Tag Archive | Halloween

Kindred Spirits

On Halloween I post a seasonal poem to celebrate this important day and the beginning of the Celtic winter. Bearing in mind the ghostly goings on that this night will hold I’ve given it the title Kindred Spirits. I hope you enjoy the read. 

Kindred Spirits. 


 the last day before the Celtic winter starts 

the time when  spirits walk among us 

on the evening of the day of the dead 

this is why we use disguises 

in the shape of masks and costumes 

to keep ourselves hidden from those 

who would do us harm

only those who guard us will know the real truth of our story 

they keep us safe as children when we go round the doors guising

on in later years 

when as adults we party with friends in  city centre bars

all they ask from us is 

that we hold them in our hearts

thoughout the coming year 

and get ready to celebrate the gatherings winter will bring 

remembering the coldest of seasons 

 is a time when the warmest of hearts join with loved ones 

to cherish memories made by kindred spirits

in stories songs and friendship

© Gayle Smith 2017


A Penny For The Guy

Hey everyone Of all my Halloween poems, this one , written in 2009 is my personal favourite. Based on real life events of that Halloween involving four teenage girls and a homeless man. I hope it’s a poem which shows my Glasgow at its best, illustrating the warmth and humanity of a younger generation who in my opinion are often  maligned by those who should know better. You know, i sometimes think of those of young girls and i hope they have done well and went on to or even graduated from university and i hope the homeless man is not only still alive but has a home or at least a place he can call home and isn’t a victim of the post Thatcher free  market consensus. I have titled the poem A Penny For The Guy, i hope you find a thought provoking but heartwarming read.

A Penny For The Guy

As fireworks light up the sky creating a rainbow of colour
I see a homeless man as i walk on my road to the shops
the world never stops to allow people
time to consider their thoughts and actions
recklessly taken without thinking
continuing my journey I see under 16’s
smoking, drinking,  laughing, having a good time
I don’t judge it’s not my place
one of the girls compliments my dress
I’m all dolled up, going to see a play
which  even in these enlightened days
will challenge myths and preconceptions
I tell her this, she seems interested
her friends gather round listening to my words
I refuse to patronise them
with pep talks on the birds and the bees
On this all hallows eve, one asks if i’m going out for Halloween
I say i’ll be clubbing later, but my costume’s in the bag
I’m going as a hooker, a working girl
call it what you like a prostitute is a prostitute in any language
I sweep nothing under the carpet it’s not who i am
in this life i say to them you have to be yourself
No matter the opinions of others
workmates, neighbours, brothers.
you were given this chance for a reason
to do the best you can and be the best can be
when  I tell them i’m transsexual
they smile, high five me, hug me
make no attempt to mug me
tell me to embrace my dream
enjoy being a woman
live my life with dignity and style
give me one last smile as they wished me well
at this, i disappeared in to the night
and they went back to the dancing
searching for potential potential Prince Charming’s
hoping not to find something from a horror movie
and believe me there were plenty of horrors to be seen
in the city centre
as i ventured towards my destination
I saw the homeless man
I had seen at the start of my journey
so i stopped and spared a penny for the guy

@  Gayle Smith 2009

Amber Time

Hey everyone This post is a poem i wrote in 2007 on the topic of  Halloween .  It’s really amazing what  you find when you look through your back catalogue. I’t’s titled Amber Time I hope you find a scary but enjoyable read


Amber Time

Images in an amber flame

pumpkins illuminate the dark

ghosts, ghouls, ans witches

haunt the night streets

children go round neighbours

as doors are opened they shout

what i can get for my halloween


In pubs parties are organised

for regulars or groups

in nightclubs th patrons dance

in fancy dress

a mixture of the weird and the wonderful

the angel and the devil

both dwell within us

our souls are balanced

shades blend

between the green of peace, light , and harmony

and the red of anger, passion, and distress.


