From Jane Dougherty.

Progress report

Originally posted on Jan Doherty Writes.

I have a few success stories to crow about, so I’ll let them all go here.

First, I’m proud to have three poems in the anthology As the World Burns published by Indie Blue. I get a special thrill that my third entry is the poem that closes the collection. Yes, my desk is a mess but I can’t tidy it because of the ladybirds hibernating on it.

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Read more at Jane Dougherty Writes

November Ekphrastic Challenge: Day 6

A beautiful poem from Jane Dougherty.

******

This poem for Paul Brookes’ challenge, inspired by the paintings Can I go now? by Marcel Herms and Darkness beckons by Terry Chipp, is, I hope not premonitory.

6MH Can I go now, mixed media on canvas, 30 x 40 cm, 2020

Darkness beckons

because the dream is never enough,
because the road runs bright and broad,
because she thought the golden city was for her,

but although she picks up trinkets on the way,
the road ends always in a golden ditch,
and all she sees is a field of magpies.

Continue reading at Jane Dougherty Writes

An interview with Author, Jane Dougherty.

Today I am very excited to have the very talented Jane Dougherty to visit and discuss her latest book. This is a new adventure for Jane as this is a poetry book.

Hello, Willow. Thank you for inviting me to talk about my very first book of poems. 

Hi Jane it’s great to have you here do sit down and have a cup of tea, tell me what made you decide to write a book of poems about the elements

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I write a lot of poems, every day, and although I post many of them, there are still lots left. Some of them I have been keeping because I think they deserve a bit more than to be just one blog post among thousands. A themed chapbook seemed like a good idea. Every time I do some physical sorting, weeding or clearing out, I hurt my back, but sorting poems is a relatively safe activity. When I looked through the scores of poems in the homeless folder, they all seemed to fall into a few main themes, and the first theme I tackled was water. 

That makes a lot of sense Jane, I am all for saving my back too. When did you first start writing and was there a specific reason.

I went to a very special primary school—big shout out for Saint Patrick’s in Birstall—with a visionary head teacher. It was founded by Irish immigrants who wanted their children to succeed through education, and the nun who headed the school through the 1960s and 70s until she left to run a war orphanage in Sarajevo, believed in education, not just the three Rs. We learned about the natural world, about physics and how things work, we had an orchestra, learned calligraphy, meteorology, how to wire plugs and make cheese. And we were encouraged in all kinds of creative activity, all kinds of art, and writing; we all wrote poetry from the age of nine or so. I had an ideal environment for developing a taste for creativity and taking it seriously. Having a father who was a poet and sculptor and mother who was an artist and art teacher certainly helped too.

Your school and teachers sound very progressive and you obviously had a varied education. Would you like another cup of tea.

Tell me Jane who most influences your work.

It probably sounds strange, but there aren’t too many poets whose work I read and reread with boundless admiration. There are individual poems I love, but not many whole bodies of work and none remotely contemporary. Yeats is the poet I love the most and whose words, even when I don’t get all the mystical references, inspire and uplift. Francis Ledwidge too is a favourite and John Masefield, Walter de la Mare. All rather old-fashioned sounding now, in their clarity and lack of self-analysis. The poems point outwards rather than inwards, showing us the world as it is all around us, not how it seems at the back of a troubled head. 

You mention your parents  in the dedication of your book, were they influencal and supportive to your writing.

Both my parents died when I was still in the throes of having babies and bringing up young children. I hadn’t started to write seriously, then, but as I said earlier, they were both artistic and expected that their children would be too. I know they would be proud that I have finally got around to it.

Tell me Jane have childhood memories influenced you much.

I think that a happy childhood has been fundamental to making me what I am. It obviously wasn’t happy every single minute, and there are memories that still make me anxious. Tuesday, for example, will always be music lesson day, when I’d leave school early and walk up the hill to the music teacher’s house with fear oozing from every pore. But it was a country childhood, on farmland at the edge of a small town, and we four children spent most of our time poking about in woodland and along the banks of streams, listening and learning. Although I have enjoyed some of my time living in cities, I have always hankered after trees. Three years ago, we moved from the centre of Bordeaux to the countryside, with a large chunk of land of our own. Too much, really, but sharing a place with trees wildflowers, animal and birdlife, has been a revelation. Who knew there was so much life going on?

Now tell me Jane which do you prefer to write poetry or prose.

I write poetry for pleasure. It’s something that I do in-between doing other things. Often an image will strike me and I jot it down to find that it’s already working itself up into a poem. Poems are short and they can be turned out in hundreds of different ways. I can work with an idea or an image for half an hour and get something that pleases me. A novel is different. If writing a poem is like sketching, or shaping something in clay, a novel is like hacking at a slab of wood or stone. The frame of the story might be tenuous, the characters vague, and all I have to go on might be an opening phrase or an idea from a legend or myth, but it’s there. The hard work is in revealing the story trapped inside and maintaining enough interest in it, because it’s a long job. The two approaches probably complement one another; I write poetic prose and often write stories into poems.

Thanks a lot, Willow, for the opportunity to give some background to what I do and why. 

thicker than water

© mjdougherty

Book details

Link co.uk https://tinyurl.com/y2et7dcr
Link .com https://tinyurl.com/y5ueldrq
Link Australia https://tinyurl.com/yykla7nm

Link Canada https://tinyurl.com/yxu5azlk
Link India https://tinyurl.com/yy6qvle5

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

@MJDougherty33 

©mjdougherty

Jane’s Bio, so you know.

