Winter 2011

Where Swans Drift on Speakings

Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Art: Sandra and Aine, Dromod Harbour, Co. Leitrim, Christmas 2010, The Linnet's Wings House Art

A Letter From Santa Claus

My Dear Susy Clemens,

I have received and read all the letters which you and your little sister have written me... I can read your and your baby sister's jagged and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But I had trouble with those letters which you dictated through your mother and the nurses, for I am a foreigner and cannot read English writing well. You will find that I made no mistakes about the things which you and the baby ordered in your own letters--I went down your chimney at midnight when you were asleep and delivered them all myself--and kissed both of you, too... But... there were... one or two small orders which I could not fill because we ran out of stock ...
There was a word or two in your mama's letter which . . .I took to be "a trunk full of doll's clothes." Is that it? I will call at your kitchen door about nine o'clock this morning to inquire. But I must not see anybody and I must not speak to anybody but you. When the kitchen doorbell rings, George must be blindfolded and sent to the door. You must tell George he must walk on tiptoe and not speak--otherwise he will die someday. Then you must go up to the nursery and stand on a chair or the nurse's bed and put your ear to the speaking tube that leads down to the kitchen and when I whistle through it you must speak in the tube and say, "Welcome, Santa Claus!" Then I will ask whether it was a trunk you ordered or not. If you say it was, I shall ask you what color you want the trunk to be . . . and then you must tell me every single thing in detail which you want the trunk to contain. Then when I say "Good-by and a merry Christmas to my little Susy Clemens," you must say "Good-by, good old Santa Claus, I thank you very much." Then you must go down into the library and make George close all the doors that open into the main hall, and everybody must keep still for a little while. I will go to the moon and get those things and in a few minutes I will come down the chimney that belongs to the fireplace that is in the hall--if it is a trunk you want--because I couldn't get such a thing as a trunk down the nursery chimney, you know . . . .If I should leave any snow in the hall, you must tell George to sweep it into the fireplace, for I haven't time to do such things. George must not use a broom, but a rag--else he will die someday If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it away. Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and whenever you look at it or show it to anybody you must let it remind you to be a good little girl. Whenever you are naughty and someone points to that mark which your good old Santa Claus's boot made on the marble, what will you say, little sweetheart?

Good-by for a few minutes, till I come down to the world and ring the kitchen doorbell.

Your loving Santa Claus Whom people sometimes call "The Man in the Moon"

Winter Prologue

Fiction and More: Aesop and Lang

Classic Aesop: The Crow and the Pitcher

The Ass in the Lion's Skin

Dreaming of Elsbeth by Alexander Lang

Mari Fitzpatrick , 2011

A Christmas Story --Empty Cot

State of Rapture, Short Story

Rafael Zabaleta: A Passion for Quesada

In Conversation: Enrique Bedoya

Mum's Dementia and a Moment of Clarity

Dear Mum,

After I thought of your diagnosis I wondered if your confederacy was stamped with the seal of your God? Had he taken you out of action to teach your ménage how to relate? Where are you, Mum?

Your room is charged by your gist. In your bones I touch silence and pierce affairs, which were never written but were constant in your timbre, pitch and my perception.

Your loving daughter

(State of Rapture)

State of Rapture

Poetry and Prose: Lantry, Tepper, Scotellaro

La Belle by W.F. Lantry

Pottery by Susan Tepper

Flashlight's Jewels by Robert Scotellaro

The Crow and the Pitcher

A thirsty Crow found a Pitcher with some water in it, but so little was there that, try as she might, she could not reach it with her beak, and it seemed as though she would die of thirst within sight of the remedy. At last she hit upon a clever plan. She began dropping pebbles into the Pitcher, and with each pebble the water rose a little higher until at last it reached the brim, and the knowing bird was enabled to quench her thirst.

Necessity is the mother of invention.


Classic: Aesop and Andersen

A Town Mouse and A Country Mouse

The Matchstick Girl

The Grasshopper and the Ants

A New Notion About An Old Story by Nonnie Augustine

A dark girl, quite poor, who might have been four,
leaned on a statue of a horse and his man.
(The rider rode him in place, but as if in a race.)
Her dress needed patching, her heart needed smoothing.
She'd tried to sell matches all the cold night,
but none noted her plight 'til up to her came
a blond boy who was lame.

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Rutter's Requiem by W.F. Lantry

I can remember other concerts played in
sacred spaces, where the choir stood on
escalated benches whose long wings
hovered above the orchestras drawn strings,
above arranged trumpets. The olivewood cross
bore no body then, so Latin lines

seemed out of place. The mysteries of signs

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The Wedding Dress by Joseph Cordoro

I'd Love a ... by Oonah V Joslin

The Wedding Dress (Excerpt)

Captain Eddy Campbell nearly spit out the last bite of the bread and jam Madalene had brought up to him for breakfast. He froze with fear at the sound of a German Army truck stopping in front of the old farmhouse in the little French village of La Dame Du Loc. He immediately forgot the pain in his broken right leg and his mouth went completely dry. Sitting upright, Eddy grabbed the sides of the mattress, and tried to raise himself off the bed. “Help me up, I’ve got to get out of here," he said to Madalene in a shaking voice. He wanted to get up, go out the window, and crawl as far away from the house as possible.

The Wedding Dress

This Issue

Christmas Family: Sean Fitzpatrick

M.Lynam Fitzpatrick

Ramon Collins
Nonnie Augustine
Yvette Managan

Digby Beaumont

Alejandra Tuninetti

Martin Heavisides
Bill West

Maia Cavelli

Peter Gilkes

Photo Art and Images @The Linnet's, 2011

Ireland: Office address: Ard Na Cuain, Dromod, Co. Leitrim, Rep. of Ireland

Spain: Office address: Quesada, Jaén, Andalucia, españa

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Design 2011

Founded in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, in 2007
Publisher: M. Lynam Fitzpatick

Published by The Linnet's Wings 2011
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