celebrating and creating our own LGBTQ+ history in honour of Sheila McWattie

Archive for February, 2019

day twenty eight



Three bed terrace, back garden.

A step up from the room and kitchen

Coal fire, freezing mornings.

Playing houses under the bed and under the stairs.

Mum hanging out of the upstairs window. The ice-cream van comes. Me and the girls from across the road, sitting on the front steps, swapping scraps. They tried to steal my best ones (Angels, the blue cat with the milk bottle).

Mum made them give them back.

First Lie.

First Thieving from me.

The beech trees down the road.

My oldest brother got appendicitis.

My favourite dolls Sandra (blonde hair, blue eyes) and Millie (black hair, brown eyes)

What a Great Man Churchill was!

Golly Wog?

Setting a place for my imaginary friend.

The African Xavier brother, “Will you give me your brother for God?”

Me “ No!”

Pennies for the black babies

My middle brother telling me tales of a gang kidnapping a young boy, tying him to a cross and torturing him.

Family card games, Sunday afternoons.



Home 2

Moving up the hill.

Four bed semi-detached, wrap around garden.

Underfloor heating.

“Please, please me” on the Dancette.

President Kennedy (another Great Man?) killed.

Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali.

My Dad sick in bed.

Mum and Dad fearing the Black Panthers.


Fields of grass, as tall as me.

The bing.

New friends.

The tree house.

An igloo.

No telly (my brothers were studying).

Endless days of summer.

Gardening, Sunday afternoons.

Dad says “And what are you doing for the cause, girl?”

I hide.

Creeping down the stairs to my first adult family party,

Mum on the piano,

Dad singing songs from the auld country.

Pint in hand.

Dad died when I was ten.



Home 8

I’ve fought for many causes since, Dad.

Mum didn’t approve.

Now I climb an even steeper hill in my beloved green city

To the splendid isolation of my garret, filled with wide blue, grey, lilac skies and light.

High winds rattle the windows and howl through the tunnels of tenements.

In the distance, the Kilpatrick Hills.


Only the most intrepid make it to my door.

Sometimes, I walk, sing, dance.

Now and again, I make a foray


But long only for the Return.

Mostly, I sit and nurse my pain and wrath and occasionally take it out on the telly.

Honesty is not very fashionable.

Global Theft and Violence are par for the course, as ever.

Hate is on the march, Again.

They’re Killing Our Mother.

I’ve got an emergency bag packed in case any of us survive.

I’m still hiding.




Cathy Welsh (not much over 60) Glasgow



day twenty seven

Tidy house



Sorted suburbia

spread like neat

geometry for unrelated families

to pass each other easily

becalmed by sleeping policemen

in leafy bedroom avenues


In slinks cancer sharking still

vintage lacy curtains offers slim protection

against her looking glass skill

but beyond the fury at life hewn savage blue

a love of moments

may yet find you.





by Jane Campbell who is a 54yrs old dyke and is proud to live off grid in a handmade home in rural West Wales UK.




day twenty six

It’s not bricks
It’s not mortar
It’s not doors
It’s not walls
It’s not carpet and fittings
Or curtains and trimmings
It’s smells and it’s memories
It’s noises and whistles
It’s baps is the airing cupboard
It’s nettles and thistles
It’s home brew in the shed
And it’s mice in the corn
It’s badgers in the chicken run
And bare feet on the lawn



Cindie Johnston (age 44) East Portlemouth, Devon

day twenty five

day twenty four



“Swimming at Christmas”

other people cry

with leaves torn from trees

and ice chunks floating by?

But the splat patter

of my over exposed feet

willingly toe the frigid shallows

before I plunge legs, liver and face

below jade pale waves,

heading for shore

absolutely nothing left

except the only gift worth having

beating gloriously in my chest.




Jane Campbell

day twenty three

Roll Up! Roll Up!


The harbour arm beckons us with its chorus line of lights.

A rainbow flag unfurls from a creaky crane.

Now let the show begin!


Candy pink limo full of popping prom girls stretches round the sweeping sands.

Teenage clubbers who carry a condom enter for free

while a barman juggles sunrise sling and sheets.


In from the wings fly paragliders through a sky of shimmering light

that Turner may have stroked.

Windsurfers soar cruise and spin glimpsing whites of the wind farms’ sails.


Christians raise their voices in the heat of the sandy afternoon

and their amen harmonises with a horny saxophone

playing to the people sipping chilled wine in the square.


A seashell lady gives you the nod when a fresh batch of fish is frying

or tea is being served at the Walpole Bay Hotel

on the geranium terrace at the top of the hill.


Backstage in the old town, local artists hum.

Staining glass moulding clay

wiring wrapping wreaths bouquets.


Beyond sandcastles she’s preparing to unveil

her house of installations and oils

hoping high speed trains will draw art lovers and the curious.


Curtains now on a flood of gold and streaky pinks

arching the old hugging couple on a bench.

He whispers in Polish of her beautiful eyes “masz piękne oczy” and they let the next bus go by.






Fiona Thomson

31 March 2010



day twenty two




Solid millstone grit outlasting the composite squares,

flattened footfall on faded time.

Mason strength to haul and grind our histories

Your graft and precision aesthetic beauty,

imprinting minds of those who didn’t own the means

but fell in line to live and die in only that moment and

hollowed out harsh brutalities of being human.




Janet Jones (age 54) Halifax,