There's a Poem in There Somewhere...

Welcome to the website of Maurice Spillane

Maurice Spillane was born in Dublin. He has worked in Ireland, England, Zambia and the United States.

In 1980 he started his first company, RTS, an early innovator in the international software scene. The story is recorded in John Sterne’s book “Adventures in Code” which is a history of the Irish software industry. RTS was a model of the good and the difficult in growth companies. Maurice featured on TV, Radio and magazines regularly and won several business awards including the American Express Marketing award.

RTS was sold in 1986 to an American company and he worked for them for three years before founding the next of several entrepreneurial enterprises.

Maurice lives in Liddington in Wiltshire with his wife, Fiona.

Poems

Manoeuvres on November 11

Now in four-wheel drive
in the slow shunt
up the already rutted lines
to the chalk brow
the Nissan
aches and grunts in low gear.

It has to be slow
or the beaters won’t be happy
slapped around back there
like eggs in a biscuit tin,
cursing the driver
in their Wiltshire accents.

We drop two flankers,
then the main beaters
spread out
like a Sun Tzu pincer,
ready to move left or right
to keep the bull-head steady.

I drive the empty truck
behind the lines,
follow some partridge in the ruts
as they run
short flights into safety
like armless raptors.

Over the radio
the static carries messages of
easy now and flags up
as a covey breaks.
I grab a flag, step out and
disturb a mouse gnawing a corn husk.

We eye each other on Memorial Day
while ahead the crack of flags,
the stomping of boots through wet crops,
the uniformity
in the movement
of men, of women, of rasping dogs.

From The Game Parade 2016

She is Left-Handed

She is left-handed –
Think about that.
Think about cutting bread with a very sharp knife,
Or turning a page, or counting notes,
Or tying a lace, or dishing out mash,
Or brushing her teeth, or massaging your throat,
From the left-hand side.

She is left-handed –
Each statement a tripwire
Of half-breath deliberations,
Of unfinished sentences,
And then the distant gaze
And the deviation down some ferreting hole,
Holding everyone’s attention,
But not through conversation,
Oh no, it’s a heartfelt wish that she’ll come back.
And everyone’s too polite to ask
If left-handed people are all like that.

She is left-handed –
When we met she slept on the left,
Announced some ownership rights,
Some distorted set of back to front,
But a moment of surrender
Sent her over the edge,
And now she sleeps on the right side of the bed,
Where women usually sleep –
Especially when they are with men.

She is left-handed –
Which requires tolerance from me
When she rattles my ordered world.
Now I buy fish and chips for two,
And the wine is gone about half way through,
But it’s touching glasses left to left
That really messes up my head.

And she says she loves me,
Like she means it,
Like it might be true,
Like a left-handed person might say it,
Who hasn’t quite worked out
How wonderful it is to be
With someone disturbingly wonderful.
That’s she.

From Love and Other Distractions 2004

Grandchild

It’s too late to get up early,
So I’ll lie awhile,
Foetal in this English bed,
And assume the position
Of my daughter’s child
Tucked in an Irish womb.

I can’t quite get used to grandfather
Or, God forbid, show preference to its sex –
There’s that awkward word again.
And why should it be awkward
This begetter of a life?
My child is carrying a child.

I lie back on my hands and compute the years.
This child could see the next century,
Might even read these words at the century’s turning,
Might even chuckle with grandchildren
About the black-sheep grandfather,
Might even fondly recall the dead.

