Zooming with Zozimus at the Zoo

1911: Z is in the Rotunda.

I wonder, who can she be?

Nurse or expectant mother?

The census tells me she’s thirty three.

(institutions like hospitals, asylums, & workhouses usually give initials on their census returns.)

– Karen J McDonnell
– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Billy Craven
– Catherine Ann Cullen

Z for the Zoo where the Zebras are crossing

While monkeys on Ziplines their keepers are bossing.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Lisa Perkins
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– Catherine Ann Cullen

Z is for Zozimus the blind bard of the Liberties aka Michael J. Moran,

He performed around Dublin and began each rhyme with Ye sons and daughters of Erin…

– Mary B Shannon
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– Theresa Donnelly
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– Catherine Ann Cullen

Z is for Zozimus, blind balladeer,

Who zigzagged through Dublin and sang for small beer.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen

From sweet Zuma Terrace to Zion and Zoo Roads,

We’ve zoned out on Zoom writing A-Z odes.

– Catherien Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen

A Yard of Yeatses, Yellows and Yuppies

Y is for AnnesleY and MarY’s Abbey and SYnnott,

and the yard that you get up, if your heart’s not in it. (ahem)

– Nessa O’Mahony
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– Theresa Donnelly

William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymount, Dublin in 1865,

Co-founder of The Abbey Theatre, and recipient of a Nobel Prize.

– Mary B Shannon
Catherine Ann Cullen

Yippee for the Yeatses, those dreamers and yearners,

Nobel and Olympian accolade earners,

Yell for Yin, yell for Yang, yell for Lolly and Lily,

Whose Dun Emer Press printed Jack B and Willie.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
Catherine Ann Cullen

Y is for Yellow wildflowers that just want to grow

Dandelions and buttercups it’s best not to mow

Nectar and pollen to attract a buzzing workload

And Dublin’s reward, many Yellow Brick Roads.

– Marie Studer
Catherine Ann Cullen

Y is for the Yellow House, it’s there two hundred years,

Served Young and older Irelanders with yummy food and beers.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen

The most famous Yes ever uttered

was by Molly. Yes. Short and sweet.

And critics have ever since muttered

about where she yessed

in Clanbrassil Street.

– Karen J McDonnell
– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Lisa Perkins
– Billy Craven
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– Catherine Ann Cullen

All My Xs

In Dublin, an invisible X shows

where we first met.

Secret space: the heart knows.

– Karen J McDonnell

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– Catherine Ann Cullen

X marks the spot

of my hideaway Dublin heart.

An alphabetical love story

mapped here for all to see.

– Siobhán Mc Laughlin

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– Catherine Ann Cullen

X marks the spot of the Papal Cross

& the one million who came to adore;

Such cordoned belief ne’er seen before

Though thuribles no more swing pangloss.

– Marie Studer
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– Catherine Ann Cullen

X is the Xavier in the old SFX,

Where punks met with theatre and special FX.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Billy Craven

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– Theresa Donnelly

Xico for MeXican, where you’ll eat oodles,

Or Xi’an on South Anne for its famed Biang Biang Noodles. 

– Catherine Ann Cullen

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Xmas in Dublin is eXtra eXciting,

EXtravagant windows and eXcellent lighting.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

– Lisa Perkins

X is for Xmas and its much-needed cheer

Santy and Rudolph and his other reindeer,

fairy tales come alive in Grafton Street stores

with magical snow scenes and sparkles galore.

– Mary B Shannon
– Mary B Shannon

Walzing with W Words

W is for Waltons extolling Irish songs

A wireless on a high shelf tuned to belong.

– Marie Studer
– Catherine Ann Cullen

W is for Wellington, a genius so stable,

his victories in Waterloo named roads and made fable.

But when claimed by the Irish and birthers at the table,

he said you don’t blame the horse for being born in a stable.

– Nessa O’Mahony

On Wellington Quay, the old Working Men’s Club,

Worked over by Bono & Co as a pub.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen

The Werburgh Street Theatre, a first for the city,

Flourished four years and then closed, what a pity,

On a street with a church. “Who’s Saint Werburgh?” sez you,

saint, a wise woman, and princess, that’s who.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

– Robin McNamara
-Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Billy Craven
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– Lisa Perkins
– Catherine Ann Cullen

W is for Williams, Beau be the name

All Ireland Slam Champion from Portland in Maine

Who will remotely in Maribor, Slovenia compete

With eighteen other European Slam Champion Wordsmiths that tomorrow do meet, speaking in tongues,

Women and men at home via Zoom, from Belgium

With Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

With France and Finland, Greece and Croatia,

Lithuania, Hungary, Republic of North Macedonia,

Portugal Russia Slovakia Slovenia Serbia and Spain.