But this is amber time

when duality combines all our parts

this night of the dead

brings us to a place

where our hearts ask where am i going now?

in which direction will my journey lead?

will I be treated at first

only to be ticked later on

maybe I’ll be tricked

then treated

only the stars will know

as they alone  see both the angel and devil

within us


@ Gayle Smith 2007

From Plain Girl To Working Woman I’m A Mistress Of Disguises. (The Story Of My Halloween Memories)

Hey everyone. Tonight is halloween night. Halloween or to give it it’s church name All Hallows Eve is also known as the day of the dead. Some say it is the last day of the Celtic year and heralds in the start of winter. Traditionally this is the night when the spirits of ghosts past are said to walk amongst our number. During this festival it is good not only to commemorate the passing of the year but to celebrate the harvest and prepare for the future, it is also a time of parties for both children and adults and there will be some very strange sightings in Scotland tonight.

However on this particular halloween night, rather than reporting on the strange and ghoulish sightings in and around Glasgow for that matter the village I wander take you on a walk down the memory lane as we wander back in time through my adventures on previous all hallows eves. Yes the ghosts of Halloween’s past can take you
on some very strange journeys if you let them, so let’s let them take us to some mysterious places as you learn how I became a mistress of disguise.

When I was growing up Halloween used to be my favourite day of the year. In the calvinist protestant Scotland of the 1970’s it was the only night of the year when I could openly dress the way I wanted and be the girl I wanted to be. I used to love raiding my mother’s wardrobe and finding a suitable outfit which would as if by magic turn me in to a princess for the night.

My mother knew but could never admit I wanted to be a girl but on halloween night she would make a special effort to pamper me curling my hair and giving a complete makeover. It was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. Even as a youngster I knew who I was and I think my mum knew as well.

As I reached my teens there was halloween disco’s to attend though I never did win any prizes they were given to those with the best costumes not just a plain girl as I always was but then I was never after the prizes just the chance to be myself was in opinion the biggest prize of all.

My favourite Halloween memories have all come as an adult. Well ok, in my case a so-called adult may be a more honest description. Now I had the chance to be far more adventurous with my costume choices and over the years I’ve graduated from a schoolgirl when I was young enough to get away with it. Little Red Riding Hood, a bridesmaid, I was definitely pretty in pink a bride yes it was a white wedding dress, I think I’d have to wear cream now. I have also been a nurse, a french maid, an office girl, a she devil, and on far more occasions than is good for me a working women. I have to admit that I have enjoyed each and every one of my roles for very different reasons. I must admit however that the working women has been my most successful choice of all.

The reason for this is I think is a simple one. The costume of a daring coloured top red is always my choice of colour a mini skirt and fishnet tights or stockings can be found in many a woman’s wardrobe or if not can be assembled for less than the £12-15.00 which is the starting price for many costumes in the shops and you don’t need to buy any props just overdo the make up really badly and your good to go.

The first time I tried this particular costume at Halloween 2009 I was if you’ll excuse the pun totally hooked. I don’t know why but wearing this outfit made me feel strangely empowered. The choice was made because I thought it would be a better than spending money on a costume which I might not get much wear from and I knew everyone else at this gathering which was a friend’s birthday party would all be trying to see who would have the best costume so Glasgow city centre was going to get an eyeful. The first stop was a city centre bar and then on we went on one of the city’s best nightspots.

On arrival at the club, as I chatted to the girls I was with, I was surprised and delighted bear in mind I was 48 at the time to be asked up to dance by a rather good looking young man who was young enough to be my son. However I take the Joan Collins approach to younger men if they ask you to dance you don’t say no you just get up and seize the moment. Needless to say I enjoyed the attention and danced seven dances with him before taking leave of my senses and rejoining the rest of the girls.

After a short break I was up dancing with both male and female dancing partners. Like Cinderella I was having a ball well was my first halloween living as the women I had always known myself to be and that night proved the truth of one fact my girl friends had always told me. Yes girls you know what I’m saying some guys really will chase anything in a skirt and believe me when I say trans women are included, even those trans women old enough to be there mother.

