Apart from wanting to do something about getting my writing ‘out there’, I have an added incentive to work on putting a collection of my poems together.

Any money raised from sales of my anthology and readings will go to Arthritis Research UK and in particular research into fibromyalgia.

I have not only a husband, but also a son and daughter, suffering from this chronic condition. Not surprisingly, I would dearly like to read that one day soon, someone will discover a means of improving life for them and the many like them.

As it isn’t a terminal condition, fibromyalgia does not get the high profile support of other conditions. There is no cure as yet and people have to find a means of coping, knowing that they have to live with the chronic pain and fatigue for the rest of their lives. Not easy.

Some research is now being done. Arthritis Research UK is funding a study looking into the body and brain mechanisms of pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia, and also a study investigating the relationship between the weather and chronic pain.

Hopefully I can do something to raise awareness of this.



After being full of good intentions to write something on this blog at least once a week, I’ve realised that I’ve failed already. However, some U3A responsibilities have been shed and so hopefully I’ll now have more time… maybe!

This week I received my copy of Dove Tales anthology ‘A Kind of Stupidity’. Dove Tales is a peace charity formed last year in Scotland. It’s an association of writers and artists who are using art to campaign against war, arms trade & violent Western culture; advocating dialogue not military action.

A Kind of Stupidity cover.indd

In April we will be reading from the anthology at Big Lit in Gatehouse and more readings again at the May festival in Wigtown. It’s a beautifully produced book with a mixture of poetry and prose – giving food for thought and inspiration.

Hopefully we’ll get plenty of support.

Beautiful Science!

It must be one of the greatest mistakes ever made in the world of education that, at some point in the past, it was decided that at the age of 14 or 15 we should know whether we wanted to  opt for science or the ‘arts’.

Having opted to drop all science at that stage of my life, it took me fifty years or more to realise just how fascinating science, and even maths, can be.  Having teachers who inspire make all the difference of course and looking back , the arts subjects definitely scored there as far as I was concerned.

Reading The Strangest Man – the hidden life of Paul Dirac, quantum genius by Graham Farmelo, made me understand how people could get excited by science and just how beautiful a mathematical solution can be; how these subjects are, in a very different way, creative.

Watching Brian Cox talking about science subjects, using  such poetic language, inspired what is called a ‘found’ poem.

Science Can be Beautiful


carries ingredients of life.


fine tunes earth’s basic chemistry

to do extraordinary things.


are of the earth

constructed from chemical elements

forged in the stars.



Why am I doing this?

I decided that it was time I got my act together and did something about promoting my writing.

After many years of getting my poems published in various anthologies, poetry magazines and on Poetry Scotland’s Open Mouse, this year I really am going to make a concerted effort to put together a collection. About half of them have been published; some of the remainder will have been read at The Bakehouse or other venues; others will be revealed for the first time apart from being in emails to supportive friends. (I owe a great deal to those friends who have never given up on their support and encouragement.)

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said that I’m putting  a collection together. In the past I’ve never managed to settle on the poems that will be included, but this time,  after publicly commiting myself to doing it, perhaps it will happen …


I like the simplicity of haiku. The following were previously published in 2011 in Southlight 18, along with some of my photos.



Monreith Beach Haiku

Sculpted sand furrows

acres of beach ploughed by waves

hard beneath bare feet


Dragon’s tail imprints

shimmer in mirrored wet sand

scaly sand chevrons


Water from Clarksburn

carves across Monreith beach where

herring gulls gather.


Necklets of foam string

the long  neck of sandy beach

bathed in low sunlight




Slow progress

Finding time to get familiar with a blog is harder than I thought it would be. This month has flown by and I’ve not worked on it for weeks. However, hopefully after the next few weeks are over, I’ll get to grips with it and manage to post not just poems but photos as well.

A leap into unfamiliar blogworld …

This is the first of what I hope will be regular posts. In the past, I’ve avoided putting my work online – apart from occasional attempts at keeping a blog many years ago. This time I’m more determined to get myself organised and keep it up to date. I think I’m going to need some help with this! Please nag if you see I’ve avoided adding to it for at least a week …