Sunday, August 26, 2018

Monstrous Regiment - feminist publishing house based in Edinburgh

Monstrous Regiment, an indie press based in Edinburgh, was founded by Lauren and Ellen, two publishing students. Their publications focus on themes of feminism, sexuality, and gender. I recently ordered several of their publications and was very impressed.

She Walked Out to the Desert is a small but perfectly formed poetry zine which was created for the London Radical Book Fair 2018. Its mix of poetry and collage explores mental health and materialism.

The Bi-ble is a collection of essays and personal stories about bisexuality coming from a variety of viewpoints and covering topics including bisexuality and fan fiction, bisexual invisibility and sexuality and religion. The stories are well written and interesting, sometimes amusing and often moving. (In fact I abandoned all other reading material to read this in one go). The editors are looking for submissions for Volume 2 of the Bi-ble, you can find out more here.

Crimson is the first issue of the Monstrous Regiment literary journal inspired by blood, lipstick, blushing and other shades and incarnations of the colour red. The photos, artwork, poetry and short stories cover topics such as shame, bullying, death and gender identity. There's a good variety of styles of writing and art, it looks beautiful and is well worth reading. The next issue will be Emerald and stories, poetry and art inspired by the colour green are invited, a feminist slant is preferred but not mandatory, for details see here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


The colour of the sky and his eyes
Ocean endless to the horizon
Forget me nots and sapphires
The saddest music in the world
Bruises on her upper arm

Regret for all the words
said and unsaid.

Originally published on Sketchbook  and first posted on this blog in 2006. 

I also reposted an old poem today on Crafty Green Poet, you can read it here

If you like my poetry, you can now buy me a virtual coffee on Ko-Fi!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Major New Artist

This poem originally was a response to a Poetry Thursday challenge back in 2006 to write a poem in someone else's voice. The poem had already been published and I just lazily used it for Poetry Thursday!

Major New ArtistI have spent the last six
years with incense sticks
burning holes in shirts.

Shirts of all types
from Hawaiian to pin stripes
but all have holes burned in.

All the holes are regular
extreme boredom does not deter
me from my art.

Some see meaning in the holes
they are but fools
there is no meaning only art.

previously published at the now defunct Mentress Moon
There's another one too, earlier in this blog here

I posted another poem from the past on Crafty Green Poet today too, you can read it here

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Through her territorial fence
she watches them
and mutters.

‘Bogus people
begging on the Underground,
stealing food
from the mouths of MY children.’

Over the fence, the children
mourn lost friends
to a backing track
of remembered bombs.

Their Mama dusts desert sand
out of their long dark hair
and wonders whether this week
she can afford to buy them sweets.

Previously published on Leaveners Poets Corner

Meanwhile on Crafty Green Poet I've reposted a poem from 2006, you can read it here.  

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Secret of Chocolate

Her first class degree
won her a contract to discover
the scientific perfection of sweetness.

Five years on, her secret formula
heavily advertised, stays
stubbornly on the shelves.

While continents are ravaged
by a disease she could
have found a cure for

and a humble chocolatier
creates daily bliss
for crowds in a small French town.

First published on this blog in 2008 and originally published in Curlew magazine

Chocolate also features in today's poem over on Crafty Green Poet. You can read it here

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Shadowy Shetland

Shadows on the ferry and port, waiting to return from Shetland

I blogged more about our holiday on Shetland over on my Crafty Green Poet blog, you can read my posts here, here, here and here.

For Shadow Shot Sunday

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Beach Hut

Warm wood smell
of the sun-bleached floor
scratched by damp sand
under my purple flip-flops.

Milky coffee from a thermos flask.

The sea glimmered
beyond the beach.

My eyes shaded
by the brim
of an oversized sun-hat,

I paddled in the sea
but never learned to swim.

Previously published on Everyday Poets and Verse Wrights.  

Meanwhile my poem Drift appears over on Crafty Green Poet - you can read it here

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Not in Our Name

There were mutterings that each day grew louder,
signs and portents that we refused to believe.
Local militia were organizing and drilling
getting ready to answer the call should it come.
Not that people thought that it would come.
They believed, as they hoped,
that something would be done to prevent war…….
As for those others who prophesied and prayed for it,
who wanted the vials of God's wrath uncorked,
they got what they wanted.
Their prayers were answered;
the land was drenched in blood.
But for the most of us
we did not.

Found poem from:A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 1861-1865: Being a Record of the Actual Experiences of the Wife of a Confederate Officer: Ed. by Myrta Lockett Avary
For Read Write Poem

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Polish for Beginners

I always thought you were Polish
with your exotic blonde beauty
so I polished my few phrases of that language.
You never know when it might be useful.

The day after I overheard you had gone

home to a country that is not Poland
I was in a bar speaking Polish
with some old drunk who said
he thought I was an angel.

originally published in Poetry Scotland and first posted on this blog ten years ago.

Meanwhile over on Crafty Green Poet, you have a 2nd chance to read my poem Windmills

Friday, April 06, 2018


you drop your keys
into silence

someone else holds hands
with your dream

your head whirls with words
your lips hold silent


Previously published in Sketchbook.  

Meanwhile I posted another poem on Crafty Green Poet, you can read it here