Chris Thompson's innovative approach to Creative EducationFind out about the exciting Scribing Technique. Downloadable Resources providedInteractive approaches to Story telling and downloadable resourcesIdeas for drama in the classroom with all age groupsStory telling and Magic shows for all agesDemonstration sessions, workshops for teachers, and more

What can Chris Offer?

An on-going creative writing programme
intergenerational projects
Supporting the SESE curriculum
Supporting the SESE curriculum
a cultural diversity project
A collaborative novel
Plays For the Backstage
Word Pictures
A Scribing Project
Children's writing
Creative Writing Galleries
Using role-play to inspire creative writing

Poetry by the Shannon

3rd class poetry

4th class poetry

5th class poetry

6th class poetry

The Story of Sinann
By Chris Thompson

The creation of the Shannon as told in the Book of Leinster paints Sinann as a young woman who disobeys rules laid down by the druids and is punished for her presumption. This alternative interpretation speaks for itself.

In the days of dreaming, when the soft light of enchantment still shone from every hill of the sidhe, there was a well.

It was a deep hidden pool, fringed and caressed by nine strong hazel trees. Pale leaves in spring would gently stroke the bubbling waters, and as the year turned red nuts would drop softly into the deep reflecting mirror of the well.

Within its depth the wise one, the old one, the salmon, consumed each kernel of wisdom, each nut of inspiration, for it had, so it would seem, a whole world in a nutshell?

It was a deep place of wonder, of enchantment, of understanding, but above all a secret place. A deep and secret place, but not unknown; it was known, after all to the wise men, the guardians who would drink the water from the pool, skimming the surface of its secrets, wielding its knowledge and absorbing its enchantments.

And so they became great, awesome, knowledgeable, powerful, enchanted, inspired, but not inspiring. Then, came Sinann to that place. She came free and fresh, drawn like a seagull from the open sea to that deep wide well, deeper, wider, and stronger, than the sea itself.

She came not as a magician or wise man. She came not to seek power. She came as the sea comes, in curiosity without hindrance.
She was unstoppable.
Her feet were like white seashells and her hair was woven with the wind.
She was ungovernable.
Her azure green robe undulated like wind washed waves as she walked.
She was unknowable.
The salmon stirred in their bonds of knowledge and began to turn in great spirals rising to meet their freedom. As she reached the well the water rose to greet her. Wild waves of beauty reached out for her, overstepping the bounds of knowledge. New patterns of laughter, white and blue, green and purple, azure and turquoise, the deep longings of amethysts, cried out to her as the waters danced around her.

Sinann danced the wild dance of inspiration unfettered by knowledge, the joyful steps of understanding freed from its clever bonds. The song of the waters of intuition swept her along and she allowed herself to become one with it in its frenzy and beauty.

The guardians watched in horror as their secrets were poured forth in a babble of wise words, the gems of their secret wisdom shining like pearls on the bed of the crystal river. For the well, no longer contained and static, had indeed become a river, tumbling over rocks, dancing in sheer exuberance for its own pleasure until it reached the plains.

She flowed gladly and graciously down, down through the land, becoming broad and beautiful, a queen among rivers, bestowing favours, carrying the salmon of knowledge on her way once more to reach the sparkling sea.

In the high and misty hills, in a place of boundaries, there is a well, a deep pool fringed and caressed by nine trees : not hazel perhaps but blackthorn, tree of hope, anticipation, carrying white star blossoms on winter boughs. The spring leaves still stroke the bubbling waters and as the year turns, the bare branches admire their eloquence in the deep reflecting mirror.
The salmon are gone, their wisdom offered to the world, but Sinann is still there, for the well of her inspiration, her intuition, feeds the waters of the river and the river leads to the sea.