Me & My Mum Collect For Barnardos!

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On September 15th, me and my Mum were out collecting in Bray for Barnardos for their annual National Collection Day. It was an honour to be involved. It is an amazing charity. We had a great day and many lovely, generous people gave towards Barnardos on the day so thank you to them all. Worse part: trying to get stickers off the buckets to give to people. It is so difficult to get them to come off. I’ll remember that next time I’m collecting! 🙂 My sister has been a great help organising it all with us too. 🙂

 

 

To find out more about Barnardos go to:

https://www.barnardos.ie/

 

Dreams of Decay By S. Alessandro Martinez Book Review!

 

 

Dreams of Decay (2016) by S. Alessandro Martinez is a wonderful, chilling book of poetry with brilliant illustrations by Asya Yordanova, Holly Hammond and Jody Scheers which help to bring the poems to life for the reader.

The collection opens with The Book of Dead Things and Scary Stuff, a cleverly written poem and perfect opening poem which sets the tone for the rest of the collection. We move then to The Boy Who Breathed Darkness which is a brilliantly dark take on the story of Mary and Jesus with the angel now a demon and God now the devil. Glutton follows and is a wonderfully ironic poem about a woman married to a man with “an appetite like sin”. The Girl With No Face follows and is a poem about a girl who is bullied and has a great twist. The twists in a lot of the poems are very good such as in the following three poems New Mummy when the character Tim goes into a store and without giving too much away doesn’t come back out, the poem which follows Sam and the Spider which also has a great twist at the end and Are You Afraid? in which a girl makes a bet with her best friend to go into a graveyard.

 

The collection continues with The Thing from John’s Head, a dark psychological poem followed by a short well-written piece called Save Me. The Ghouls follows. It is set in an old graveyard where someone is watching the ghouls eating the body of some unfortunate and also has a great twist at the end. The next poem stuck in my head long after I read it. It’s called The Girl Who Woke Up Dead. If you are in any way claustrophobic, you will find this poem very chilling. It sent a chill up my spine. There is a great storytelling quality to this poem too. I think this poem and The Boy Who Breathed Darkness are probably my two favourite poems from the collection. It’s followed by the chilling poem The Cellar and The Thirteenth Hour, a poem about a grandfather clock which rings an unlucky thirteen times.

 

Continuing the collection is The Present which takes place at Dan’s 8th birthday party when his Mum hires a sinister clown. It is followed by another well-crafted poem called Daddy Long-Legs and No One Was There, a psychological, chilling poem. Next up is Death’s Embrace about a young boy Homer who is afraid of death so his parents bring Death over to visit their home in an effort to show Homer that death is nothing to fear. Wonderfully storytelling. The Necromancer’s Spell follows. The descriptive qualities in this poem are absolutely stunning. Flows beautifully and effortlessly. Possession Terminated is next. It has four lines per verse and the rhythm of the poem is brilliant. It’s a very well structured poem which again flows effortlessly.

 

The Viscera Queen is the penultimate poem of the collection. It has a very storytelling quality to it and follows the story of a tyrant Queen who has sharp teeth in which to eat her enemies alive and tortures her subjects. Closing the collection is The Corpse Machine about a killing machine. It brings the collection perfectly to a close.

 

Following the collection is some brief biographies where you can find out more about the author and the illustrators.

 

I very much enjoyed the entire collection. I love horror movies and anyone who does will adore this collection. They are like mini movies only on paper with the illustrations almost like a still from each mini movie. It’s not a collection of poetry for the faint-hearted but for anyone who likes their poetry a bit dark and with meaning, this is a stunningly interesting and professional collection.

 

To purchase Dreams of Decay by S. Alessandro Martinez go to:

 

And to find out more about S. Alessandro’s work go to:

Home

 

Poem: Ibrahim Halawa

 

 

It was a joy to my heart,

a relief to my heart

to hear that Ibrahim Halawa

was to be released from prison.

A young man wrongly convicted,

after four years he is set to come home

to his family in Dublin,

the most wonderful news I heard last week.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Ben The Pug

(And so we come to the close of what has been a great journey doing Short Story A Month. I apologise once again for the lateness of it’s ending and thank you all very much for your patience. The last story is about a wonderful little dog called Ben. Hope you all like it. :-))

 

Every Saturday afternoon little Ben could be seen relaxing outside a coffee house in Bray. He watched the people go by, got to know many of their scents, got to know who would give him treats or not. He liked treats. He found them better than the skip and dustbin food he was used to as a stray dog. He was often disliked by many of the other dogs. If it wasn’t because he was a pug, it was because he was homeless. Dogs didn’t know much about sexuality or gender but they felt these things so they knew these things all the same in their own way. Ben wasn’t fussy about the gender of his partners but he was fussy about his partners. They needed to have a sense of humour, a zest for life, a family with a bit of money wouldn’t go amiss but it wasn’t essential. For Ben, it was a nice added bonus though, he had to admit.

