Book launch | No Alibis Belfast | The night I surpassed the passing of muster, with Frank Ormsby

I had just finished reading my selection from my new book ‘Reconstructions’, when this unassuming gentleman approached me with a copy of said book under his arm-which in itself, was endorsement enough, as he lent in towards me, put out his hand to meet mine, and said something along the lines of “I liked ‘Longley’s Lists'” and “that ‘Late Developer’ is a great wee poem.” Delighted to hear, of course I thanked him, and as I usually do when someone approaches me, I asked him his name, and when he told me, I did that thing some of us do when in the company of greatness, I had my eyes pop out and in again, about twice. Not entirely a gibbering giblet, I’d say, he took my word for it, when I said “You’re Frank Ormsby?” before continuing with something in the vicinity of “being honoured and pleased to meet him”, something I may have even repeated twice or thrice, just in case he missed my first punched-love blurt. This all happened as my wondrous daughter Lumi was tugging at my leg, trying to get me to lift her up, so that she could stake her claim. Up she came as I gestured towards my da, who happened to be within photographic reach, to come over and mark a moment, which, happily, he did. I was honoured and tickled pink to hear that my poems, at least the ones I read on the night, surpassed the passing of muster with the great man that is Frank Ormsby. He had just concerned himself with my work, which is, what it is all about. Within two months of meeting him, we were both featured in the “Reading Ireland-the Little Magazine” journal. Another honour. Proud as punch.


Photo credit: Bobbie Hanvey


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