Lilac Lada

I wrote this poem 20 years ago and just came across it the other day. I hadn’t seen it in years and wondered about its place in my folio. Then I heard a socialist complaining about Keir Starmer and I realised it’s as relevant now as it was when Blair was a Labour Prime Minister, which only goes to show that the more things change the more they stay the same. At least they do in UK politics . Scotland, I’m glad to say has changed for the better. It’s titled Lilac Lada for reasons I think you’ll understand. I hope you enjoy the read.

Lilac Lada

My yuppie neighbour bought a car it only cost five grand
he thinks that it’s a bargain which I just don’t understand
he didn’t buy a silver ghost or a crimson mini metro
and as for big black cadilics he says there far too retro

He didn’t even think about a lemon
Ford Capri
A shiny red Mercedes was not his cup of tea
A sky blue BMW was voted far too Tory
It’s musical doorbells always played
A land of hope and glory

A bright pink Porsche so wasn’t his style he claimed it’s far too flash
A plain beige jeep would signify he didn’t have any class
He wasn’t quite Mondeo Man especially in Green
But my neighbours Lilac Lada

Yes he bought a lilac lada and and it does stand out a mile
it sends the world a message that he has no sense of style
but like the emporer’s birthday suit my neighbour thinks his car
is perfect for a bloke like him
he’s his party’s rising star.

He truly thinks that he’s top man and his car makes him unique
though it drives his friends to road rage and they lose their powers of speech
but he proclaims he’s made his choice to praise New Labour’s Britain
Because lilac is the colour which promotes his leader’s vision

He proudly claimed I’m Tony’s boy New Labour through and through
So I bought a lada to express my chosen point of view
you see my father’s working class he hates the bistro kids
and if you mention wine bars he’ll really flip his lid

So I believe this compromise will help to save the day
I’ll soon have dad converted and he’ll see things Tony’s way
well socialism’s in the past
It’s a dinosaurs convention
And I’m New Labour’s candidate
to fight the next election

Congratulations I replied they’ve made a first class choice
But I’ll probably vote for a party with a much more Scottish voice
the Teflon Tories aren’t my type there really rather bland
they don’t have any policies there just a one man band

Well think about the personal vote I’ll see you right he said.

though your rooms are painted Saltire blue and mine are pinkish red
I will I lied but I think you’ll lose you really must try harder
And you’ll never win any support for your cause till you ditch that lilac lada

© Gayle Smith 2001

What It Means To Be Celtic

In this poem I attempt to explain what being a Celtic supporter means to me and why it’s an important part of my identity and the role it plays in shaping the values by which I live my life. Bearing this in mind it is perhaps not surprising that I’ve given it the title What It Means To Be Celtic I hope you enjoy the read.

What It Means To Be Celtic

Ghosts from generations past protect the seats of the faithful
in days when times are hard
lions guard the entry to paradise
and a ground made sacred
by memories and dreams
immortals have walked through our gates
greats from our club and others
the earth has shuddered
as the jungle rocked in ecstasy
like the night 10 men won the league
and the day we stopped thieves
stealing dreams and legacies
this is what it means to be Celtic

the air was electric
on the beautiful Sunday
of the 6-2 game
when upstarts were put in their place
but rainy days in winter
were every bit as magical
as the optimists talked of diamonds and fountains
as the rain came down in torrents
and penalty boxes
became trenches of mud
to attack or defend
this is what it means to be Celtic

this is the place we made friends
as we anticipated kick offs
begged for referees to bring games to an end
when we held on as opponents
charged towards our goal
for one shot at glory
this is what means to be Celtic

if grounds could tell stories
our paradise could write novels books of poetry
and 90 minute plays
unrivalled since Shakespeare’s day
or that of Robert Burns
of how the mazy runs of Patsy
cheered our ancestor’s hearts
just like Jinky did
in the glory years of the first nine in a row
then we saw Brattbakk’s goal
on a Saturday to treasure
these days will last forever
long after our ghosts have seats to guard
we are who we are
who we will always remain
and over and over
we say it again
In sunshine and in rain
this is what means
to be Celtic

© Gayle Smith 2021

Leftovers

My latest poem asks a winter related question When is a solstice poem not a solstice poem? The answer of course is when it has a Christmas message about how we view society As many of you will know I sometimes select a few friends to help me title my poems if I’m struggling to come up with one or if I’m stuck between two or more choices. This time it was chosen for me by my fellow woman with fierce words Janet Crawford who suggested I should give it the title Leftovers as she said it summed up the poem for her with regards to and the rampant consumerism which is always so prevalent at this time of year. I hope you enjoy the read.