Winners all in the game of togetherness and Union

With Europe, oh Europe of grassroots grá n ruaile buaile.

– Desmond Swords
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– Damien Donnelly – pic above and three below

Where the wind cuts the shore and sweeps across the sand, two mills raise their arms to stable grains on ancient land.

– Damien Donnelly

Windy Arbour two stops to mine

fragments of different lives of me

kids with bike and schoolgirls on time

daddies in a hurry and young fine girls close to me

fragments in me while waiting of my stop

two times after Windy Arbour

– Arjuna Cecchetti
– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Theresa Donnelly

If you’re brave take a walk down ancient Winetavern street and through historic Christchurch and Wood Quay,

Visit Dublinia for a viking experience and a stroll through Dublin’s history.

– Mary B Shannon
– Catherine Ann Cullen

Wood Quay, which once wobbled on wide wooden struts,

Is now home to the bunkers that drive people nuts.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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Wonderful, historic Wynn’s Hotel with its old-fashioned charm and style,

with its diverse crowd in the Saints and Scholars, you’ll want to stay a while.

– Gin Reidir

Valentines, Vicars and Vikings with Verve

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– Billy Craven
– Mary B Shannon

Vicar Street Venue the home of great gigs Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Christy Moore,

Packed to the rafters show after show fans cry arís as well as encore.

– Mary B Shannon
– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Lisa Perkins

On Vico Road, a valiant crew

Videos the vast, viridescent view.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Marie Studer

– Catherine Ann Cullen

Victoria Quay, home to Guinness alone:

Albert, once opposite, lost out to Wolfe Tone..

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen

The Vikings in Dublin put up a good fight;

but they couldn’t survive the Civic Offices sh*te.

– Karen J McDonnell
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– Theresa Donnelly
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– Catherine Ann Cullen

Umpteen Units of Unders and Uppers

– Damien Donnelly
– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Billy Craven
– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Theresa Donnelly

What of Dublin’s rivers underground,

with names like the Swan or the Poddle.

Check the old maps: there they are found,

and tracing each route is a doddle!

– Karen J McDonnell

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– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Catherine Ann Cullen

Urban Art strips grey from a winter’s day

Eyes popped away from our own decay;

Drury Street the nucleus of the creative corner

Camden Street, UAREALIVE on the mortar.

– Marie Studer
– Catherine Ann Cullen

Number 15 Usher’s Island, once a music school and the home of James Joyce’s grand-aunts,

setting of The Dead, on a snowy Epiphany, when Morkan’s held their annual dance.

– Mary B Shannon
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Mary B Shannon

U is for Usher’s Island, where James Joyce set The Dead,

That “dark, gaunt house” should be preserved, but may be lost instead.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Catherine Ann Cullen

U is for our Uachtarán, fear uasal Michael D.,

Unique, uplifting and unmatched – well, he’s a poet, you see!

– Catherine Ann Cullen

A Throng of Temples, Theatres, Towers

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– Robin McNamara

The time has come to think up a poem … that’s fit for the T in the very fine tome… from Tallaght to town feel free to roam … before telling it all to @tarryathome

– Kate Kavanagh
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A rhyme about the Temple Bar area of Dublin City submitted by Lisa Perkins for the #ABCDublin project for a rhyming alphabet for the city of Dublin. The project is curated by Poetry Ireland Poet in Residence Catherine Ann Cullen.
– Lisa Perkins

T is for Temple Street Children’s Hospital

whose staff know how to be a best pal.

Treating everything from head to toe

and, tickles for teddy bears who feel a bit low.

– Marie Studer

Tempted to try this Thursday the thirteenth teaser

– though truthfully ‘‘twas tougher to think thematically –

than the tempting tongue twisting Twitter troll tone talents

that teach truly traditional technical themes throughout

Trinity’s tremendously travelled tribe

– Dolores Heery

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– Billy Craven
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– Theresa Donnelly
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– Damien Donnelly
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– Damien Donnelly

T for the Tivoli Theatre, where troopers trod the boards –

From the Tenters up to Thomas St, the tickets sold in hordes.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

Daniel O’Connell’s round tower soars high over Glasnevin, Its wrought iron spiral staircase rises up to the heavens.

