Well obviously I am big into blogging! Nearly three years since my last blog, I don’t like to rush things.

Poet Claudia Jessop

I love poetry books with intriguing titles, and I first came across the mysteriously titled This is the woman who when I placed an order with Cinnamon Press and asked the lovely editor there, Jan Fortune, to surprise me some books of her choice. This is the woman who was among those books and I instantly connected with it, thought it an accomplished and exciting collection. This is narrative poetry that really drew me in, I became lost in poem after poem, some with titles equally as mesmerising as the book’s title. For example Part of a Letter from Joe, in Which he Tried to Explain Things, now that is a title that simply makes you want to read more, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Claudia is a skilful and gifted poet and her poems are wonderfully layered and often very moving. Go buy the book… and while you are doing so buy Claudia’s second book Looking For, again a mysteriously titled collection of beautiful poems. There are poems in both collections that refer to love, loss and family, yet they are unique poems because they constantly surprise, they weave with both strength and vulnerability that makes me return to them again and again.

Here is a tiny snippet from the poem Looking for

Unaltered voices say

It’s all allright –

the pictures, the buses, the rain.

Like the rushes of an unmade film;

A concentration of impulses

running to colour

and blurred sound.

But nothing contains

what people whose people have gone

are looking for.

I will be a very occasional blogger but here I think is a good opportunity to promote the work of writers I admire. One such person is my good friend Donald MacArthur Ker whom I have had the pleasure of sharing a stage with at three events for The Nairn Book and Arts Festival. Donald has published a book of short stories Horses, Stones, Wrecked Cars (2004)  and a collection of poetry The Differences Between Women and Men at Funerals in Lethen Nairnshire (2009). Donald is a wordsmith he writes with a natural ability and great wisdom about life love and loss and much much more. When I read his work I feel his voice in every word, he holds his audience in the palm of his hand.


In his short story Catherine and the Colours in the Sky he writes…When Billy is more than two hours late Catherine goes up the hill to look for him. She finds him on the North side with the collie, Oakley, lying near him keeping the crows from his eyes. Billy is on the step dug by the sheep into the hillside, fallen or lain back from where he was sitting. His hands are on his chest, right over left, his fingers extended as if he is showing her where the trouble is. Or has been…


From his poetry book he writes…



Even if everything had been different:

Even if a crushed butterfly had changed

our shape and our mobility and our language for

these last few million years. Even then

whatever would have travelled down from that time to this

to become us

I would still have loved you.


And even if love itself had become something different:

Maybe a mist or a colour or a molten stone

or something that we can never know.

I would have been that difference.


And even if time itself had not been time

I would still be whatever I needed to be,

although this might exist outside anything we can ever imagine

with the minds we have (but might not have had). Even

with all this

which is beyond our comprehension

I would still be, in what we call now, all

that I ever needed to be

to love you.



Spider Room


Here we are in the spider room

where I’ve lived for so long now, and where

I shall always stay…


If you want to read the rest of this poem and I’m certain you do then please go treat yourself to a copy of the book.


Well I have one but it’s still the same old question…to blog or not to blog does anyone care!