Poem of the month


December 2013: a new poem: The Da.

A homage to New Men and their daughters.


November 2013: today, Members of the Scottish Parliament on the equal opportunities committee voted to endorse the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill that will allow same sex marriage in Scotland.

To mark this further point on the journey to legal marriage for all, I offer wedding, a poem written some years ago when the idea of gay marriage was less fashionable and any ceremonies were not legal and generally hidden.

The poem features in my 2010 collection Good Morning.



May 2013: I am off to Ireland at the end of the month. I will dook in Donegal Bay and walk in the Leitrim and Sligo hills.

When I visit Yeats’s grave, under the great shadow of Ben Bulben, I will be thinking about this poem. The Song of Wandering Aengus is beautiful, a celebration of hope and yearning and loss and love.


April 2013: this wee blackbird was having such a hard, cold time, till one day … the sun popped out


March 2013: this might seem strange, but I am offering a February poem for March. February on the Moss aims to capture the isolation you can find in places like Flanders Moss.

Flanders Moss is a place of real beauty, a “vast expanse of all things damp and wonderful.” (NNR site)

Feb on the Moss photo of wall poemFebruary on the Moss is seen in the photo on the wall of Kate Sankey’s multi-functional venue and Craft Centre at West Moss-Side, near Thornhill, Stirling.

Have a look there at the wonderful creative opportunities, accommodation in her Trossachs Yurts and to buy her excellent organic beef.


February 2013: a departure this month. Follow the link to the Red Ensemble video of their interpretation of my poem Right. The ensemble used a recording of my recitation of the poem and Palestinian poet Ghazi Hussein’s recording of his Arabic translation as part of their improvisation. The piece was recorded at Glasgow City Halls.

The accompanying film features dancer Joan Beattie of the Vito Dance Theatre.

Right was originally published in “Chapman” and is in my collection “Good Morning“.


January 2013: the start of a new year and hopefully more joy for our country. Katrina Shepherd’s haiku series celebrates the success of Andy Murray and his visit back home to Dunblane. Haiku for Andy Murray

With a love of the living beauty of the natural world, Katrina is often inspired by people and nature.  Her haiku are published in Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.  Some have been given awards.

Katrina’s poem In the stillness is now a Christmas carol with music composed by Sally Beamish.


November 2012: the month of the Holy Souls. We remember our loved ones who died. I think that this might be the only poem ever written to mention the Rhinsdale Tavern in Baillieston. Am I to be an Orphan?

October 2012: a beautiful late burst of good weather means we go to the hills. Most of us come back. Dead on the Hill

April – May 2012: a thought about Spring. Could have been the Waste Land, but the theme is the same -life and death are part of the same. So not TS Eliot, but Gerard Manley Hopkins and his beautiful Spring and Fall

March 2012: Saint Patrick’s Day coming up and Irish people and those of Irish descent celebrate what binds us. Whatever it is. Faith of Our Fathers

February 2012: the ongoing cold edging towards the hope of srping. Wee plants poking their heads up. We feed the birds and wait for more.  the song of the curlew and other essence poems

December 2011 – January 2012: the dark midwinter, when we all snuggle down. At some point, many of us begin to think of how we will stop slobbing about and get ready for spring.  This is what might be ahead for you! Marathon

November 2011: the month of all souls, those who have passed on. We remember them, pray for them and share our stories this month. Glimmer

October 2011: after a haitus in September, I am offering a poem on the wonderful spit of land that juts into the Moray Firth. From here you can very nearly touch dolphins and seals and cormorants. And have your ears blown off! Chanonry Point

August 2011: the north east of Scotland is on the edge of the great northern seas. This poem tries to capture the beauty and mystery of the place; eternal yet passing. Washed ashore

July 2011: a poem for the Scottish summer of inveitable wetness.  rain