Maureen Cullen poetry on Amaryllis Poetry blog

 

My dear friend, poet and short story writer, Maureen Cullen has another of her poems – Strawberry Tarts and Swan Vestas – published today, this time on the Amaryllis Poetry website.

Maureen is a Scot, so there’s a smattering of Scots dialect words. If you’re a sassenach like me, you may not understand all of the words but you’ll get the gist. And truly, her voice is one of the many joys of her work.

Just sit back, read and let her imagery take you away to Clydeside to smell the pipe smoke and taste those strawberries.

 

 

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Maureen Cullen : Poetry publication

Image result for dumbarton

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/s/Dumbarton–United-Kingdom


 

It’s lovely to share my own successes with you but just as lovely to share the successes of writer friends.

I’ve posted Maureen Cullen’s work on here before and for those of you who read any of these posts (Home Sweet Home, The Children’s Panel, Leaving Annalise, Primers Volume One) it will come as no surprise that Maureen has been published again, this time on the Ink, Sweat & Tears site.

Maureen’s poetry often takes the everyday, the grit and grist of life and pulls beautiful threads from it, spinning something that reflects and accentuates reality, making the mundane special. She’s a truly talented person.

Do pop along and read her wonderful work  – Alcluith – on the site or visit Ink, Sweat & Tears’ Facebook page.

 

 

Home Sweet Home

 

I seem to pass them in every shop doorway.

The bedding is the give away –  rumpled duvets, sleeping bags – layers of stained cardboard to serve as a mattress. Sometimes there are a few possessions – an insulated mug to keep a cup of tea warm against the chill; a thumbed paperback; a bag of pastries from the bakers left by a kindhearted passerby.

The person themselves often goes unseen, nested in their makeshift home. But they’re there, on the edge of society, often on the brink of survival, braving weather, discomfort, abuse and all too often violence. They cope with all this and the reasons that brought them there in the first place, the things that keep them there – mental health issues, substance abuse, job losses, relationship breakdowns.

I won’t get into the politics of it, the government policies that in my view have put more pressure on the poorest in the UK, leading many to lose their homes. I do know that where I live in Bristol, our homeless rate is twice the national average.

Stories for Homes Volume 2 is an anthology trying to help.

As it says on their Amazon page,

Stories for Homes is a collection of witty, poignant, funny and heartbreaking short stories by fifty five authors, both established and emerging, reflecting the connection between the immediacy of housing crisis and the stories people tell about their lives around and within it

I haven’t bought my copy yet, but my dear friend, Maureen Cullen (whose wonderful work I’ve featured on Word Shamble before, here, here and here) has a short story in the collection and her writing is exceptional, so I know the tales will be of the highest quality.

All proceeds will be donated to homeless charity, Shelter.

And for those of you in the UK, there are various events linked to the book between now and the New Year if you’d like to go along.

If you feel able to buy a copy or support the project in any way, that would be wonderful.

 

 

 

 

Poetry Tuesdays: The Children’s Panel

Little girl in a garden

Image : Pixabay

 

Greetings and welcome to Poetry Tuesdays. Don’t worry, I won’t impose my own deformed haikus or mangled iambic pentameter on you. I’m going to hand you over to a guest who’s much more experienced and eloquent than myself.

Her name is Maureen Cullen, she’s a fine poet and an old writing group pal of mine. Last week and this, I’ve featured Maureen’s poetry on the run up to a reading taking place soon – details below.

One small note: Maureen’s beautiful words are written in Scots dialect and there may be some you’re unfamiliar with. My advice is go with it – it’s gorgeous, lyrical stuff and you’ll get the gist, never fear.

Now, here’s Maureen.

These are two poems from work in progress about my protagonist, Maisie, who is a child in foster care who is subsequently adopted and then, as a young adult becomes interested in her roots. The poems follow her as she grows. 16 other poems from the collection have recently been published as part of Primers, Volume One, a collaboration between The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press, featuring myself and three other poets, Geraldine Clarkson, Katie Griffiths and Lucy Ingrams. We will be reading from the book at The Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford on 11th July . If you are in the area we would love to see you.

The book can be purchased at:http://ninearchespress.com/shop.html#!/Poetry-Books/c/8486213/offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc


 

 

The

            Children’s

                                    Panel

 

hunker ower

ma papers,

two baldy heids an wan

 

wi loops

like her curlers ur still in.

 

The mockit auld men

whisper tae Her,

the Lady Chair

 

whose pointy pink ears

twitch

tae the scratch

o her claws on the table.

 

Ah count tae ten,

an back again,

get tae three, afore the

phud

 

o Chair Lady’s

full stop.

Poetry Tuesday: Leaving Annalise

Little girl in a garden

Image : Pixabay

Greetings and welcome to Poetry Tuesdays. Don’t worry, I won’t impose my own deformed haikus or mangled iambic pentameter on you. I’m going to hand you over to a guest who’s much more experienced and eloquent than myself.

Her name is Maureen Cullen, she’s a fine poet and an old writing group pal of mine. This week and next, I’ll be featuring Maureen’s poetry on the run up to a reading taking place soon – details below.

One small note: Maureen’s beautiful words are written in Scots dialect and there may be some you’re unfamiliar with. My advice is go with it – it’s gorgeous, lyrical stuff and you’ll get the gist, never fear.

Now, here’s Maureen.

These are two poems from work in progress about my protagonist, Maisie, who is a child in foster care who is subsequently adopted and then, as a young adult becomes interested in her roots. The poems follow her as she grows. 16 other poems from the collection have recently been published as part of Primers, Volume One, a collaboration between The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press, featuring myself and three other poets, Geraldine Clarkson, Katie Griffiths and Lucy Ingrams. We will be reading from the book at The Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford on 11th July . If you are in the area we would love to see you.

The book can be purchased at:http://ninearchespress.com/shop.html#!/Poetry-Books/c/8486213/offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc


 

Leaving Annalise

The day ah’ve no tae greet or stomp

or squeal or huff

or pull at Sammy’s tail.

Mammy Annalise says we must be mice,

so we whisper, point, tiptoe an zip-it.

Ah hope firever’s jist a wee short while

cause ah’ll miss ma pals

an Missus Gordon

an even Sammy. Who’ll braid ma plaits,

make ma tum a bowl o cream,

tuck ma mittens in ma pocket?

Who’ll smell like wine gums aw day long,

an sing ma sums fir me tae learn? Whit aboot

ma snuggle place on Mammy’s knee?

Who’ll change ma sheet when it gets soaked?

Who’ll sprinkle talc on ma sore bum?