems published worldwide, including poems published in America with Starving Writers and in the UK with Saccharine Poetry.

Robin is a regular contributor to Poetry Ireland and Black Bough Poetry poetry as well as being a guest prompter with Poetry Ireland.

UCD Library have a selection of his pandemic poems in their archives as a record of poems written during this period. 

Robin also regularly contributes to Spillwords, where he was nominated twice for poem and author of the month.

His Spillwords biography also states that he formerly lived in Copenhagen. A former journalist with Insight Magazine, Dublin, he likes dogs, football and coffee. He enjoys observing and watching nature change for inspiration in writing.

Here are links to some of Robin’s amazing published work that displays his gift for capturing moments, emotions, thoughts and hopes.  Please take a look and let him know what you think.  

He is on Twitter @thewindingroad1 and well worth a follow.







Saturday, 22 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #17 - LET US SPRAY

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


LET US SPRAY

I used bathroom cleaner 
In the kitchen
And kitchen cleaner
In the bathroom,
Then waited for mayhem, 
Smoke and splatter,
But after hours under the table
And despite the product labels,
Kitchen, bathroom, it didn’t really matter.

(Except for that fizzy noise and the odd gurgle and the vapour and the……..)

 


 Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

Friday, 21 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #16 - SUMS IT UP

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


SUMS IT UP

Doing hard sums
can get you in a pickle.
It'd be much more fun
if called arithmetickle.

















 Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

Thursday, 20 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #15 - FRANKLY

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


FRANKLY

My Uncle Sid’s a ringer,
A mirror-image, I kid you not,
For the Frankenstein monster,
With his face as green as snot.

My Uncle Sid’s his double,
Nature’s fluke, no doubt, by ‘eck
And the likeness is enhanced by
The bolt stuck through his neck.













 Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

THE SMILE POEMS #14 - IN A SUPERMARKET QUEUE

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.


IN A SUPERMARKET QUEUE

The man in front
Is a smelly old codger,
A pongy and whiffy
Shower-gel dodger.






 Text ©2020 Joe Cushnan

POSTCARD STORIES 2 BY JAN CARSON - THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINING & A MASTERCLASS TO BOOT!

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, Black Bough, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of film star Stephen Boyd.

Currently running a series of (hopefully) funny poems from hundreds I've written over the years (inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and Roger McGough) to provoke a smile in these odd times.

But, I can't let this book pass without an ovation.




Postcard Stories 2
by
Jan Carson
Illustrations by Benjamin Phillips
The Emma Press 2020

This book works on two levels for me. First, it is written beautifully, thoughtful, innovative and very entertaining. Second, it is (to me) a masterclass in finding the right first line(s) to hook the reader and give the inherent idea licence to go in whatever direction it chooses.  

A few examples:

Edinburgh: All the lonely artists have gathered in the basement for the spring mixer.

Derry: The girls are out for the day. They're wearing lipstick on a weekday.

Ulster Hall, Belfast: There was once a man who laminated his wife.

Bray: In the waiting room, two old men are discussing onions.

Ballymena: Every day at five, Margaret walked the hundred yards or so to the post box on the corner and posted a letter addressed to herself.

Madison, Wisconsin: 'Cut my hair like Jesus,' he says.

Brighton: The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has come back from the dead to enjoy a midwinter break in the English seaside resort of Brighton.

See what I mean? It is impossible to resist the urge to read on. 58 stories in a beautifully designed package, with wonderful illustrations by Benjamin Phillips.

Ach, go on. This is a treat by a gifted storyteller. Do yourself a favour, writers, readers and both.

Here are a couple of background links.


My blog review of Postcard Stories (1)


Jan Carson’s guest post on this blog