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Conference Pear
Órla de Brí

Conference Pear
Órla de Brí

Poetry and Music

If you have been keeping up with me, you will know that I am on the road to a Masters in Creative Writing in Manchester. During the term, I became involved with something called the Rosamund Prize, which is a collaboration been postgraduate composer students in the Royal Northern College of Music and postgraduate poet students at Manchester Metropolitan University. The upshot was a piece jointly created with Nate Chivers, a PhD student from the US. It was performed at a competitive concert at the end of April. It was an amazing experience and I am so pleased with the result. So, if you click on the link below, you should see the performance. I have also added the original poem which is on a previous page but here it is again I hope you enjoy listening to and watching. Enjoy, share and send back some feedback.

At the French Italian Border

The young French cellist holds

his 17th century Stradivarius gently by its neck,

rechecks its tuning. Eyes sparkling,

face handsome, smooth, attractive,

fashionable evening shadowed chin.

Taking a deep breath, holding it,

he scans the dressing room one last time.

A young African man slinks along the station,

wearing a wrecked bomber jacket,

old shirt, torn jeans, broken running shoes.

He has a look of permanent hunger,

backpack looks surprisingly light,

presuming a journey from who knows

where over who knows how long.

The cellist acknowledges the applause

from the full house, takes his place

on the elevated platform,

places his precious instrument precisely

and carefully on its spike, steadies himself,

readies his bowing hand, fingers the strings.

He nods to the conductor.

The young man moves like a shadow,

lingers beside the train door,

notes the Polizii positioned along the station.

The whistle blows, doors begin to close.

He checks one last time, leaps aboard,

moves swiftly along the carriage,

finds a seat, drops in, crouches low.

Peter Clarke

November 2018



10.06.2019 13:21

Lovely piece, very nicely worked. Congrats, Peter!

Marguerite Colgan

05.06.2019 05:27

Catching the moment by the neck, what's at hand. Wow you're doing it, Peter. Wonder-full


03.06.2019 20:25

STUNNING Peter! What a fantastic piece! Wonderful performance!

Latest comments

25.11 | 22:15

Grief is experience through the mundane. Simple but powerful. The accompanying image really compliments the poem.

07.11 | 11:14

Hi Peter,

A great observation! Social media can be a scary place... I also need to reduce my time there



06.11 | 16:24

A great one, Peter, in the context you describe. I don't read social media myself, I doubt my equilibrium could stand it. 'The balance of his mind disturbed' yes, I think it would be.

06.11 | 15:59

Yes, gossip is a weapon of mass destruction.

In my business as well as personal life I have zero tolerance.

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And What About . . .


I have neglected this for far too long, and now it is time again. But what to write about, what poem to share? The world is packed with catastrophic possibilities. Such choices: dementia/genocide colluder or extreme narcissism in the White House; a hung parliament in the UK; the reunification of the USSR with a tyrannical megalomaniac at its head; the eradication of a race by a genocidal government in Gaza; the African continent reduced to bankruptcy and regression to male tribalism; in Ireland, even with an appalling electoral turnout the routing of the far right and Sinn Féin may offer some comfort except we face another FF/FG fiasco. Mother Nature rumbles on its rampage, raging against the human species’ abject destruction of the planet’s habitat. What the . . .

Being facetious right now is my only defence against absolute despair. So read, comment, pass it on, and send feedback.

City Walking and Cycling take 680,000

cars per day off the road

Irish Time Heading

More and more folk, cycling and walking, may 

keep gases from greenhouses further at bay

This newspaper heading illustrates vividly

thousands of cyclists and walkers assiduously 

stopping some cars on their journey

pushing them aside - making drivers quite surly

Mountains of metal - like scrapyards of sculpture

keep bicycle lanes quite safe - at this juncture

The new revolution is well underway

don’t get behind wheels - hear what they say:

Cars and their fumes play a very big part 

the smell is quite phew don’t mention cow farts

Wear out your shoe leather walking

greet travellers with smiles while you’re talking

Force councils to make better spaces

to go out and about roaming those places

where vitamin D, and oxygen from trees

fill our lungs and our brains so we see

how to save us and this magical planet

except for some vicious old tyrants goddammit 

Peter Clarke, 18th March 2024

Haydée Otero