Politics-free Zone

As I’ve said in the main section, I’d like to use this part of the site for stuff that’s not got a political bent – more concerned with creative writing. I’ll put up stuff of my own from time to time and invite comment. If you’re interested in giving something you’ve written – non-political, remember, or at least with creativity the main element – then by all means put it up and let’s have a bit of discussion around it. I know people feel tentative about exposing creative stuff, especially if you haven’t done much of it yet, but believe me, it’s the only way. An un-audienced piece makes the sound of one hand clapping…

The Waterfront by Randall Stephen Hall

Citizen Ship 2013. Nos 10. Aliens visit the Waterfront, Belfast. The first time I visited the Waterfront hall in 1997, I met Paddy McGarvey, a retired newspaper reporter with years of experience behind him. He worked quite a bit in London but his early days were spent in Armagh. Paddy still is a man with […]

Continue Reading

Graveyard – by Lena McCann

    Approaching  graveyard late one night Chains rattle – what a fright! Heart  pounding  – waking dead Blood rushes to my head. Clanging  louder coming close Oh dear God is it a ghost? Turn the corner heart still pounds Body trembling I look around Drunken Johnnie –staggering home late Trying  to open the cemetery […]

Continue Reading

‘Bank Holiday Monday’ by Lena McCann

Running late to meet my friend the other side of the city, I was tempted like the other motorists ahead of me to drive past the elderly lady waving frantically at the bus stop on the outskirts of Dunmurry village.  I pulled up and she came to the passenger door and on opening asked “Could […]

Continue Reading

The Wrong Prescription by Lena McCann

  Lena McCann  is a member of the Belfast U3A Creative Writing Group. The group meets on Monday afternoons in Ormeau Road Library.   “Prescription for Doherty” the pharmacy assistant called out. Eileen moved forward from the back of the queue and collected her husband’s prescription. As she stepped out of the door of the chemist’s […]

Continue Reading

Booing the Bishop

  The bishop lived in a big house across the wall from our boarding school. On slow summer evenings we’d peep over and watch him playing croquet by himself, sometimes muttering and hammering the mallet into the ground when he missed a  hoop.  The grass on his side was as neat as a beebop haircut […]

Continue Reading

England, their England

[Another radio piece I wrote – for BBC Radio 4, I think – with minor adjustments] I discovered England in the summer of 1963, which wasn’t really too late for me but actually quite good timing. I was 20 years of age and on night-shift in a pea-factory in Huntingdon.  Every morning around six o’clock […]

Continue Reading

MUSIC AND ART

Miss Martin’s piano was lovely. It had a nice chocolate colour to it, not scratched and black like ours. All its keys worked and none of them had bits of their ivory missing. When I pressed them, they gave a rich cushioned sound. When Miss Martin pressed them, it made me think of stretching back […]

Continue Reading

A Journey Round a Picture of my Father

[This is a piece I did about twenty years ago for BBC Radio 4] I came on an old picture of my father the other day – one I hadn’t seen before, or maybe had seen and forgotten about. He looks as if he’s in his early thirties and he’s wearing a crumpled three-piece suit, […]

Continue Reading

‘Belfast in Frost’ by Patrick Joseph Dorrian

This fine piece by an observant man. Belfast 19/12/13 Hoar frost, in the morning, on the high ground; Napoleon’s Nose is looking coked; on the non neutral streets, lamp posts, with the Summer’s flags, look bedraggled. That which was flown in celebratory defiance, is now surrendered to merciless wind. Now, looking unflappable, in the normal […]

Continue Reading

When I Lived with a Teenager

Note:  This was written over twenty-five years ago. Our relationship has, of course, matured since then…     My sixteen-year-old confides in his mother. Tells her things. Like “I’m going to kill Dad. Seriously. Some day I’m going to cream him out of existence”. Yes I have  asked my wife what she says to this but she […]

Continue Reading