Ben watched the people going by often. And he wasn’t concerned with their gender, their sexuality, their nationality, their race, their religion or their class. All he was concerned about was were they nice people?, did they have interesting stories to tell?, what were the insides of the shops like that they shopped in?, did they value everyone exactly the same, completely?, what was fudge cake like? Did they try it? It looked nice but he couldn’t afford it and he heard chocolate was bad for dogs. He wondered a lot. He was a curious little dog with a heart of gold bigger than many people, a brain brighter than many people and feet smaller than most people.

My Article Appears On The Bi+ Ireland Website!

 

 

My article recently was on the Bi+ Ireland website for their ‘We Exist’ Series. I was incredibly honoured to be a part of it. When I realised I was pansexual after a while I did realise that I didn’t know or know of somebody Irish who was pansexual or least openly so. I felt a little alone at that thought actually so this project and all the work Bi+ Ireland do is absolutely great. They make people feel less alone. And I was very happy to share my story for the series and hopefully it will make other pansexual people in Ireland who read it feel less alone and of course other pansexual people everywhere.

Check out my story at:

http://www.biireland.com/stories-of-bi-people-in-ireland/we-exist-lisa-reynolds

 

And check out the rest of series so far at:

http://www.biireland.com/stories-of-bi-people-in-ireland

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Listen

 

 

It was finale night at The Starlight Amateur Theatre Group’s version of Dreamgirls. Carol stood backstage trying to keep calm. No matter how many times she performed, she always felt nervous. But it was like her Dad always said and she could hear him saying it now in his wonderful Dublin accent, “When you lose the nerves that’s when you’ll know you don’t care anymore.” And he was right. Nerves were passion. Nerves were worrying because you cared about it being right. She was getting rave reviews in the local press:

Carol Murphy is simply superb. She draws the audience in with her breath-taking vocals. Murphy’s Listen is the highlight of the show.

Carol Murphy as Deena is the star of the show. You’ll think you are at a West End show when Murphy soars into a heartfelt, note-perfect version of Listen.

One little lady. Some powerful lungs. Carol Murphy is sensational. And her version of Listen is sublime.

Carol Murphy – one word: Wow.

She had always been a huge Dreamgirls fan and Listen had been the reason she had wanted the part of Deena so much. The words spoke to her. As she sang each night she thought of the path she had went through being pansexual. She had once shied away fearful she wouldn’t be understood, wouldn’t be liked. She pretended to be straight, she pretended to be gay, she pretended to be bisexual. She pretended to be anything that could be understood. She was an introvert. She was passionate. She couldn’t face the awkward and ignorant questions. Or she felt she couldn’t anyway. So she followed scripts that she thought people would get, might be even ok with. She followed the voice they gave to her but then she had to find her own. She was tired of people saying her feelings weren’t real. She never questioned theirs. She believed they had the right to say what they liked but still she thought how dare they? I’m nice about your sexuality. How fucking rude are you mate?

 

 

Soon time came for her to sing Listen. She looked to her father in the crowd. She looked to her husband sitting next to him. The two men in her life who made her feel like she wasn’t weird. Who made her feel loved. She held back tears. Ever the professional. To come from been a young woman unsure if she was strong enough to face the world, deciding been a recluse might be better in a world even less kind and understanding than today to a regular theatre performer with the group, in the local spotlight often, a wife, a mother to two daughters and a daughter to a father who was for both her and her sisters Linda and Jo who had texted their support earlier. A sister to two straight sisters who never seen her as “the pansexual sister”. She was strong now in her forties and she didn’t give a damn about anything negative the unenlightened might, and often did, say. She was too mature for immature comments.

She began to sing:

Listen to the song here in my heart
A melody I start but can’t complete

Listen, to the sound from deep within
It’s only beginning
To find release

Oh, the time has come
For my dreams to be heard
They will not be pushed aside and turned
Into your own
All cause you won’t
Listen

[Chorus:]
Listen, I am alone at a crossroads
I’m not at home, in my own home
And I’ve tried and tried
To say what’s on my mind
You should have known

Oh, now I’m done believing you
You don’t know what I’m feeling
I’m more than what you made of me
I followed the voice you gave to me
But now I gotta find my own