My Name, My Life

Inspired by The Ogham Stone I decided to commit myself to working on this piece. It is really a concept piece exploring the meanings behind the Ogam Fid and construction of my own name. I chose the Irish spelling of my name because of the uses of names in Irish while exploring an Irish concept such as the Ogam fid, but also because as my own self-created image I wanted to see how “linked in” to the past I would feel.

Níall Mac Siúrtáin

My Name, My Life

Nuin, the final flush – a birth from the Mother

Idad, the greatest change – an epidural of sorts

Ailm, the call to life – primordial aspirate

Luis, times two – is the blaze of life,

And a herb of medicine to make it right.


Muin, a journey by which all my forebears have come

Ailm, the ancestral tree from which I hail,

Cert, a wish upon a rag-bush – to pacify the Good Folk.


Straif, the biological and chemical change begun

Idad, a circle completing itself, leading to True Alchemy

Úr, toward the mighty north – the cold earthly sphere.

Ruis, the now, ever present evening twilight

Tinne, the tested metal of tradition – the bar to strive for!

Ailm, now completes my call – to those whose voice now lingers in old Halls.

Idad – final poultice for a life well lived

Nuin, and a rebirth to wander a child of earth beneath starry skies.


Níall Mac Siúrtain, a name of many meanings

With masks and performances all too trite!


The Ogham Stone – UL’s literary and visual arts journal

If you’ve got words or pictures, we want them!

The Ogham Stone, the University of Limerick’s literary and visual arts journal invites all writers and artists to submit work for a stunning publication due out next February.

M.A students in Creative Writing and M.A students in English have come together to mastermind this journal, which they promise will be cutting edge. Already they have bagged new work by Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart, to feature in this edition of The Ogham Stone and Joseph O Connor will provide the forward.

There is no time to delay. Closing date for submissions is 2nd November, 2014.

E-mail your prose, poetry and non-fiction to

For full submission guidelines, see

Go on – you know you want to!

The Ogham Stone – University of Limerick


Time once was when love was free,
And we all could be,
Where friendships were nourished,
And happiness cherished,
That was then for me.


How could things change?
With such depth and range,
Such is the ebbing and flow of the sea,
That you and I can no longer agree,
On what is and is not so.


Once where I was nourished thrice,
There came a Winter and great ice,
Like a howling wind our words
Upon two tides could not be bore,
And neither of brought ashore.


Should I remain adrift,
I fear no land or cliff,
Who fears the perilous shore?
When life is shaken to the core,
Far beyond all reach…

– Originally posted on ‘MrAbhainn’ on January 10, 2013


There sits she upon her table round,
Strong and resolute without a sound,
Beckon’d am I, while her gaze stirs something,
What tales of times to come,
Are known herein and yet confound,
Giant spectres ingrained in the minds of men.

A silent moment rages for eternity,
She turns the cards one by one,
Revealing unsung truths and bitter lies,
Lost in the cards are echoes long since past,
Of deep human sights cast into the dark night sky,
Odes from aeons past, yet boundless in the sea of black.

Left to right they are drawn forth,Each new turn draws me in,
And sets my mind ablaze,
And heart to race against the shadows deep,
The dim murmer of the crowd amongst the stars,
Fades as I return to life, seek to live,
Amongst the otherworldly nomore.

Fly Away, Friend

I touched a butterfly,
In a shaded grove,
And felt it’s silken,
Cloth-like wings.

In a moment,
It was there and gone,
Always and everlasting,
The quintessential monarch’s reign.

It skipped and fluttered,
So free and far,
In great majesty,
Never trapped.

Masquerading among,
Snowdrops and lilies,
Passing rivers and seas,
And nearby beaches.

I saw a butterfly,
As I walked down the street,
And saw its silken,
Bright, white wings.

And I recalled,
My fly away friend.

Winter Solstice

Tonight as the winter flame burns bright,
The hearth place is cast in light,
With Winter Solstice’s deep breath,
Hail Robin Redbreast.
Gather the tree ever green,
Gift the home and remind us of the Queen,
With the year now borne new,
Raise the up a glass of mulled wine;
Sing songs new as the Cupbearer calls.
So sing of times yet to come,
With the turning of the Wheel,
Let now be the time to start healing,
The promise of Light is renewed.
With the Earth still in slumber,
Dreaming of times in the past,
Let tonight be the night for reflection;
And releasing our wishes to the flame.
So now let us rejoice and make laughter,
For these are the times best to chase after,
Heeding the ancient sages advice,
And heed the passing season of ice,
With the descent of the old,
The rise of the reborn Sun,
We greet thee Deus Sol Invictus all,
With our voice our songs and calls.


In three rivers,
My soul shall grow,
My body nourished,
And my Spirit cherished.

In three rivers,
Myself known,
Reflections cast,
And illusions torn.

In three rivers,
Dark and Light held in renown,
With one as many,
And many as one.

In three rivers,
Family, friends and lovers known,
My body nourished,
And my Spirit cherished.

Sinann’s Story

In her breast her heart beat,
She, determined and without regret,
To steal away by clandestine might,
All the secrets kept in night.
A daughter of the ancient world,
The waters of the ancient Well whirled,
Dancing round her, transforming,
And transcending all conformity.
The wise men could say naught,
As she was taught,
To see the magics of the land, sea and sky,
And hear the oldest of unspoken cries.
Daughter of the deep,
Whose devouring of the hazels,
Came in no clear appraisal,
Yet inspire wisdom and knowledge
Of the elements, in and out of magical college.
Freedom of the form,
Which only creativity can inform,
Sinann, daughter of the deep,
Whose birthright it is,
To spare true wisdom,
From those whose wish,
It would be to covet and keep.


I remember you, did I,
When you beckoned me
Back then so young was I,
Frail you seemed to be,
A gentle-man all did agree.

From pipe and cane,
And trips to the spring well,
Epitomising all that is, to me, urbane
Did my anguish begin to swell
All your wisdom and I your conferee.

Finding joy in all was your way,
I lost in that lingering memory
I failed to continue to play
And loose myself in the sensory,
And the transcendental to a degree.

To you, my granddad, I thank you,
You offered so much love,
I aim never to eschew,
My granddad, held above.

Inward Spiral

Vision borne, seek thy voice,
Desire for Life and rejoice,
A light to guide thyself to inner wisdom,
Through and beyond ol’ Christendom.
Son of Water, Daughter of Water,
Guide me to the Magna Mater.
Muin – the path of my voice,
Ibn, am I, of Mother Earth.
Hidden Mysteries, kept from sight,
Journey forth; purging plight,
Many roads – fear not the travel along the Path,
For weeds choke the Untrodden Way.

– Níall MacSiurtáin (06/09/2012)