– Mary B Shannon
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– Mary B Shannon

Trees I remember from old Dublin town:

Fitzwilliam laburnum, beeches, & lime,

Baggot St cherry trees – every one down,

Grand Canal bank whitethorn in the Maytime.

– Karen J McDonnell

T is for Trinity College, where “ologies” are taught,

And tours take in the Book of Kells, with each page richly wrought.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

Selected Strands and Streets and Steeples

Saints and Steeples

Shout out for the steeples named after the saints

who entice and survive despite the constraints.

A canon that includes: St. Patrick’s, St. Catherine’s too

St. Ann’s and St. James’s, quite close to the zoo.

– Marie Studer
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– Siobhán Mc Laughlin
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– Siobhan Mc Laughlin
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– Siobh,an Mc Laughlin

S is for shooting for St Stephen’s Green

Where suffragettes stepped up in 1916

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Maura McDonnell
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– Theresa Donnelly

On Sandymount Strand with his hands in his pockets,

Stephen sinks slowly in newly-soaked sockets.

Should he skirt Strasburg Terrace, or stop by Aunt Sara,

Or stroll to infinity on Dublin’s Sahara?

– Catherine Ann Cullen

Opposite Shaw’s small Synge Street house with its bright blue door

there’s street art by the artist Fink,

His blue mural of Shaw, author of many plays

is a study of him as he thinks.

– Mary B Shannon

Here in the city of Sinead

Here on the sacred sidewalk of Ireland

I know where I am smoking cigarettes

In the infinite Dublin the magnet for poets

– Arjuna Cecchetti
A rhyme about Skerries, a north Dublin seaside town, by Áine Hayden, for the crowd-sourced rhyming alphabet of Dublin curated by Poetry Ireland Poet in Residence Catherine Ann Cullen.
– Áine Hayden
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– Lisa Perkins
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Suesey Street, on the strip, one of Leeson St’s glories

Where socialites sipped & swapped scandalous stories 

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Billy Craven
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– Damien Donnelly
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– Damien Donnelly
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– Damien Donnelly
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– Damien Donnelly

Raths on a Roll

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– Siobhán Mc Laughlin (poem above and photo below)
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– Celia De Fréine
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– Celia De Fréine
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– Rita Crampton
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Maura McDonnell
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– Liam Flanagan

R le haghaidh na ráthanna, Ráth Eanaigh nó Ráth Éanna, Ráth Maonais is Ráth Garbh is Ráth Cúil mar an gcéanna.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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  • – photo by Theresa Donnelly

R is for RDS

On the grounds of the RDS swing boat buttocks pulse signals

to horses geldings and mares, excusing the odd flip of a tail.

– Marie Studer

R’s for the Red Cow Roundabout, our own spaghetti junction,

An AA roadwatch regular, if rail or roads malfunction.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Nuala Roche
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– Lisa Perkins
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– Billy Craven

Did you ever jingle jangle al-

long the banks of the Royal Canal?

– Karen J McDonnell

Upon the banks of the Royal Canal.

The remnants of what we’ve lost remain along the route;

the swan songs and sentiments the hurling and starving to boot.

– Damien Donnelly (poem and four photos above)

R’s for rattling Ryder’s Row where you can buy a bike,

Then cycle out to Raglan Road where rued romance may strike.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

A Quare Quorum of Qs

Q is in boutiQues, the large and the tiny,

that grace Dublin’s boulevards with all things shiny.

Though shuttered they may be for weeks at a time,

We’ll queue for their riches when Yule bells chime

– Nessa O’Mahony
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– Anne Tully Sheridan
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– Theresa Donnelly

Remember the Quare Fellas, and the wordsongs they sang: Zozimus, and Behan, and good aul’ Bang Bang.

– Karen J McDonnell
A series of four photos of the letter Q on Dublin signs

You’ll find Adam and Eve’s at 4 Merchant’s Quay,

the Church of the Immaculate Conception,

Where the leading soprano in Joyce’s The Dead

was none other than Julia Morkan.

– Mary B Shannon
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On Dublin Quays

bridges breeze

beginnings,

intrusions,

interventions.

– Marie Studer
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Queen Street in Smithfield, near North King’s, no doubt,

‘Tis a quare old republic with royals all about…

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Maura McDonnell
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– Lisa Perkins

From the Quill on the Quays to the Queen’s by the coast

You could quaff pints & quarts, but in Covid, that’s toast

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Billy Craven