Tag Archive | School

Secret Cinderella

With Glasgow Pride coming up next weekend it’s no surprise that this month’s edition of Extra Second is focusing on sexuality. As I’ve been billed to perform I thought I had better get cracking and write some poems on the topic. In this one I travel back in time to the summer of 1974 and recall the day I  started secondary school and the first real stirrings with regards to boys and being aware of being a socially awkward trans teen before I knew the term for it. I’ve given it the title Secret Cinderella, I hope you enjoy the read .

Secret Cinderella

It was the day that Nixon resigned 

and the Bay City Rollers made number one on Radio Clyde 

when I started high school

I tried so hard to fit in and be cool 

it didn’t work 

I wanted skirts not the trousers that were my fate

I hated being made to be a boy 

I couldn’t play the part 

my heart wasn’t in it 

there were limits to my acting skils 

I tried to play football but would sooner hang out with girls 

talk about what really mattered 

make up, boys, and teenage dreams 

the centrefold in that week’s Jackie magazine 

but when you lived in the schemes 

these stirrings had to be calmed if not completely quelled

Catholic or Protestant both guilt trips 

had the same destination 

a one way ticket on the road to hell 

and a child of a mixed marriage would be condemned to it twice 

secretly I would wear tights and dresses 

when nobody else was watching 

well Scotland was a different place back then

where men were men and no boys were ever allowed to cry 

even if denying the truth would have them climbing bedroom walls 

the secret Cinderella’s who never even made it 

to the school disco let alone the ball 

and wouldn’t kiss Prince Charming till their 40’s 

© Gayle Smith 2017

Winter Miracle

Hey Readers

With the winter weather conditions in parts of Europe being shall we say a wee bit on the chilly side, I thought it would be as good a time as any to write a poem which is based not so much on climate change but on adjusting to a change of climate. I’ve given it the title Winter Miracle I hope you enjoy the read.
Winter Miracle

I remember a boy who had never seen snow.

his family moved to Australia before his first birthday

on his return home he got excited

as sitting near the window

he saw for the first time

white flakes fall from the sky

the teacher allowed him to go to the window

to watch what to his young eyes

was a winter miracle

as he viewed the majestic power

of his first snowfall

his silence spoke more than than any words

he gazed in awe struck inspiration

as he witnessed our playground turn

from gray to white

in a matter of minutes

when we went over to join him

our teacher’s patience

was stretched to the limit

and we were quickly ordered

to get back to our seats

on that December morning

she reminded us

this was something we had seen many times

In our eight or nine years on this earth

and our new schoolmate realised

that this time of year really was winter

as a frosty atmosphere left a chill in the class

where it stayed till the dinner time bell

@ Gayle Smith 2017

 

We Are Scotland

Hey Readers

This poem is my response to those on the right who want us to list what they call foreign workers and I call fellow global citizens who were born outside the UK. Personally I find this idea both offensive and ridiculous. So in support of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who says we will have no part in this I have written this poem entitled We Are Scotland. I hope you enjoy the read.

We Are Scotland

As a child
I had teachers from Switzerland and France
classmates from India, Ireland and Italy
so I say with dignity
they are Scotland.

Through family friendships
I knew Poles, Lithuanians,
Germans and Australians
so I make the claim for them
they are Scotland

With relatives from Ireland ,
England, Canada and several other countries
I gained different inspirations
Xenophobia disgusts me
so I say with pride 
they are Scotland

At university I was tutored by scholars from various nations
made friends from many others
humanity was my passport to the world
I know the haves and have nots
Scots by birth or by adoption
they have a home here
they are Scotland

As a friend I have dined
with Indonesians, Syrians, Palestinians Turks and Chileans
I’ve had Eritrean food
and it tasted brilliant
they are Scotland

As a poet I have shared stages
with performers from Portugal New Zealand, Spain, Jamaica and Sweden
so this mouthy wee Glaswegian
shouts from the rafters
they are Scotland

as a trans woman I have met trans sisters
from Mexico, Nigeria, Italy, and the USA
In the name of Equality
It’s my privilege to say
If they are Scotland
its time to replace
they with we
and say to the world

We are Scotland
and we are a voice for fairness.

@ Gayle Smith 2016