I suppose it kinda goes without saying that due to my success that night, the working woman outfit has now become my statement costume and yes I’ve still got the basics in my wardrobe should they be required. Well I learned that night that a bit of leg can get you some serious attention and girls just wanna have fun was an anthem for my generation and it’s an anthem I live up to as often as I get the chance.

So as we approach the witching hour of midnight and the ghosts of our past get ready to walk amongst us once again I hope you have enjoyed my walk down memory lane as much as I have enjoyed being your guide. I have seen a lot of wonderful creatures on our streets in halloween’s past and I myself have always enjoyed halloween. You could say I’m a lass of many parts I have played a lot of them in my time. Yes from plain girl to working women I’m a mistress of disguises or at least that’s the story of my halloween memories. Now, at least on a personal level halloween isn’t quite as significant as it once was. It doesn’t have to be. Well there was a time when it was the only day I could really be myself. Not anymore now I’m a woman every day of the year and I wouldn’t change the fact for all the gold on earth.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

You Can’t Disguise The Language Of A Celtic Celebration As Scotland’s Clans Go Guising And Wont Be Tricked Or Treated

Hey everyone I am delighted to report that nobody came to my house trick or treating on Thursday. Now before you think I’ve turned in to a right wee frosty knickers, I think I better explain that I am actually a very welcoming woman, and had they turned up no guisers would have been turned away.

Note however I said guisers not trick or treaters. I think it is important to make a distinction between the two before yet another part of our cultural history is ripped off by americanisation. I say this because this is Scotland and we don’t do trick or treating our children go guising.

The clue to the difference lies in the names and the hidden meanings implied by them. Guising comes from the traditional Celtic festival of Sanheim and all hallows eve to give the night it’s more pretentious Oxbridge sounding is the night when the spirits of the dead walk among us and it was believed that they could take your soul back with them if weren’t disguised as one of them. This is why you’ll see ghosts, ghouls gremlins witches or warlocks walking our streets on this particular evening.
Of course you can use other disguises and many of us do when we attend parties and gatherings to celebrate the start of our winter.

Contrast the history behind this idea when compared to trick or treating. This phrase comes from the USA and to be fair it suits America and it’s pursuit of ruthless individualism and the American Dream. However this is Scotland and it this idea hidden behind this more aggressive language is if your nice to me I’ll treat you but if your not I’ll trick you actually sounds wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start and you know what, I actually find it offensive. It’s almost like the idea that the petulant child gets wants what they want to shut them up rather being taught to enjoy themselves and have fun. It is in many like legalising the child’s right to commit mugging and encourages the idea that silence can be bought for a price. No wonder the ultra Conservative British Establishment encouraged their media to embrace it so readily.

The trick or treat idea also gives those who are less intellectually and culturally aware than the rest of us the somewhat ludicrous idea that Halloween is an American festival. As I said recently to someone of this ilk that may be true of trick or treat nonsense but halloween was celebrated for centuries before America existed.

I have to say the person concerned seemed confused at this idea and made an attempt to defend their position by saying oh but the Americans make a bigger deal of it than we do and that was what they liked about America they know to how celebrate something. My reply to what could best be described as an inane comment was that when you compare the population of Scotland 5.3 Million to the USA 270 Million then America can claim they make a bigger deal about everything. As for her claim that America knows how to celebrate, this is something I don’t dispute for a moment. Whether they have the faintest idea about what they are celebrating is another matter entirely but I don’t think they’ll be too bothered about that. However when it comes to halloween, good though his family may be at throwing a party Uncle Sam won’t trick or treat by disguising the language of a Celtic

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

The Night A Real Boy Made Me Blush Meant So Much More Than Posters

Hey everyone. Yesterday we celebrated halloween. I just thought I’d share my favourite memory of it. This is a memory which still makes me blush even now and can be said to have had a lasting influence on my life.

