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Featured poem, OMN  March 2017     Itch.

This palm itch, that no amount of scratching will subdue. Is it a sign of something you have forgotten; neglecting; subconsciously blocking?

Yet here it is. Beating a subconscious into submission. Its dominance greatest while in deep slumber.

Disturbing idyllic dream channels with a repeating news flash.....Scratch, scratch, scratch.


Wide awake now, its job done. Distracted by this physical metaphor, I contemplate its meaning and come up with none.

Cept an itchy hand means money!

Malachi Kelly 2016

With Armagh Men Shed's Choir kicking off our Open Mic for March with some wonderful renditions of old favourites we were assured of a great night's entertainment. The packed audience sang along from the start and on the last notes of 'Built on seven Hills' gave a well deserved applause. Big thank you to all the Choir and Eoin Kelly who accompanied on guitar. Contributions this month were from, Dymphna Ferran (poetic yarn), Paddy Mohan (guitar/songs), Jimmy Rafferty(Bard of Armagh), Gerry Woods (song) , Malachi (original poetry), JoeMcCool (poetry and Happy B;day) Margaerite Kelly(song) Bridie Heaney (original poetry ) Liz (Country songs) Jimmy Rafferty (by popular demand) , Ellen McGrath (traditional ballads) and the night ended with Dymphna (and her hot hot lover!) Many thanks to all, our next date is April 28th. Spread the word!


With many wonderful stories and poetry gaining an outlet through our Open Mic Night's we would like to share some of these with you.


'Cycle of Life.'

Without a sound

A sorrel leaf falls to the ground.

In the mud

An apple from a Bramley tree falls with a thud.

In the wee small hours

Cherry Blossoms give up their flowers.

A Beech tree majestic & high slips to earth

In falling expels its last breath.

The Cycle of Life and change grinds on

Unnoticed by some,

But some are gone.




The series returns, next Friday night our Open Mic {its definitely working now!} continues with great stories, poetry, song and music  from local and international talent bursting to get in the door to perform. And heading the 'bill' this month's community group will be Armagh Men Shed Choir.  The choir has performed of Royalty ,politicians , religious leaders and TV audiences but will they be able for the white heat of an Abbey Lane Theatre audience? I think so. Get there early folks it promises to be as good a night out as you can get anywhere......and still only £5 inc wine[1 glass }and nibbles if you are good.

Friday 31st March 8pm {doors open} B.Y.O.Bottle!

A big thanks to all who braved the poor weather to entertain and be entertained at our OMNight in Abbey Lane Theatre. We had a great variety of participants this month ranging from singer songwriter Nina, Ann and Joe with storytelling, Louis on Banjo, Malachi poem, Peter reading St Patrick's 'true' story, Ann and Kevin duet ,Eric on mandolin, Joan solo singing, Proinnsias  (Coldplay covers), Margaerita song, Antaine 'Drumnakilly Devil' and our guest for this month the great performing poet, two time Slam Champion of Ulster Colin Hassard. Where else would you get it for£5!

As we are gripped in the usual winter flu epidemic this poem, from our Open Mic' in November seems appropriate and hopefully will bring a smile to the reader's face.



My ears are really throbbing and my chest is feeling tight

My head is splitting apart and i'm really off me bite

I feel i'm coming down with a ferocious Manflu

That would floor the very best of us but i'm not complaining to you


I don't take potions and pills OR sympathy as I suffer

For the man that suffers in silence cannot be called a bluffer

No I'm not complaining of the pains and aches I have

Or the congested chest and phlegm,

you know the sick green gunge that refuses

To be washed down the drain.


I'm keeping it to myself, the obvious symptoms that pertain

Like the loss of manly strength while in my bed I remain

i'll not be bothering my GP, nor even receptionists at the clinic

Though I'm suffering, there's worse of than me. I'm dammed if I'll be called a cynic


And as the world 'casts a cold eye' while my temperature soars and wanes

Will that Horseman pass me by'?

The man that NEVER complains.





This Open Mic Night section offers an outlet to the work presented during our series in 2016. Please take time to read, enjoy and if you wish,  comment or reflect on these  by sending your thoughts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . All rights for publication or performing stay with the author and Armagh Theatre Group. Please seek permission if required.