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Serendipity and Craic

Because I have lived in a few different places during my life, the tone and themes of my poems are sometimes different from each other. Some of then refer to Ireland, my home country, while more refer to Uganda and East Africa in general, where I lived for five years, and also to South Africa which has been my home since 2002.

I equate writing poetry with completing a crossword with just your imagination and perceptions to guide you. Poems may simply be based on a thought or a phrase which comes to mind: I refer as an example to the phrase – A speck of dust or fly in the eye – which appears in the poem “A Speck of Dust”, this is a phrase which I carried around in my head for quite a long time before I found a suitable opportunity to use it. In my poetry I try to entertain and also to challenge the reader, but also to make a statement if possible. Some of my poetry is serious, while more of it is light-hearted and tongue – in – cheek.

Publishing a book of poems is a complete leap in the dark for me, so I go forth with the grace of God in fear and trepidation. I would like to thank my friends who have read there poems and encouraged me to publish them.

I would also like to thank Bev Green my graphics advisor, a most gracious lady, who created most of the “watermark” images in the book. As they say in South Africa:

Geniet/ Enjoy

In order to make the book more visually appealing and interesting I have included some of my “Alan’s Africa” photographs and inspirational poster images for you to enjoy. For the most part they depict the flora and fauna of South Africa, and its internationally known UNESCO protected Floral Kingdom. A beautiful and unique place, well worth visiting.

Book Reviews


What a colourful life the author of these poems has led and it certainly shows in his various works. I love that they are not all of the same cloth from a subject and mood perspective. From the seriousness of What land is this I gaze upon? with its uplifting, almost spiritual words which build up the scene so masterfully to the tongue-in-cheek humour of Gary the Grasshopper, - the Matatu and -the Auldest Swinger in Town, the diversity is fabulous. As whole I found the poetry extremely clever and often wickedly and tremendously witty. Whether detailed or brief, each poem successfully tells a story, which to carry the reader along with the intended mood of the author. Being South African, I laughed so hard and was so thoroughly entertained by the Matatu as it so accurately describes a minibus taxi as if in fact it could feel. I chuckled further at - the Auldest Swinger in Town, which was the perfect marriage of humour, poetry and superb storytelling. Monkey on a Rope was also brilliantly clever (and educational) and I particularly loved the ending which tied in so beautifully and gives a thought-provoking touch. I do believe the poet has a way with words that is superbly entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed his work.

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