I will set the scene by telling you it was 1975 and I had just come from a halloween night out and what happens, my big brother comes in with one of his friends whilst I’m sitting in the living room wearing my mum’s navy blue kimono dress with matching tights and shoes and the kind of baby pink lipstick and nail polish I haven’t seen since in years.

However what makes this so memorable was the fact it wasn’t just any boy who came to the house it was my brother’s best looking friend who was shall we say a bit on the fit side and eventually played a wee bit of football at a reasonably decent standard.

Now, he may not have been quite up to the standard of Donny Osmond but that didn’t seem to matter to me on that particular night. This was the stuff of dreams for a 14 year old transgirl who had to keep her identity secret.

To say that I blushed would I think putting it politely I don’t know why or if I do I’m keeping it quiet but honestly I discovered what it was like to go weak at the knees for the first time and on that cold, wet and windy night he fired the flames of a passion for sensitive, intelligent, good looking guys.
It was a passion I was never to lose and it still burns in my heart to this day.

It is safe to say that this was the boy I wanted to see me like this more than any other. The boy who proved that real boys could be as hot as those unattainable superstars who were the centrefolds of teenage dreams.

So the halloween of 1975 confirmed what I had secretly suspected for a wee while. I was developing an interest in real boys you know the ones from the scheme or across the street. This meant it was time for Donny to move over just a wee bit. From that night he was no longer the centre of my world the way he once had been.

You see on that rain soaked night I discovered there was a new boy in my life and my thoughts turned from those of an angel to those of a devil and my demons would come out to play every time I saw his smile.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Waterproofs Woolies And Wellies Are Really Not My Style Because In My Winter Wonderland This Girl Turns On The Style

Hey everyone. With the conference season over and the clocks going back by an hour this weekend we are it seems being given a reminder that winter is or soon will be well on it’s way.

Now, it has to be said, winter provides me with my own unique set of issues. My balance has never been great so it is fair to say that I have never been a fan of the snow and am even less a fan of slush. Let’s just say it is the kind of weather I am describing and we will no doubt soon be getting which more than amply illustrates why I was never any good at skating or ballet. So why am I feeling a distinctly warm glow and looking forward to my favourite time of year.

Well you see, to me it’s like this winter time is party time and I have so many social events to attend that I quite often meet myself coming back and this year is no exception.

Starting with Halloween, this is the time when I seriously need to get busy. Whether it be poetry, politics, music or comedy, there will be plenty of places to go between now and the first week of February and I attend to be at all of them or at least as many as health and finances permit.

This year sees my social life starting slightly earlier than usual as the night the November Words and Music event after which I usually have a wee break, I will be attending the Equality Network annual reception.

This is an important red carpet event, and I shall have to look my best for such a special occasion so I will have start thinking about what to wear. This tends to suggest that a trip to my favourite shops may be in order to find a new LBD. That’s little black dress for those who lack culture and sophistication.

This is another reason I love winter. It really is time to update our wardrobes and trust me this is the season not only to be jolly it’s only the season to be daring. Well if a girl wants a visit from Santa then she has to be little bit daring sometimes and trust me that is exactly what I intend to be. Well you won’t bore me in to waterproofs, woollies, and wellies when I’ve got the chance to show a bit of leg. Yes I know some people will tell me I’ve lost the plot but my reply is the same as it’s always been I’ve may have lost more than the Eastenders but at least I’m entertaining. So just in case you haven’t got the message I will be buying a couple of pencil skirts and a couple of pairs of fishnets as well as the more sophisticated outfits. Well as I said I have lots of events to attend and some will be less formal than others.

So it is at this time of darkness I look forward to what is, always has been, and ever shall be my favourite time of year. From Halloween to Celtic Connections there is no time of year quite like winter. It really is a girl’s best friend so let’s get ready to enjoy the craic, the laughter and the cultural,gatherings when the music calls us home and celebrate what this amazing time of year has to offer with those who matter most. Well I don’t know about you but I think I’m looking forward to a winter wonderland and I can safely say they’ll be no waterproofs, woollies, or wellies in sight.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X