• Where Do I Come From?

    The questions, ‘ where do you come from?’ or,  ‘what does your father do?’, are useful in prompting your writing. I wrote this today:

    I just started reading ‘Germinal ‘by Emile Zola, inspired by watching a film about artist Cezanne and Zola, who were friends. Germinal is about mining and poverty. It’s written in what Zola called a Naturalistic style, it’s very realistic! I skipped the long introduction, but expect to find out more about Zola’s life and politics as I read on.
    Coming from Blantyre, a mining village in Lanarkshire, reading this has made me remember that my dad and two grandfathers were miners, also my step-Grandad, Wattie who helped to bring me up. I had a massive input from him ; he was a communist.
    The telling of this tale has made me actually go into the mine and scrunch myself into a ball, hunkering down under the walls to chip out some coal.(Imaginatively). It’s fairly harrowing.
    So, from this,
    I wrote a poem today:

    Buried beneath the earth,
    without a breath of fresh air,
    miners coal-tapping.

    Fearing the world will fall
    on their heads… suffocating,
    miners fighting for all.

    Squatting; back-breaking work,
    no other choice for a living.
    Compressed; lung-black; stuck.

    My father and grandfathers sat there
    Enduring. Direst of dire.
    Nae wonder they were dour.

    Their only fire,
    a lamp.
    no dry places, all were damp.

    And, empty of all uplift,-
    but walking out of there,
    believing heaven waits.

    C. Cather


    Related image
    Harry Fain, Coal Loader


Born in 1958 and brought up in Blantyre in a family of seven. Moved to Glasgow in 1976 and stayed until 2012. Then I moved back to Hamilton where I had attended secondary school, for 4 years. Home is now Glasgow, again, I am a weegie through 'n through. I have two daughters, and four granddaughters who all light up my life. My experience of working with poetry, writing, reading and so on is from my childhood. One of my poems was published in a school magazine when I was 12. I am now trying to publish my first grown-up booklet of poems within the next year or so. I trained and studied to become a librarian from 1977. It was the one job I wanted since reading in Hamilton Townhouse Library in the early 1970's!I watched the staff and thought, I'd like to work here... Bibliotherapy came into my life in 2007, at Glasgow Women's Library.