Leftovers

Winter solstice
the shortest day
darkness leaves us late
to return earlier than we would like
as blackness covers the afternoon sky
we prepare for the coming feast
jingling tills in persuit of dreams
never stopping to think of those less fortunate than ourselves
sleeping in shop doorways
without even the comfort of a stable
labelled unwanted by those in authority
even the shortest day
will be too long for some
as they succumb
to the bitter cold of winter
and the cruelty of a climate
which though harsher than most
is still kinder than those
who tramp over bodies
in the pre Christmas rush
to buy their version of the perfect world
and content themselves
by mulling over mince pies
rather than the problems
of those considered leftovers.

©Gayle Smith 2018

This picture shows the delicious bowl of soup which was my starter on a night out with friends in 2016. This is the kind of comfort food our homeless friends deserve but seldom if ever get the chance to enjoy.

Over And Done

This tongue in check poem from my back catalogue was written on the topic of those fake will they won’t they celebrity relationship break up’s which we all know are going to happen anyway but those concerned need a few more days in the spotlight before becoming chip wrappers rather than news. That said I hope my take on their issues may suggest a few innovative ways in which they and their not so famous fans can tell their now unwanted partner they’ve reached the end of the road. I’ve called it Over and Done, I hope you enjoy the read.

Over And Done

Do it on telly
do it by text
get up and leave
after mind-blowing sex
flog your love letters
do it by fax
sell kiss and tell stories
to celebrity mags
cause a commotion
by running away
or telling your partner
your glad to be gay
do it in restaurant
do it in a pub
do it when your shopping
do it in a club
do it at the airport
do it on the beach
do it by lawyer
or by press release
do it at the alter
by saying I don’t
do it by letter
or do it by phone
do it by snogging
a good looking stranger
do it by e-mail
or maybe by pager
do it with music
do it in the shower
do it with tears
do it with flowers
do it on holiday
in the Record or Sun
just get your relationship
over and done

© Gayle Smith 2003

In A Part Of South Glasgow Which Will Be Forever Ayrshire New Cumnock Proved That Its Really Got Talent

As we prepare for the June gathering of Words And Music it’s time to look back on the events of an enjoyable May Day where nobody sent distress signals and equality was taken to new heights on a night when there were to due cancellations for personal reasons, almost as many audience members as there were performers and Ayrshire voices were staging a take over both on stage and off. This however was hardly surprising as both our featured acts Rab Wilson And Francis Lopez hail from the East Ayrshire town of New Cumnock and our new co-host Jen Hughes though now resident in Glasgow is originally a Kilmarnock lass.

Talking of Jen she started the night bang on 8 o’clock and for the first time called us to order getting the night under way with two poems Umbrella Thoughts and Interpreting Dance This got us off to a cracking start and I relaxed knowing that for once the pressure was off and the night was in safe hands.

After opening the night Jen called Eileen Ellis to the stage to share her thoughts with the company. Eileen who was making a welcome return to the night, performed a set of three poems Tir Na Nog (The Fountain Of Youth, This was followed by Eileen Versus The World and she concluded her set with The Voice Of No. I loved all the poems but particularly enjoyed Tir Na Nog as made me think on my own Gaelic heritage and how I should have more of the language than I currently do.

Ellien was followed by Steve Allan who shared a story on the day his daughter learned a new word and proceeded to cause him panic by using it regularly even at nursery where it caused embarrassment to both him and her teachers. Now I know that some of you will be thinking, surely there are no words which could cause that much embarrassment in these enlightened times but when I tell you the word was Dildo you may revise your opinion. Thankfully Steve knowing what could happen informed the nursery staff of what could happen and any potential calamity was arverted. Eventually Steve had a brainwave and told Georgia he had discovered a word which was ruder than dildo. The word in question was Aberdeen and I suspect the nursery staff to mention his wife and son were very pleased to hear it.

It was Mary Wilson who was next to the stage sharing three poems The Boiler, Motherless, and Once A Sea Captain. These poems show the work of a writer with poems on a very broad range of subjects who can be relied on to give us variety in her work.

