eurgh not written for a while this came out half cut half cocked

Did several things you should not do tonight and had a few minutes of first catching my breath and then just feeling free in Alexandra park I am used to a place that gets properly dark in patches and easily forget there is a sense for me of absolute calm in the true dark. Not a real proper piece but here is how it came out just now.

I cycle through Alexandra park down the avenue of yet to be felled trees as if light and space is safety for those that fell the centenary trunks I want to gift them my blind ride my pathetic front light rendered a guttering candle and I remember the dark is my velvet friend I calm my raw breath and hear it and the clunking gears of my bike and nothing else it stops past the unemptied bins now made slumbering guys and remember dark and green is peace where I am from we lock parks as if gates and locks stop people we have grave yards with low walls all the youth know the calm of green and dark lack of light is not fear to me

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1st Arran Poem

This poem is dedicated to some amazing poets I am proud to call friends co horts and fellow adventurers Rebecca Audra Smith and Lauren Bolger.. We are staying in Lamlash bay and today inspired by conversation and ribaldry I wrote this:


We are basking sharks in the Lochranza whisky glow of our shared verse and kinship and I  feel us three women, poets, myth weavers are writing our true selves after years of word stumbles spooling lines out like kites high wire truths that cross like lightning. Together we are turning over the shells that hide our seal courage. We lift our vinyl crack voices to the sea and watch our black dogs minaturise and scurry in the surf.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Frida Sculpted Poem From Becca’s Prompt

Been sort of off the writing wagon (doing my usual scribbling around the edges of notebooks saving scraps on my phone stuff) but here is the first proper poem for a while here is Becca’s excellent prompt from Frida Kahlo’s words:

 and my sculpted poem from it (I’ve kept the description I gave Becca of it as the first line)


mine is all non love expired love dust ex love:


frightened at seeing life opened


distant, I have wanted to explain, that I can’t return. 

I have forgotten you. the nights. The water. the parting.  your heart. 


Everything is untouched. I wish my touch.  

your eyeball is ancient shell. 


dress the same one found half-asleep on the dirty sidewalk of some street.


your skin, your eyes and your hair. 

You know all, all touch. the nerves, the dust, the cells.  


everything experienced in non-glances. 

You felt it, that’s why you let that ship take my eyes.

Anna Percy





Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Poem For Becca At John Ryland’s

Becca read with the wonderful Mebdh McGuckian at the weekend and I wrote this:


I am late and sweating cider the city hall clock announces it surround sound and I realise I have never before heard it peal. I get lost in our city and pass half moon street then finally I hear your familiar tones reverberate down the steps among the bulb flowers and I am so proud and want to tell how when I reached the room there was a woman who sat as in prayer hands clasped who closed her eyes in absolute peace each time you opened a poem and how now you give your words the shape they need hanging them out perfectly spaced in the air.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

First Draft & Other Happenings

Ok so most people who know me know I have a certain way of approaching artistic endeavours basically I say yes and ask questions later.

This has lead me into some frankly loopy enterprises including dashing between Arran and Edinburgh because I said yes to doing several things while on holiday I found all the ways in which a rucksack is not a pillow that week but had fun made amazing contacts and saw great spoken word. Totally worth it.

Last year I wrote a poem about an anonymous perfume for penning perfumes. This year I wrote one about a constellation which was so difficult I very nearly threw my latop out of the window a few times, the editor liked it.

So when Abi of first draft sent a call out for performers for their second birthday I said yes and thought I’d persuade Becca into it.

Those of you who know Stirred will know we are bit like morcambe and wise.

We have been writing and editing each other’s work for a long time now and while there are other people who have edited my work and I take advice from I find our mutual and editing process to be the most simple and we trust each other to make good useful editing suggestions.

We always explain why we think something should be cut (I always think lines and words should be cut) or why this poem is really a non traditional sonnet or should live in couplets (Becca is very good at structure I am not).

basically it was a no brainer for me to ask Becca to partner up for this special event. She took some encouragement I think perhaps she thought what we have is not as interesting as other collaborations would be on the night perhaps we underestimate the work we make together because we have a familiar way of working.

We have recently involved a third with Steph Pike coming in to write poems where three of us write couplets in sequence which proved (I think) the most popular poem of our set and the one we feared would be the most controversial as it references assaults on women.

Abi founder of first draft did for me the most lovely and well put together set of the evening with a muscian they rewrote a murder ballad to include sensible advice on love and both the words and music came together without one over powering the other as collaborations should be.

I hope that is what people think of mine and Becca’s joint poems or the poems which mirror each other.

Go to the next first draft at the almost any art form goes and they encourage work in progress and the atmosphere created by hosts and audience is inclusive and encouraging.

I will end this blog post with a few announcements and the advice to always say yes to projects and work out the details later.

Ok so we have several events this week I am hosting a world book night event at Fab Cafe: from 6pm at Fab Cafe on Thursday there will readings from 7.30pmish

Next up we have a lovely mirror workshop for you to write some mirror poems for our Stirred event on the Monday: Kim By The Sea at five pmish

Finally Stirred is on Monday and we have Andrew Lawson and Shirley May a line up I believe represents the diversity of poets who we have on and support under the Stirred Poetry Umbrella new and established poets are always welcome! We have open mic slots available at Three Minute Theatre Monday from 7.30pm

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Non Prompt Poem

I somehow came upon this. It is true there is a world war two officers jacket languishing in my wardrobe. I made a poor internet attempt to search records to prove that my Grandfather was an officer but found the records hard to find I am sure many people have better sources than I. However yes the jacket is there.

There is a ghost in the wardrobe it sleeps uncomfortable on a plastic hanger expensively tailored as befits the rank. One of the few things of my grandfather’s I can touch there is that clock bearing that title forever tickless a wedding present for the wearer I have never yet found a safe house for it it to peal in. The jacket lies noticeably cleaned, shrouded in a torn bin liner my attempt at preservation, fear moths, consider museums the ordinariness of this item lowers its historical value the ghost has not been attended properly. I wore this jacket it was last seen in public when I was boyish it was floodlit on stage masquerading as another, further, war the one now celebrating it centenary I had the closest thing to historical accuracy. I forget the lines I spoke and it is of no matter. I worry this fabric can never speak of the wearer’s reluctance and fear.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prompt From Day Fourteen Questions

So you may have heard of a nasty little idea called ”women eating on tubes” more and more there is a sense that people can take photos of women and post them without their consent. Obviously these are not quite as vile as upskirt shots but like myself many feminists find the whole thing pretty icky. The ”it’s a joke” defence holds little water with me why is women eating so hilarious? Its because we aren’t supposed to actually eat let alone where other people can see us. Some great feminist had a picnic on the tube in defiance Becca wrote a foundish poem using comments about the site online. It is a reminder that simply to be in the world and act like a fully functional human being can seem like a political act. This poem is not that articulate and I loathe repeated questions in poems but it got written from this prompt:


Are you going to eat that here?

On the bus, on the tube in the street?

Why are women eating on public transport?

why are they not laughing at salads and cheerfully spooning yogurt?

How do they dare admit to hunger and cram sandwiches in?

Don’t they know women’s mouths are obscene and must be closed?

Or a tongue clean as a cat’s stuck out between syrupy lips for no purpose?

We want your mouths open a crack we can wedge open haven’t you see all the pictures?

Don’t they know they are being judged not just for how they look but gluttony?

Haven’t they realised we don’t want to think of them having gullets?

No epiglottis, no digestion in our fantasies can’t they see we want form not function?

The mouth is another hole for our sole consumption must be waiting at all times.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment