New Poem

So it was Fat Roland’s birthday and at some point after sambuca and wiggling a plastic fish called polly in his ear someone stole my bike lights. Wrote this in my head while cycling to work does anyone else find lines start coming to them when riding?

To the Bastard Who Stole my Bike Lights
(Sambuca Night Riding)

Thank you.
Thank you for giving me a reason to roar at the night ‘’fuck you’’
Thank you for unsealing my anger
I was roaring at those coils of smoke in my mind
Who shout awful things over and over
Today they are wisps and shrinking scorch marks
Thank you for adding anger to the beer and whisky and Sambuca
Which caused the bruised elbow and grazed foot
As I germolened it I was reminded of how once
I used to want to live in a body that hurt
Felt I needed an exterior to match the mind
Wanted people to know I hurt
Now I write instead and cats cradle these tangled thoughts

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New Poem Advice Gladly Taken

So have been working on a theme of work encompassing desire and feminism. Well it could be argued its one of my consistent ones but its been more obvious of late and here we have this piece. It’s been drafted but once so advice is gratefully received. It started s free writing in workshop so it is in prose poem form for now but I have feeling it would like line breaks perhaps.

On the difficulty of Loving Men

Today is as warm as the last making my head feel heavy and pulpy like a melon I have been wheeling its weight with my feet on the creaking frame of my new old bike, leaning at the table for a quick getaway. My writing companion is suffused with new love I can see it coming from her pores she has found a good man to love and give in return it is helping her ink stretch further. At the next bench a man is loudly saying he ‘s never abused women so why do they act like such cunts when he chats them up he spits this last word and I know a man like this would seek to pluck it from the mouths of women who own their bodies name them as they choose who lovingly roll the word cunt from their tongue to their lovers I am avoiding that whole show and learning my lust is drilling deep in dreams and making innocuous phrases instruments tuned to bawdy I am mocked by my subsconscious and this heat waking roiling in a sheet looking for the naked body I just saw sure I felt a and on my flesh the desire is brambles this heat and deluge summer has grown it large and knotted I am unsure if it would support fruit the raspberry has an orifice it’s a filthy fruit for capping tongues.

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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

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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.

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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





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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.

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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

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