Since this was as I said in my introduction a night when we were short on readers despite a decent attendance I wasn’t surprised when Jen called me to take us to the bar break. On this ocassion I performed three poems all of which were written during this year’s annual insanity fest that is NaPoWriMo. I started with Windrush a poem on the scandalous treatment of the Caribbean immigrants who arrived in the aftermath of World Word Two. I followed this with Creature Of Habit a poem which reveals much about the character of my mother and explains the differences between us but also the values we shared and the lessons I learned from her of which the biggest was not to be so cautious. I concluded my set with Word Power a poem on the importance of language and why we must use it wisely. This was inspired when an Inuite blogger friend informed the blogosphere that Eskimo was a racial slur and this got me thinking not only on the native American population but on matters closer like the demonisation of gaelic speakers in both Scotland and Ireland and the overly aggressive tone used by some people in the British establishment to describe anyone who dares to disagree with them.

After the break it was time for our Featured Writer and this month it was the turn of the weel kent Burns scholar and National columnist Rab Wilson to give us his thoughts on all things poetic. Rab had orginally scheduled for March but which had to be cancelled due to a late visit from Frosty The Snowman and it says a lot for the character of the man that he rearranged to visit us at the earliest possible chance

Rab started his set with a poem on wine and followed it with an action packed set which flowed as naturally as the fruit of the wine itself and in the time availble he told us of a Cosmic Inventor the tale of the Big In and Sommerfield Checkout Number Two. He then related a tale of arguably the most mythical creature ever known to women. This creature though as yet undiscovered by David Attenborough is known as The West Of Scotland Romantic Male.

This was followed by A Mono Rhyming Poem On Changing Moods and the poem with what has to be my favourite title of the evening Big Billy’s Wham Bammer. After this cracking poem Rab whose weel kent advocate of the mither tongue entertained us with No Faur Fae Babel a brilliantly entertaining poem on Scots speaking Scots and our unique in built SatNav system where we map the routes to our destination by whatever means we must. Rab continued his journey through his poetry by sharing Skepctic Tank and Playing McDermid At Scrabble in which he takes a light hearted look yet thought provoking look at how to play the game against a man with a voracious vocabulary.

From McDermid Rab moved on to Burns and his poem Where Burns Has Wrote His Rhymes In Blether looked at the attitude some of those and such as those have towards our national bard. He followed this with Bulled and Radio, Radio a sonnet for the late Radio One DJ his youth and mine John Peel. Rab began to wind up a brilliant set with his penultimate poem A Knock Sabbe Complains and brought to a conclusion with Fiddlers Bid which he explained to those unfamiliar with the term that it meant you were only given an invite to a function or event because someone was unable to make it. As with all his poetry Rab let the audience engage with it and let his words do the talking. This was a set of high quality from one of the best poets in Scotland and I’m sorry that for reasons beyond the control of anyone there weren’t more people there to see him. Take it from me those who couldn’t make it missed a treat, a treat that those in attendance were privileged to enjoy.

As tradition dictates the Featured Writer was followed by the Featured Musician and as fate or in this case deliberate planning would have it Francis Lopez grew up in the same East Ayrshire town as Rab Wilson. Yes folks there is no doubt about it New Cumnock’s got talent and as if to prove it Francis delivered a storming set in his first featured slot Since we moved to the Tin Hut from Sammy Dow’s.

Now I don’t know why but something tells me this could be the first of many nights where Francis shares the bill and not just for the obvious reason that I happen to like both him and his music. You seen during Storytelling which was the first song of his set Francis ( Pictured Below) related a story on his granny Lopez he was given a surprising revelation by Jen’s auntie who informed him that they were in fact cousins.

(Picture) Our Featured Musician Francis Lopez

On hearing this Francis gave a wry smile and continued his set with Paper Shields which he followed with In Scotland. This is an updated take on the Peter Nardini song In Larkhall and challenges the notion so beloved by the chattering classes across all political spectrum that sectarianism is a thing of the past as tells some uncomfortable truths that people need to hear In his next song Last Of A Breed Francis looks back on growing up in the community that shaped him with the honest sentiment and integrity so essential when capturing a memory in time. I make no apologies for saying I love the combination of the dreamy guitar melody and the raw emotional authencity of lyrics that speak his truth. Francis continued in this vain with the beautiful yet powerful ballad When I’m Gone before concluding an excellent 20 minutes with Diamonds. This was I thought the perfect way to end an excellent set of a man whose music and company I always enjoy.

After the featured slots it was time for the final few readers to make their contribution to proceedings. The first name on the list was Jean Luc McWhirter who just happens to be the elder brother of our co-host Jen Hughes. Since Jean Luc decided he didn’t want to read his story Beast Of The Valley Jen decided that she would do it for him because in her words it was brilliant and deserved to be heard. Well she’s really good at making judgements and it goes without saying that as usual she got it bang on.

As the night drew towards its conclusion Jen stayed on the stage to deliver her final poem of the night which was her take on the Burns classic To A Mouse titled Tae A Farmer written from the point of a mouse from one of Ayrshire’s most honest lassies.

As Jen went back to her seat I concluded the night with the final two poems of the night. I started with Fairytale in which I related a tale which proves beyond all doubt that the truth is stranger than fiction. The story tells of my attendance at a wedding fair to support my friend Katie’s photography business KK Snaps, and how me winning the star prize of an all day wedding photography package lead to a fairytale for a lovely bride to be. After such a heartwarming poem it was I thought only fitting that on May Day I should end the night with a poem which illustrated my socialist credentials. I nailed my internationalism to the mast by reading a poem entitled Them which shows my contempt for those who attempt to blame immigration for all that’s wrong with our country. This poem was inspired by my friend and fellow poet Jim Monaghan after a Facebook chat one Sunday night and since Jim was in the audience supporting our two featured acts both of whom happen to be long standing friends of his I thought it would be an appropriate way to end an enjoyable evening.

As Jen and I brought the night to a close I reflected that though the attendance had been hit by late call offs and the number of those sharing their work was a wee bit on the small side the quality of performers was much more important than quantity and in a part of south Glasgow which will be forever Ayrshire New Cumnock proved that its really got talent.

Till next time

Gayle X

There Isn’t Such A Thing As British Football So A British World Cup Can Never Happen ( A Message From A Celtic Fan To Those On Planet Ruth)

It was with a mixture of anger and mockery that I saw on social media what has to be one of Ruth Davidson’s most ludicrous statements since her election to the leadership of the North British Colonial Branch of The Conservative And Unionist Party in the winter of 2011.

To leave me in such a state of shock takes a fair degree of doing but when such a high profile member of the Scottish unionist chattering classes is quoted in The Daily Express which is by far the most rabid of all right wing unionist newspapers as saying a British Bid for The World Cup would create a sense of national unity that could save the union then she has admitted for the first time the union she values above all else is in real trouble. Of course whether she realises her mistake or would even admit to making one is another matter entirely but she should be in no doubt she has just handed a very serious propaganda to both the Scottish National Party and the broader yes movement for independence.

To say this statement took my breath away would I think it’s fair to say a massive understatement as Davidson whose popularity seems to have passed its peak and entered in to a slow but steady decline, is usually so sure footed in making statements to the media. This comes no doubt from her years working in journalism before her foray in to politics but this statement shows to me at least the first signs that Ms Davidson may at last be beginning to panic.

As a football fan myself of a history making team rather than a history chasing one. We have just completed a double treble winning all domestic trophies in Scotland for a second successive year, I find Ruth’s comments both baffling and insulting. They are baffling in that they show her ignorance of football and insulting by the way she suggests in that condescending tone that all Tories do when referring to our country that ‘Scotland could even host a game’ Nothing like a good old imperial put down to put the colonials in their place eh Ruth.

This to me shows desperation from someone who has considerably more ego than she does talent or intellect demonstrating an interesting combination of Trump like ignorance and Thatcher style arrogance on the beautiful game. However Ruth by making this ridiculous statement has exposed the one weakness in the unionist argument which better together stratagists managed to avoid ever admitting in the 2014 referendum and that for the avoidance of doubt was to somehow deny the fact that what her Westminster masters refer to as their precious union is not only in trouble but that it’s in very serious trouble.

When a Tory who is totally and completely clueless on Scotland’s national sport decides to weaponise football , a sport they generally know nothing about, you know there getting pretty desperate, but if you are going to take this highly risky road you should at least have a basic grounding on what the hell you are actually talking about. This however is Ruth Davidson a woman possessed of such pomposity and arrogance that the notion of having to know what she’s talking about seems to have completely passed her by.

This however has not gone unnoticed by this tartan army girl and I tackle Ruth Davidson simply by stating the facts. Which are that football does not quite fit with the picture of the mythical Britain she and her party are trying to create .

Ms Davidson tried to mask her awkwardness on what is clearly an unfamiliar topic to her by claiming that nothing unites people more than sport. As she attempted to hide her lack of knowledge on the subject she talked about the unity the Olympic Games brought to the United Kingdom as we all shared pride in our Britishness. Personally I think this is a lot of tosh as I never felt any pride in being British during this period and only thing I did notice was the deliberate and provocative use of union flags on our produce which has continued relentlessly ever since.

What Ms Davidson fails to realise is that whilst the International Olympic Association recognises the UK as one sovereign nation, FIFA football’s global governing body does not share this opinion and recognises all four home nations as independent national associations. To them there is no such thing as British Football and whilst this may make British unionist types incandescent with rage I have to say it suits this Celtic fan just fine. It is this point which would in my view make a combined British World Cup bid impossible to achieve despite her fantasy telling her otherwise.

To be fair to Ms Davidson apart from rugby union in which she appears to have a genuine interest I don’t think sport is her natural territory and when something isn’t natural you tend to be uncomfortable on the subject. It is my opinion that this whole sorry episode has shown unionism at its most embarrassing and cringeworthy. More importantly that however is that for the first time ever it has also shown it at it’s more vulnerable and possibly even desperate as this to all intents and purposes sounds like a begging letter to FIFA to help them save their precious union. Not only has it about as much chance of success as I have of being the new Kylie Minogue it has handed those of who campaigned for a yes vote in the 2014 referendum a gift of a propaganda weapon and make no mistake we intend to make full use of it as often as humanly possible.

You see when there is no such thing as British football then a British World Cup can never happen and the sooner those on planet Ruth get their heads round that fact the better it will be for us all.

Till next time

Gayle X

Valentine’s Blessing 

As this is St Valentine’s Day I thought I would write a poem not only to celebrate the day but also to commemorate his connection with our dear green city. Yes that’s right St Valentine has a link to our city and his heart is actually located in the Gorbals area on the south side of the place I call home. My thanks go to Angie Strachan and Evelyn Bell for potential title suggestions and Katharine MacFarlane for her inspiration and much valued support with the final edit.  I have given it the title Valentine’s Blessing and I hope you enjoy the read. 

Valentine’s Blessing

Remains are scattered like ashes 

on a coffin which makes its journey to glory 

the story of Valentine is like that of others 

 more complex than our understanding comprehends 

yet part  of him rests in our city 

while other bits lie in Malta, The Czech Republic, and France 

but it’s Glasgow the dear green  place 

which has the heart of a man whose name we honour 

every 14th of February 

as we buy our loved ones chocolates, cards, flowers ,

or other expensive gifts

this must be planned in advance

rather than bought in a last minute panic 

in a city of football fanatics 

where macho attitudes are the baggage of Scotland’s industrial past 

a part of the patron saint of lovers sleeps 

to the south of the clyde 

and the river which sees drunken dancers 

and starcrossed lovers bridging divides 

with midnight kisses 

knows of Valentine’s blessing 

and a prayer which comes from the heart 

which rests in peace 

© Gayle Smith 2018

Golden Age 

I write this poem on the topic of hate crimes which have seen a dramatic rise since the UK voted to leave the European Union after being sold what I believe was the political version of magic beans in the form of a vision of a British Golden Age where Westminster would take back control of their country. This of course is a complete and total fantasy but conned by a very euro sceptic and xenophobic press and media they bought in to this idea of Brexit and a general distrust of foreigners. I’ve given it the title Golden Age I hope you enjoy the read .
Golden Age

Boots the uniform of the heavy handed 

are regulation wear for little boys in adult bodies 

those with attitudes and anger management issues 

against anyone they see as different

or in other words not like them 

the colonial types who live in a world far removed from reality 

where disability and sexuality were never discussed 

and those of a different race knew their place 

in a land where men were men 

 women were women 

and nobody ever complained 

where every family had roast dinners on Sunday 

and watched a John Wayne movie

where the indians were the bad guys 

but sometimes history tells us lies 

facts according to some are known to be the mythology of others

as the world moved on we discovered

the indians as Hollywood called them 

were actually the real native Americans 

who  ruled their lands peacefully 

before Europeans ever knew they existed

some people would say that this traditional view of life 

with the male breadwinner and stay at home wife 

was what made Britain great 

they want to take us back to this golden age 

a simple time when it was legal to hate without question 

where suppression of self was normal

but at least they had formal rules to follow 

which shaped their socially conservative views 

taught them to mind their P’s and Q’s 

whilst leaving their betters 

to make the rules they never kept themselves 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

The Flying Winger

As this is Friday the 13th I thought I would share this newly written poem in memory of my late uncle Arthur Smith who was born on Friday 13th October 1929  Arthur was my dad’s youngest brother and his story though challenging and the kind of tale that many families would sweep under the nearest available carpet deserves to be told as a mark of respect to a good man whose life was blighted by the choices he made and the circumstances that shaped them. Due to the stories of his footballing skills I’ve given it the title The Flying Winger. I hope as he rests  enjoys the peace he never had in life. 

The Flying Winger 

Forgotton by an uncaring society 

which neglected those with issues

it was harder in your day 

some will say you brought problems on yourself 

you always had troubles with health 

the youngest son in the family 

you were named after your dad

the most talented footballer of the brothers

my dad always said you would have been discovered 

if only the flying winger had been 

more of a team player 

 you had the flair

but were far too greedy on the ball 

you were the boy who wanted it all

and could have had it 

when the chance came to take that job in England 

you should have grabbed it 

but you chose to stay to provide for the family 

as with brothers and sisters all married

you wanted to help your mammy

as your dad had been lost to cancer 

it was her death that broke you 

unable to cope you left a well paid job 

the calling off of your engagement

was a bitter blow which proved too hard to handle 

you turned to alcohol for comfort 

but your friend became your master

and would eventually leave you with only one kidney 

and living rough on the streets

you died in the great eastern hotel

a place where our city kept its lost sons

the ones that some would call scum 

but you were never that 

you were a kind man who made choices 

you believed to be right at the time 

you are part of me and your story deserves to be told 

I wish I had known you better 

maybe been able to help in some small way 

on the day of your funeral 

only my dad and my aunt Betty

said their goodbyes to their brother

and comforted by each other 

shed a tear for the flying winger. 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

The Chance To Be Me 

I wrote this poem yesterday for National Coming Out Day to give my view as to why a day I wish didn’t need to exist is still actually necessary.  This is day for taking steps and having that conversation you know the one you’ve wanted to have with a college. friend or family member but never quite got round to or maybe it’s about them saying to you it’s okay I’m on your side and dont worry everything’s going to be fine. After a lot of consideration I have decided to title this poem The Chance To Be Me as that is what coming out gives to so many people the chance to tell the world this is who I am . I hope you enjoy the read.

The Chance To Be Me 

On national coming out day 

no doubt some people will say 

why does it matter 

well let me explain 

coming out matters so that no one will ever need to be ashamed

of who they are or who they are attracted to 

but it’s political correctness gone mad 

or so we’re told by those who claim 

being LGBT is a lifestyle choice 

when we try to voice our concerns 

at this myth 

we are told to sit down , stay silent 

think ourselves lucky we are tolerated

we should be grateful for this 

but kissing our partners in public 

that’s not on nor will it ever be 

tabloid press and TV decide the way society is mirrored 

yet for so long we were only bit parts in the stories narrated through soaps and plays 

those days are the days some people yearn for 

ignoring the fact that many a secret was hidden behind the net curtains 

people were hurting unable to be who they were

ask yourself is that the kind of country you want to live in 

where people are labelled and suppressed

because of who they love.

or that some of us dress diffently 

from what’s considered normal

by those with the biggest stake in society 

who preach sobriety whilst living alternate realities

they have the wealth and means to disguise 

coming out matters because it puts an end 

to lying  just for the sake of others

it’s about discovering yourself 

and having the right to be who you really are. 

coming out means I can go to church

or walk in to that bar as the woman I am 

there is no longer a need to pretend

to be someone I’m not or never will be 

I am still the same person you’ve always known

 I still write poetry and hate snobbery and inequality in all forms 

do not be afraid to talk to me 

or ask any questions you feel you must 

trust me to be honest in my answers 

know that I will speak my truth and own it 

coming out as trans was the best thing I have ever done 

it was the moment I stopped running away from myself 

and admitted who I was, am, and ever shall be 

It gave me the chance to be me 

and that’s why on this day and every day 

coming out matters and it matters more than you think

© Gayle Smith 2017