Farewell to The Body Electric

In response to works chosen from The Niland Collection for The Body Electric exhibition, the following poems have been written in a masterclass last weekend with writer Tara Bergin. The unusual and varied responses are both delightful and intriguing.

The Táin, The Morrígan By Louis Le Brocquy (1969)

The Táin, The Morrígan By Louis Le Brocquy (1969)

Observe the I

From stone


The stark

Dark crow

You see

I am

A mirror of your soul

Peer within

The watching eye

And seek

The truth

Before you die.

by Marguerite Quinlan

In response to The Táin, The Morrígan by Louis Le Brocquy

Stiletto II By Dorothy Cross (1994)

Stiletto II By Dorothy Cross (1994)


It’s bussin,
Say it mom – bussin!

With utter glee, I grind my heel into the hot tarmac
Twist, squish, swish

With a wiggle, my heel sinks deeper into the sticky tar
as the liquid black bubbles up

Steel arch, glinting in the sun
It’s bussin, I say, bussin

Footnote -  ‘bussin’ is a slang word used on TikTok. Meaning 'very good’ or ‘delicious’, it’s popular in online videos and memes.

By Marie-Louise Blaney

In response to Stiletto, by Dorothy Cross

My Mind Is Frazzled by Janet Mullarney (1991 92)

My Mind Is Frazzled by Janet Mullarney (1991 92)

Free the Frazzle

It is beyond time
To clear my mind
Of the detritus
Gathered over the years
Weighing me down

I present myself
Mustering strength
I bend my knee
Straighten my back
To free
My frazzled mind


I explode
Sunder weight
Of childhood
Rituals and ruination
Forfeited within flock

Rumble of rosary
Insidious intemperance


I am back
I reclaim my state
Of being
To love
To appreciate
To notice

My self
My place
My frazzled mind

by Bláithín Gallagher 

In response to My Mind is Frazzled by Janet Mullarney

The Black Square

Hidden in all of us is the divine,
as is in the essence of Malevich's Art.
Outward stimuli, materialism
distracts the mind.
Suprematism encapsulates the unnecessary noise.
Past memory, an experience, future choices form.
As the painting forms on the canvas.
Awareness of objectivity, differences of seeing,
leads one to stillness.
Leaving room for divinity to sink in.
Remove thy mask, of us and them.
Take the lead, from Malevich's simple painting,
go within.
External is ever changing.
As the paint cracks on the black canvas.

by Geraldine Millar
In response to The Black Square by Kazimir Malevich

Leaving The Far Point by Jack B Yeats (1946)

Leaving The Far Point by Jack B Yeats (1946)

Vanishing Point

Remembrance of light
three figures disappearing
I, love and I,
favourite, love, and I
dissolving in the memory
of rain in the summertime

A late work
a gift
and later
again a gift

Elusive about process yet
the brush-stroke-thick
impasto presence

lets us know
you were there
and keeps you
with us here

between the almost sky
and the fresh echoes
of you
and us

by Patrick Karl Curley

In response to Leaving The Far Point by Jack B Yeats