I do hope the orthographical conventions adopted throughout the journal entries- those of Australian English- are not too off-putting for American readers and others… In any case, if you like songs, poetry, literary anecdotes and thought-provoking visual text, read on. (If you just want to listen to and or read some of the stuff I’ve written, skip the words below and hit the BLOG button at the top of this page.)
What’s on offer (thus far):
A) …And Leave Him There is a playscript. Set on the morning of the 11th of September, 2001, in Manhattan, New York City, it encapsulates the tag of this blog: a tale of three islands, Aruba, Ireland and Australia. The songs, which form part of the play, are all accessible as part of The Summa Quotidian, below. (20,000+ words anyone?) If not, the next offering may be more to your taste.
B) A Bit of Banter: These posts are associated with the musical output of the group Banter (a folk ensemble which I have resurrected with a number of friends after a lengthy hiatus). It features songs from (and inspired by) the folk traditions from Ireland, Australia, Britain and North America. I know that many people (myself included, I must admit) sometimes avoid lengthier prose pieces in favour of snack-sized bites. Goldfish attention span rulz! These are just a bunch of songs (sometimes it is a song, some times an instrumental piece and sometimes a song with an instrumental), that we like and perform (for ourselves mostly, but for audiences, too, when we can overcome our combined inertia and muster ourselves to appear in a public venue).
C) The Summa Quotidian.The main song sequence of the blog is a series of 10 albums featuring 12 songs apiece. Each song is preceded by a journal entry of about 850 words, canvassing a variety of topics, with accompanying illustrations.
The songs were written over a period of 50 years or so. The journal entries were written in more recent times over a period of 14 months. I invite you to read the posts in sequence, starting from SQ 1- but they are not really sequential in the sense that a traditional novel depends on your reading of page 1 before page 2 and so on. I expect that as I become more competent at blogging (Why does this word sound like a crime against the person?), the site will improve in accessibility, navigability, etc.
D) Making the Living Poetry This is a memoir in verse which bridges my first stint as a teacher in Australia, and my first encounter with unemployment upon my return to Northern Ireland. (Again, songs included here can be heard in the sequence above.)
E) Wollongong Sonnets. Here is a crown of sonnets. First published in 1978 in Poems in Public Places, a real, published poet told me they were the first authentic poems of mine he had read. (He was wont to pour scorn on various effusions I had shown him over the previous five years…)
F) Next, the persona of Quentin Bega is introduced as a character from a novel. This is the first chapter. Whether there are to be any more chapters is in the lap of the gods.
Feel free to leave a comment on any aspect of these posts. All such commentary will be thoughtfully considered…(Notwithstanding the cartoon illustration above the beach scene)