Jane Dougherty has wandered a bit from her Irish origins but still feels close to her roots, especially in the bit of green field where she now lives in southwest France. She writes incessantly, and hopes to continue as long as the ideas keep coming, and the scene beyond the window demands that she take notice.

*************

I have read Jane’s book, thicker than water. It is full of beautiful poetry. It’s a joy to dip into but I read it from cover to cover unable to stop. I can highly recommend it. Here is my favourite poem .

No Light

All is death and the ache
in the breast where the heart is
wave-wrought in cold seas
or on grey pavement, it whispers
in the spray of salt and blood,

There will be no moon this night
no petals on the rose

🌹© mjdougherty

Thank you for visiting Jane it really was a pleasure to have chance to chat.

Sin and Retribution.

A little bit of fun below. I wrote a Nonet for Colleen Chesebro‘s Weekly Tuesday Tanka, and my very talented friend Jane Doherty wrote me a really smart reply in my comments.

I think it works well as a collaborative poem.

Image from Pixabay

Sin . willowdot21

When it all started there were just two

All sparkly, wonderful and new.

They had eyes for eachother

Such joys to discover

Snake then wriggled in

Try this apple

It’s good, she

Ate, too

Late.

Retribution. Jane Dougherty

Too late.

And so it came to pass

Eve was the one got the brains

her punishment

to be the slave of the

ditherer

the unimaginative

yes man

content in his ignorance.

September Music 30

For the month of September I am going to choose a piece of music or song and write a poem or alternative version. Jane Dougherty is doing a September Stanza here. And Kat Myrman is doing September a poem a day Here.

Last day today.

Today’s piece of music is Breathe me by Sia.

My interpretation

Slowly dripping red the droplets of blood hit the ground

The deeper the cut the more relief there is to be found.

Always careful to keep the cuts out of sight

In the bathroom or the bedroom in the dark of night.

The secret kept, the truth unknown

Always the hidden and worsening a darkness grown.

Hassled and bullied all of the time

Slipping under the radar …. left to suffer this insidious crime.

No one understood, no one could be told or trusted

This dirty secret is kept, must tell no one, don’t want to be busted.

Finally no more pain can be taken, it all gets too much

Cut, and cut again, end the agony end the pain. Laying there all night. Found cold to the touch.

September Music 29

For the month of September I am going to choose a piece of music or song and write a poem or alternative version. Jane Dougherty is doing a September Stanza here. And Kat Myrman is doing September a poem a day Here.

Today’s piece of music is Only the Winds by Olafur Arnalds

My interpretation.

Our love transcends all
Through time and space we fall

We are meant to be together

Our love is not just now but forever.

Our eyes meet across the ages

Our story is embossed on its pages.

We pass through hell and glass

We spin through eternity locked in a clasp.

We are now, then and forever

We are one to be apart never.

September Music 28

For the month of September I am going to choose a piece of music or song and write a poem or alternative version. Jane Dougherty is doing a September Stanza here. And Kat Myrman is doing September a poem a day Here.

Today’s piece of music is Mars, from Gustav Holst‘s The Planets.

My interpretation

Heed me I bring war

I shall smite all in my path

I am the War God

I lay waste to all planets

Showing no mercy at all.

September Music 27

For the month of September I am going to choose a piece of music or song and write a poem or alternative version. Jane Dougherty is doing a September Stanza here. And Kat Myrman is doing September a poem a day Here.

Today’s piece of music is Thank You by Alanis Moressette.

My interpretation. A mirror Etheree

Life

We have

Only one

Chance to fulfill

We owe it to God

To do the best we can

No one else lives it for us

Be grateful for the chance to shine

Know that what you have is so devine

This is your only chance to let it work

We are all responsible for our fate

Is that too damn hard to contemplate.

Don’t blame it on everyone else

It’s my life and I’ll own it

Thank you God for letting

Me see the whole truth

You have opened

My closed eyes

Now I

Know

September Music 26

For the month of September I am going to choose a piece of music or song and write a poem or alternative version. Jane Dougherty is doing a September Stanza here. And Kat Myrman is doing September a poem a day Here.

Today’s piece of Music is China by Tori Amos

My interpretation.

I step forward you step back

Dancing around each other, loosing track.

Fingers brushing

Thoughts causing blushing

I step forward you step back , the rejection is crushing.

Too many people here

I shall look the fool I fear

I reach for you but you’ve already gone

I bow my head in shame,

Cover my ears they’re play our song.

Falling slowly from the tower

For a second I feel a rush of power.

No pain yet, maybe I’ll sprout wings and fly

Sadly this real life you will not catch me . You’ll go and let me die.

OH! OH! THE PAIN, ALL PAIN NO GAINS

I am feel the blood leaving my veins.

Will you turn back will you run and take my hand

Will you hell, you barely acknowledge me,I don’t register in your plan.

I step forward you step back

Dancing around each other, loosing track.

Fingers brushing

Thoughts causing blushing

I step forward you step back, rejection is crushing.

Image above found here

September Music 25

For the month of September I am going to choose a piece of music or song and write a poem or alternative version. Jane Dougherty is doing a September Stanza here. And Kat Myrman is doing September a poem a day Here.

Today’s piece of music is In Memory of Trees by Enya.

Mighty Forrests once covered this earth

Nature was green and she knew her worth

Then came man, the trees remember this.

The trees gave us shade and cover

They protected us like a mother

Giving us air to breathe

Yet we slay them, that’s hard to believe.

Trees live so long they hold their memories safe

Sadly they are being killed at a pace.

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