A mystery letter among the leaves

November 3, 2018

Walking clears my head. Especially here, on the eastern lip of the Atlantic, the fresh winds gusting in over Galway Bay clear the cobwebs of editing and writing from my mind. When I need a break from work – from books, paragraphs, sentences, words, letters – I walk.

Sometimes, though, the letters follow me. This one gave me a proper surprise, almost glowing in the wet autumn ground:

Photo of about 1 square metre of wet footpath, with a white letter Q stencilled on the ground, surrounded by a dozen or so colourful autumn leaves.

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Climbing Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain of Mayo

July 19, 2013

Photos, for a change. Last weekend three old friends and I climbed Croagh Patrick, a mountain in County Mayo in the mid-west of Ireland. (Croagh is an anglicisation of cruach, Irish for stack.)

The Reek, as it’s also known, has a cone-shaped peak that dominates the surrounding skyline. You can see it in the distance here on the road to Westport town, our home base for the day.

stan carey - croagh patrick mountain climb - road to westport, county mayo

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Walked and kept walking

April 15, 2011



Walked and kept walking
till I saw turnstones
feeding in soft
sunlight falling
on an empty shore.
So I waited there.


[This was originally a tweet in the heel of winter; it wasn’t meant to become a lazy poem. To make it up to you, there are more birds here.]

Amidst muck and mystery

August 18, 2010

On Twitter a few days ago, I posted a photo accompanied by a rhyming couplet. Michele of Divinipotent Daily guessed that there was more to the story, so I’ve added more couplets to make a simple poem – but without giving too much away. Because where would the mystery be then?



Wanderers we numbered four,
Left the woods to roam the shore;
Splashy suds bespoke the tide –
A soundtrack for the countryside.

Grass and wildflowers led to stone,
Pointing to a place long known;
Nettles leant towards our knees,
Ivy crept from rocks to trees.

In we went, a-hunting mystery;
Muck we found, amidst the history.
Crumbling walls held musty air,
Held us rapt while we were there.


[All comments are very welcome, as always; comments in poetic form are especially welcome.]