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

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day twenty two

Jen loves sweet peas



There’s a home grown movie screening on our window sill

frame by frame by silent frame





Slow motion


Opening close up shot is my index finger

pressing 2 hard seeds deep into a small pot of dark compost

then filling in the dimples

with the love of an attentive mum tucking in her toddler.


Shot widens revealing seventeen pots more

a mix of black and terracotta

gathering with the expectancy of baby birds

warm in the nest


Zoom in and slow fade on my index finger

pressing 2 hard seeds deep into a…….




2 weeks later


pan of sprouting seeds

some tips like shiny youth burst towards the light

others already straggling green shoots of varying heights



4 weeks later


morning scene opens on my micro jungle of leafy green shoots

tracking shot follows me out to the garden

past deep purple swaying anemones

lantern fallen over through the night storm while we deeply slept

a pile of logs and kindling glowing in the sunrise

zoom in on my hands stripping back branches

to make a pile of small twigs





 5 weeks later


By popular demand there’s a re-run of the movie



 6 weeks later


opening wide shot of pots of greens wandering round the makeshift canes

while others stray

and  there’s a stirring in the earth of the newbies




I’m anticipating an absolute abundance of sweet peas

to plant out for you

many coloured blooms and particular delicate scent

bringing you pleasure

between May to September







Fiona Thomson


Westgate, Kent

day twenty one

I cant find my glasses

I am packing

I am chucking

I am moving

and I cant find my glasses.

Rubbish bag Oh no!

recycling eek!

Left out and cleared out

by the clearance chaps???

I cant find me glasses

I cant see

Yet I can see

the wind dancing the beautiful


that house the

music of the birds

every morning

sure don’t need glasses for that



Harriet MacDonald

The world

day twenty




I’ve got cancer.


Am I meant to feel sick?

Cos I don’t

What does it mean?

Do you want me to act weak?

Cos I won’t.

Take me in, cut me.

Cut it out. I don’t need it.

That’s better.

Is it?

Can you feel cancer?

I didn’t.

Big Scar.

War Wound.

Yeah so what!

I’m tough me.

I love my Family.


Pet dog. Guardian. Who Knew? Protector.


Cold Head.

Ok, so let’s go wig shopping,

Nah! Fuck that, I’ll wear a beanie.

They give you a wig voucher.

Do they make a Dolly wig?

I’m gonna have hair like Dolly.




Butch Barbie, 58, Liverpool.

day nineteen

Visionary Mountains


“Joan Armatrading,” she said “do you like Joan Armatrading?”

“Yeah she’s ok” I lied. I’d only heard one song, Me Myself I, which I did not like at all.

“And you always wear those trainers,” rhetorical question.

“Mmmph” I was always getting grief about the trainers.

“And a motorbike”.

Decisive pause.

“You’re a lesbian” she says, kindly but matter of fact.

My body jerks back, eyes like saucers, annoyed “I am not a fucking LESbian!”.

“That woman you’re with,” we both look across the canteen at the same person “do you

sleep with her, have sex with her?”

“Yeah” I said, all casual, like it was normal to be asked.

A year of it actually. Sex. In every little orifice all over the county. In the woods, in cars,

round the back of the pub/disco/youth club/swimming pool, in her mum’s bed in my mum’s

bed in her auntie’s caravan crazy mad rip your clothes off snog so long your face is sore sex.

“Yeah,” I repeated “but I am not a fucking LESBIAN!”.

A smile, amused, suppressed.

“Have you ever met any lesbians?”


“Come to my party” she said, “I think you’ll enjoy it”.

I did. I did.

I am!

And I found the rest of Joan.




Sarah, London

day eighteen



Winter sea swimmer

Pounding waves and cutting foam

Steaming mug of tea






Fiona Thomson



day seventeen

March: A Haiku for Andrea



Yellow spring flowers

Mark your birth and death day

Joy in the sadness.




Lel Meleyal




day sixteen

(Sound and) Vision

A vision of loveliness…the lady harpist incongruous in lurex and black lycra, feather earrings and jackboots. Blue-white flattop hair and skin that is silver in the follow spot. She could be a ballet boy from a Matthew Bourne, or a mythical bird. Her arms dance around the strings, like a sea anemone in slowmotion. Fragile silver rings on huge fingers. Those hands are so beautiful they can’t be big enough. They could reach out to fill the auditorium and pull notes from the rigging cables and handrails. They might, so gently,  stroke the hair of the patient ushers, and raise from each strand an echoing harmonic in the hush of the soft darkness ; or pluck tiny chords from the straps of the icecream seller’s tray. Out in the foyer, bar staff would watch mesmerised as her arms burst from out of the hall flowing elegantly by them and out again through the window, onto the quayside, to ripple across the tuneful cables of the footbridge. Henpartyers and Offcomers, Dogwalkers and Theatre-goers all stop, amazed by so much beauty, hardly knowing that they have begun to dance. And one by one they fall silent, waiting open-mouthed in a dream of anticipation. And still in our seats, we are on the banks with them  – we are by the Orinoco, the Severn, the Tyne holding our breath together  until finally, her hands will reach and play the river itself – one immense, vibrating, yearning note, too low to hear but only feel.

Once, I would have decided then and there to take up playing the harp.

Once, I would have asked her for her phone number.

But tonight, I can only stare, wide-eyed and grateful for the dark. Tonight I can only vibrate with the river.



Fin McMorran