Book review: Half man, half poet by Brendan Conboy

Brendan Conboy’s latest poetry collection is being launched this month. I have read and enjoyed some of his earlier poems in The Book of Psalms in Rhyme and Popcorn Poetry. Like me, he is a member of the Association of Christian Writers and of an online poetry group. I received a digital ARC (Advance Review Copy) on the understanding that I would post an honest review.

Half man, Half Poet An enzyme of rhyme designed for this time is a collection of sixty four new poems arranged according to their subject matter. After the title poem, there are sections for Life Observations, Health, Social Issues and Christian poems.

Conboy uses rhyme and is not afraid to invent words. Some of the poems are autobiographical, others imagine other people’s viewpoints. Some are mischievous. There are poems for various moods, some aimed at young people, others about ageing and failing physical health.

Quotations from the Bible introduce each section.

These poems were written during a time when Conboy’s health was not good and he underwent major surgery.

Conboy’s YouTube channel includes a video of him reading or reciting his poem Half man, half poet. That will give you a flavour of his work.

There is to be an online launch event for Half man, half poet on Monday 17th April 2023, the day following publication of this review. You are welcome to join by Zoom or Facebook.


Where do you feel at home?

In this post I am sharing a poem I wrote in 2021 for the topic home. As with all writing and photos on the internet, I ask that you please respect my copyright.

Feeling at home

Where do I feel at home?
Where the people speak with voices
And accents I recognise,
Away from unfamiliar noises.

Where do I feel at home?
Where I can be of help
Or walking on the beach
Looking for sea-life like kelp.

Where do I feel at home?
Where the people worship God
In ways I feel happy with
In places other pilgrims trod.

Where do I feel at home?
In church in the front stall
Singing with the altos
Making music to praise God withal.

Where do I feel at home?
In our house or elsewhere
If a welcome is extended.
Welcome is having time to share.

Where do you feel at home?
When we are together
I hope that you feel at ease
And not at the end of your tether!


Neutral shades paint chip poetry challenge

This week Gigglingfattie has chosen Touchable, Wistful beige, Smokey Cream and Rose Pearl. My first thoughts were about slinky evening wear, but I wrote about something more staid.

In Neutral Shades

The bridge players
Sit around the card table.
An ageing wife wonders
How long she will be touchable.

The cards are cut,
Dealt, picked up and rearranged.
In a wistful beige skirt,
Blouse smokey cream; estranged

Is not the state
She hankers after. They bid
Ending with ‘No trumps’. Partners
Know how each plays, cards hid.

Nervously she
Fingers her string of rose pearls;
Playing the dummy’s hand
She regrets her greying curls.

Recently Annmarie Miles interviewed me about my poetry and my faith. The radio interview is to be aired in a programme on UCB Ireland on Thursday 16th June at 8pm British Summer Time. It will be repeated on Sunday 19th June at 7am BST. This is a completely new experience for me. I hope it will encourage the listeners.