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West Waterford Poetry at Bord Bia Bloom

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

This weekend, I headed up to Bord Bia Bloom in Phoenix Park, Dublin, with my Mum.

It was a great weekend for Waterford creatives, as Dungarvan's own Joe Kelly had presented a fantastic garden, which featured a crashed UFO in a cottage garden, for which he won a bronze award.

Joe is a member of the West Waterford Poets - part of West Waterford Arts Group, of which I am also a member. He was kind enough to share his platform with the West Waterford Poets, with poems on display on boards, and also on postcards, which people were able to take home.

I have to say I loved Joe's garden. The disco ball inside the UFO was brilliant, and I loved the way Joe had thought of every detail to make it look as though there really had been a crash landing in amongst his delightful cottage style planting. There was even an alien hiding in the garden shed. Genius!

I am very proud to have had one of my poems: 'Hope' included in the display. It describes how time spent in the Comeragh Mountains in Co. Waterford facilitates emotional healing. I wrote it after my first visit to the Nire Valley in Co. Waterford - a place which really inspires me, creatively. Thanks so much to Joe Kelly for sharing his platform.

It's always wonderful to have my poetry alongside the work of the West Waterford Poets. On this occasion, my poem was in the great company of works by: Kevin MacAlan, Ciara Patricia Langan, David Hollywood, Eve Telford, Alan Murphy, Neil Hallinan, Richard Houlihan, Brigitta Hughes, and Cristín Mann.

Hope - by Annie Bell

In the brooding Comeragh Mountains, a woman sat and wept.

Her sobs, so wracked with suffering, were full of secrets kept.

Her darkest fears and memories all gushed forth in a flood,

until her tears and the Irish soil formed a puddle made of mud.

The surface of the puddle was quite still and quite serene:

a glossy, glassy mask that hid a very different scene.

The puddle’s depths concealed the past - a story too tormenting

of cruelty, lies, anxiety, and far too much lamenting.

and the Earth said:

Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid. Allow yourself to grieve

Embrace your fears, release your tears, and then you might believe

that life has more to offer you, so please now try to see

your past is not your prison, so please let yourself be free.

Her tears released, the woman raised her head and looked around.

The heather, lit by sunlight, gave such colour to the ground.

The mountain peaks and valleys soothed her eyes and filled her heart

with love for this fine place of which she now felt such a part.

And as she healed, she glanced back at that puddle so severe

and noticed, in its centre, something really rather queer.

For from that muddy tomb, there sprouted such a germ of life:

a tiny, green, young seedling, growing strong, despite her strife.

And in that wondrous moment, she finally understood

that locking out her misery locked out all of the good.

Despite the pain and suffering with which she’d had to cope,

she knew that in her darkest hour, she would always have hope.

A couple of years ago, I also put 'Hope' to music, resulting in a song, which you can listen to on the link below. The photo at the start of the video shows the view of the Nire Valley in Co. Waterford, which inspired 'Hope'.

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