Archives for posts with tag: Names

Wrote a poem. It made me smile.


For the Sake of a Name


“My name is Mabel,”

I said as I paid for my coffee.

No, strike that, it was Kombucha.

Telling the lie was thrilling.

I wanted to laugh out loud

because I am so not a Mabel.

I have never actually met any Mabels,

although maybe a cat, once,

and a lonely spinster in a Virago novel

who liked a tipple.


This Mabel likes Kombucha.


I wait expectantly

for the “Mabel” shout out.


They forget the order.


I argue my/her case.

A Kombucha arrives,





No froth on top.


And utterly tasteless.





My name translates, from Latin, into ‘dove’, a symbol of peace.

As a pacifist brought up in an Ireland that lived in the shadow of ‘The Troubles’, I grew to accommodate, even respect, my name (which was difficult at times, as it was ‘unusual’, often misspelt, and frequently a hindrance), mainly because of its symbolism.

Not so long ago, I embraced both my name and its connotations by getting a tattoo. Written and drawn on skin, I am proud of the work of art created, a dove in flight, wings outstretched, an olive branch in its beak.

Today, I came across a poem in the The New Yorker, titledĀ The Dove, by Yehuda Amichai, translated from the Hebrew by Bernard Horn:

‘The dove brought news

of the end of the flood, an olive leaf

in her mouth, like a man holding a letter

in his mouth as he searches for something

with both hands

or like a girl holding pins

in her mouth as she repairs her dress.’

I love this, it so encapsulates the power of poetry to just say, and to just say so succinctly and so beautifully.