Berni Dwan

Berni likes to write and perform a kind of poetry that she describes as Frankly Blank Verse, and she does so regularly at Takin the Mic in the Irish Writers Centre. In March 2016, as part of the Scene and Heard Festival, she performed her one-woman show, Unrhymed Dublin, in Smock Alley Theatre. Her poems have been published in The Galway Review, A New Ulster, Stepaway, and the Irish Times New Irish Writing page. In October 2017, she earned second prize for poetry in the Johnathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Her work has been broadcast on RTE’s Sunday Miscellany and Lyric FM’s Quiet Quarter. Her essays have appeared in Headstuff and Ireland’s Own. She is working on an A to Z of Historical Blunders that should never have been repeated.


Man With Pipe

There is something about a man with a pipe; alone with his wisdom,
an old anorak and a woolly jumper. As chaos reigns, all is calm within
his kingly proximity. Standing under a tree in a winter storm, as hail and
gale battle for supremacy, peace radiates from him; peace sucked
from that anachronistic wooden curio, and exhaled into a late
afternoon of modern preoccupations. Edgy motorists negotiate
the roundabout and check their mobile phones. He

he stares into the middle distance, unperturbed by the minor inconvenience of
having to seek shelter under a magnificent tree. Wearing his crown of smoke with
the look of one composing a new royal edict, he is absorbed by his thoughts and
his pipe. I

envy his placidity, his aromatic tobacco, his regal command of the now. When the
storm passes, he’ll continue his procession home surrounded by his faithful retinue
of swirling leaves and rainy pearls of wisdom.

© 2019 Berni Dwan