Tuesday 29 May 2018

Bin Lady

The Morning After in the Park

She follows a set of footprints in the dew-grass
Enveloped by silence and the morning summer haze

She sees them at intervals, scattered in clumps and gatherings
She thinks of illicit meetings, trysts,mitchings, lies, long tales

She hears them swigging illegal beverages
watches bold struttings, brash mouthings

Don't they ever watch the news?
She stoops to pick up their waste

The spreading stain that blots out oceans
infects landfills, entangles and ensnares

And, once ingested, becomes embedded.

She was young once too
Care-free and care-less of the Future.


Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Book Review- Crime Thriller- Missing Links

Missing Links by Rosaleen Flanagan.
ISBN 978-1-5272-2326-4

Recent years have seen a spate of female Detective Inspectors, Sergeants and Superintendents competing with their male peers to solve crimes and restore justice. The likes of Stella Gibson in 
The Fall, Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley and Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect have kept me stuck to my armchair for seasons on end…

In  the novel Missing Links Rosaleen Flanagan gives us our very own home grown sleuth.
Hers is an exciting new voice in the genre of Crime fiction.
A native of Tullamore, Flanagan’s familiarity with Midland towns and village community gives her story  a true ring of authenticity.

Missing Links is Flanagan’s first novel in a trilogy that follows the path of Cathy Spratt DI and her dealings with crime in the Irish heartland.


Cathy Spratt deserves a hard earned break; so she takes herself off to Carrabhain, to the cottage she inherited from her father. Here she hopes to recharge her batteries and restore her energy and enthusiasm for the demanding role of Detective Inspector that awaits her in Dublin.

However, during her stay, a local crime, the fatal attack of pensioner Ned Cunningham, drags her back into the fray.
Given Cathy’s local connections in  the village, Chief Superintendent Clarke thinks that she is in an advantaged position to crack the case. If she doesn’t solve it ,Cathy knows that she will never be able to hold her head up in this townland again.

A botched robbery? Or a murder perpetrated for an inheritance?

Cathy brings all her forensic know- how and instinct to the challenge of finding Ned's attacker. 
Rural Ireland is a place where secrets are not kept for long and villagers are keenly aware of their neighbours' routines and habits. With the help of this local pool of information the DI hopes to bring the killer to justice before he strikes again....

But sightings of a phantom jeep in the bog, missing Sterling  notes, the disappearance of a young woman and the subsequent discovery of  her body heighten the intensity of  Spratt's search.
The inquiry develops into a National and Cross Channel man hunt.
Then a local woman disappears and time is running out for the DI…

As the end draws near and the uncomfortable truth surrounding the murders becomes clear, the hunt for the killer culminates in a shocking confrontation.

Book available from the author at:

Thursday 24 May 2018

Bridport Guest Blog

I love the Bridport Competition quest blog. Find link below.
Here a recent flash fiction winning author shares 4 tips.

1.Pen and paper are useful to have about you at all times...
(we all know this but...)
2. He's sick of the wet weather and finds it hard to write outdoors in the rain.....(Well, we would too.)
3. A remote cabin in rural France may not do the trick. (Check European weather patterns.)
4. Share your stuff!!! Art is not art unless shared.
(I don't know if I agree with that ,but it can be useful to get out there and share.
Blog, join writing groups, enter competitions, approach agents !!! with trepidation
And publishers? Sure why not?)
It's a clever, inspirational guest blog. Do read and enjoy.

Guest Blog Bridport Prize

Summer Style

It's that time of year again!
The fella from the County Council has been transforming our Park/Woodland into a maze of 
woodsy-wildflower trails. Am posting a revised version of  poem I wrote for him last year.


Nobody sees him shave his trails
But in the evening they are there
Turning our park woodland into a gallery
Of buzz cuts, long and short.

Opening up our possibilities.
Giving us choices we never knew we had.
A high taper with scalp exposure in front of the big Ash.
To the left, a clean shaven trail that cuts through fields of daisies.

And, to the right, a razed trail that weaves and curves
Through common vetch, its clinging tendrils wrapped
Around its neighbours. A mane with shaved sides circles
The Beech, enticing us past stinging nettles

That skirt a hedge of bramble, not yet ripe, and ribwort plantain,
its ovary capsules spilling seeds at our feet.
Or past a butch cut that slices through a clump of dandelion,
Their jagged teeth, dents-de-lion, in various stages of growth;

Some bright yellow heads threatening closure
With the scent of rain, and gossamer balls of seeds
Shedding themselves in our wake.
A stroke of his blade

And a stubble path is shaven with precision
Through tall grass sporting hogweed five feet tall.
A V junction creates a crown of creeping buttercups
Drawing the eye to a newly planted Oak.

He’ll be back tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.
Restyling and regrooming our park.
The man on the grass mower tractor
From Dunlaoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Hey Presto!

In my never ending quest for inspiration I bought a book entitled How To Write Poetry
It is simple, straightforward , and I have to say useful. Published by HowExpert Press.

One exercise is to take a familiar object
Write down everything you associate with it
Colour, texture, smell, touch...
And Hey Presto- A Poem.

Here's my effort:

You are sandpaper to the touch
and smell of sissal

Your fibres cut like paper cuts
and leave bare feet scoured

You are pocked and cratered
from use and abuse

You witness comings and goings
and hesitations on thresholds

You could tell a story or two
if you had a mind to

You endure hot coals and cat claws
You are the one who puts up with

The one who endures...
You are a door-mat.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Sunday 6 May 2018

Tribute to a Linen Jacket

For me there are two types of clothes; the ones I wear to tatters until they are finally assigned to house duty, though invariably I am frequently sighted out and about in them.
Then there are the ones that hang pristine in my wardrobe, kept for that special occasion that doesn't always arrive, or when it does, the aforesaid items seem to be , somehow, no longer suitable.
Recently I have been assessing the viability of my Summer wardrobe, some items dating back to the last century, which is not that hard given the sparsity of Summer in these parts.
One such item is the subject of this poem.
It needs to be consigned to a bin, but, in parting, I feel the urge to pay tribute to my tan linen jacket

You have outgrown me.
My shoulders no longer rising to your girth.
I need to let you go , and so,
Reluctant, I note your rent seam, your frayed collar, your drooping hem.
And remember you in your heyday, matched
with cool cream cotton and twill.
You were my attire of choice
When I last saw him.

A car park rendezvous.
His eyes scan my orbit for something to say.
His averted gaze -a boulder set to stem
the likely rush of downstream flow
Or marram grass, its fibrous roots to bind
the endless shift of sand across time.

Making intermittent the channel between us
Leaving unsaid, things
that might have been said.
Leaving unanswered, questions
that were never asked.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Thursday 3 May 2018

Writer's block

Am sharing a guest blog I came across on the subject of writer's block. Given that this state is one of my most familiar ones, I gravitate naturally towards the subject.
It suggests among other ideas:
Free writing

It also deals with the concept of what makes you a writer...
A publication?
A publishing deal  with one of the big five?
Or simply your compulsion to do it?

I found the blog inspiring. Hope you do too!