It doesn’t seem so bad that this coming
Will be an advent of our going.
This is also my milestone
My joy beneath this Egyptian cotton sheet
That I have a child who’ll have a child,
A continuance beyond our brief.

from Among Friends 2007

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Blogs

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On 23 October 2018
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This was a hell of a mixed-up Hash. First of all it rained, which it’s never supposed to do on a Hash. Albeit, it stopped soon after...
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On 23 October 2018
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My grandfather’s older brother, Christy, served in the Great War. His eyes and lungs were destroyed by gas in the trenches. My memory is his thick glasses...
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On 10 August 2018
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I’d a long run yesterday. At one stage I skirted a field. A big man walked towards me with a bloody big spanner and said: “There’s no...
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On 12 July 2018
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I decided a few years ago to run a marathon each year in a country I’d not been to before. Last year took me to Greenland and...
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On 11 July 2018
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I love it when there’s a bit of colourful distraction on a Hash. Kathy led the way with her exquisite summer clothing, Anne looked well in two-tone...
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On 12 June 2018
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My granddaughter flew from Dublin to Bristol recently on her own, unaccompanied, knowing nobody on board. She’s twelve. It was a coming-of-age challenge and it didn’t confound...
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On 12 May 2018
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We had the wonderful poet, Kathryn Maris, to Swindon several times in recent years. She’s a delightful person. When she reads she really sucks you in, or...
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On 12 April 2018
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I’ve been on a mission for many a year, initiating bartenders in how to pull a pint of Guinness correctly. It makes such a difference to the...
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On 1 April 2018
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Last year I tried to back a trailer down a forest track and couldn’t use the side mirrors because of the bushes. So, I reversed by looking...
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On 12 March 2018
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About time I was asked to be guest scribe. I have been hashing for several years now, setting the pace, checking the quality of the flour, pissing...
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On 1 March 2018
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Where will you be on St. Patrick’s Day? I’ll be in green amongst English friends watching Ireland play England in the last match of the Six Nations....
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On 12 February 2018
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Mud, mud, glorious mud Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood So follow me, follow, down to the hollow And there let me wallow in glorious...
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On 1 February 2018
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This is the month to write a poem. Not any poem, a love poem for Valentine’s Day. No matter how good or bad it is, you know...
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On 1 January 2018
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My friend, Brian, is in the terminal cancer zone but he is handling it well. Recently his family chipped together and bought him a wheelchair made from...
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On 1 December 2017
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I spent the last weeks above the Arctic Circle in Greenland. The attraction was the Polar Marathon followed next day by a Half-Marathon with only 135 runners....
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On 10 November 2017
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  Running It took place in the Arctic Circle, north of Kangerlussac in Greenland. The Great Bear Challenge was to run the Marathon on Saturday and the...
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On 1 November 2017
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Four days of the Poetry Swindon Festival would test any resource. It was a huge success but it’s the stream of dramas that go on in the...
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On 1 September 2017
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We are nearing the start of the Poetry Swindon Festival. Hilda Sheehan makes the Festival happen every year. The rest of us are acolytes, bag carriers -...
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On 1 August 2017
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Swindon has a newly published poet. Happy Days! He is Stephen Daniels and he’s been nurtured over the past few years from a person who showed interest...
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On 8 June 2017
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An old school friend, Noel Boyce, posted on Facebook yesterday that 50 years ago in Dublin we started our final exams, the Irish equivalent of A Levels....
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On 12 May 2017
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This is how it happened. I went to a rugby match in Bath and took a shortcut across a grassy bank. My left foot slid down the...
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On 8 May 2017
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Have you ever entered a poetry competition? If you are a closet poet it’s a great way to test yourself. Winning poems have a few things in...
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On 5 April 2017
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I was in the House of Commons recently for the launch of the “Ovarian Cancer Awareness” programme. So how does a male poet get involved with that,...
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On 9 February 2017
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I was in Chicago several years ago on St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone wore green and spoke in silly Irish accents. Even the river was dyed green. It...
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On 9 January 2017
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Have you ever seen a poetry film? It’s a modern way of linking both media and it’s certainly to the advantage of poetry. Anything that makes poetry...
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On 8 January 2017
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We had a good turnout for the GOM handover. It was Brian’s last hash as GOM and Keith assured us he was ready and able to take...
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On 8 December 2016
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I am preparing for an annual poetry reading in Liddington. This year I have four young people as side-kicks. They chose poems that suit their personalities and...
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