Friday night last the 22nd of September was Culture Night all over Ireland. On Culture Night people have access to free events countrywide. I was invited to Carrick-on-Suir Library to an event that would showcase the work of the “If these chairs could talk” project. We were to read our poem or short story to a small gathering. In total 9 writers shared their work and it turned out to be a really enjoyable event!

But let me give you the background…This project started back in May when I agreed to take part in my first ever writing project creating a poem for the “If these chairs could talk” project for the Clancy Brothers Festival in Carrick-on-Suir, Co.Tipperary. Check out the website here

The project brought together the work of local artists who decorated a kitchen chair in a theme of their choice but based on something local or relevant to Carrick-on-Suir. Without meeting or talking to the artist, writers were asked to create a poem or short story based on what the chair was trying to say to them.

Check out all the wonderful chair stories here

My chair is chair “K” (there are little tabs on the left and right of the pictures/posters to help you move through them).

The chair depicts St.Nicholas Church in Carrick-on- Suir. It is a beautiful creation by the talented K.Walsh (Kathleen Farrell), check out Kathleen here

and she based her work on the well known and beautiful poem by Michael Coady,
Check him out here

So I had to consider Kathleen’s beautiful chair creation, the renound Michael Coady’s poem and what the chair was trying to speak to me! What a challenge…but many drafts later the following revealed itself to me…I hope you like it! (The lines in ” ” are lines from Michael Coady’s poem, which I wanted to weave through my work for effect).

Churches, Chairs & Coady: A chair’s perspective.

by Marie Clancy

“Two for a woman, three for a man”
I hear K say aloud, reciting Coady’s poetic prayer.
Her loving hands on my skin as she adorns me, offering me new life
whilst outside, the sound of
St.Nicholas’ “bell tolls for each human death” ringing out over the town
announcing yet another soul parting.

But who will stop and sit one hour with me?
I see the prayerful dropping away from their common prayer.
Families once united in their Catholic faith,
now prayer-less, Priest-less, soul stricken and broken.
Catholicism groaning under the weight of its materialistic possessions
“raised on sweated pennies of the poor”.
The pounding pulpits pounding no more,
cool comfort for the ordinary man
from the messengers of God.

Only in a utopia, I hear them say, could we hope to be
united in religious beliefs,
holding fast to a faith that binds us as one,
and through the one God.

But come and sit one hour with me,
taking time to dream of change
“and people in pubs and shops standing on the street or leaning on
the bridge” accepting different beliefs,
leaving each man to his own faith.

Each day we write our own story;
Catholic, Atheist, Muslim or Kardashian
knowing “Each of us moves on a gossamer thread
mortally tethered to its patient web”.


What do you think? I’d love to hear your views! Have you ever taken part in a writing project? What have you learned from it?