Previously on Write-On!... Nicole Carter : Elspeth J Anderson : Wilson Davidson


Wilson Davidson

Our Pet Dog Tar 1981-1997

Tara came to join us in 1981
Her pointed face and curled tail caused laughter and much fun
She was like the Ugly Duckling when she came to our door
But soon developed character to ensure we knew the score

A pal to all our children, and theirs in turn I tell
She frolicked with them in their play, and ate their sweets as well
She saw them grow from crawling state to walking and running too
She followed them like their shadow, and their biscuits she did chew.

She loved to get into the car, but her behaviour was outrageous
She had a roguish attitude and her antics were contagious
She was always in the forefront – in the body of the Kirk
She had a wee determined streak – her lead would often jerk.

She was a lovely lady, gave love in generous lumps
She was adored divinely, and never took the humps
She was like the cup in ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – her friendship overflowed
She was a treasure in her rights, on us she was bestowed.

This happy soul will never leave, she left so much to share
The memories of her antics, the silver through her hair.
The watch she chewed, the earrings too – nine carat gold were they
Her memories will always be treasured by the family – DAY BY DAY.


Elspeth J Anderson

Lament for Sea Lions

The sea lions are leaving the zoo!                                                                   
no longer will children watch whiskery faces                                            
peer up from murky waters of their pool                                                      
large black mournful eyes gaze curiously                                                      
before slipping silently below the surface.                                                    
Four o clock was feeding time!                                                                    
Keepers loaded downs with buckets of fish                                                  
did not have to call out, as seal lions  honked                                               
heaved large bodies onto island rocks                                                                                            
Reared back balanced on wide flippers
jostling  deftly caught the silver fish mid air
The show was soon over, till the next day.

What I like About Winter

What I like about winter is home made soup
what I hate about winter is the cold
what I like about winter is a log fire
what I hate about winter is sunset at four
what I like about winter is sledging on snow
what I hate about winter is mislaying gloves
what I love about winter is when it is over!

Family Wedding

A chance to meet family not seen for years
prepare to meet new people from near and far
just keep smiling, be charming at all times,
should have selected a more original outfit
spot the guests, who frequent the same High street store!
and flatter shoes would have been a good idea.
Long to be out in the sun-drenched garden
glimpsed through locked French doors.
Buy  drinks then gasp at the bar bill,
avoid Uncle Sandy, his leering glances
have never changed, politeness  goes so far,
just so many times one can move tables
who said one had to accept a named place
looking round quietly  switched the labels?


Nicole Carter

Nicole Carter was born in Edinburgh in 1975 and spent most of her childhood living in Penicuik, dancing, running, playing in mud and climbing trees. She has worked as a kitchen porter, an outdoor activities Instructor, fitness class instructor and personal trainer, waitress, shop assistant and office administrator for a large pensions company. Nicole has also worked in several voluntary jobs which she found to be very rewarding.

Having a Bi-polar disorder, as it is now fashionably known, has made life “difficult but interesting”, with several periods of homelessness and subsequent admissions to psychiatric hospitals. She has had several articles about her printed in newspapers, some of which aren’t entirely accurate.


For Unlawful Canal Knowledge

I can’t afford to eat this week again. My benefits have been stopped for several weeks because I got a job in a sports shop over the festive period but was fired after two weeks and my benefits haven’t been reinstated yet. Oh well at least I’ll lose a stone or two, but then the gnawing pain in my stomach, the paranoia, voice and the hallucinations are not ideal. I was given some tinned food from a mental health charity because it’s Christmas but I didn’t have a can opener so couldn’t open the tins. I was also given some shortbread, so I’ve eaten some of that but I’m keeping some to use as bait to catch a pigeon. I’ve worked with chickens before on the Cyrenian Farm homeless hostel and I imagine it’s pretty much the same with pigeons. We used to have to catch the chickens to spray them to prevent mites. On my way through the Wester Hailes Plaza precinct one day, I see a flock of pigeons and crumble some of the shortbread on the ground in front of me, crouch down and wait….

The pigeons in Wester Hailes are dirty with not much meat on them but they’ll have to do. There’s plenty of them pecking around at some cold foosty chips someone else had thrown at them. One comes close and starts pecking at the crumbs. I stay completely still…it gets closer…I quickly grab it putting my hands firmly over its wings to stop it flapping about and quickly break its neck by twisting firmly. A woman standing at the bus-stop screams, I hold up the poor limp bird and shout ‘I didn’t get a crisis loan!!’

Back at the flat I pluck the bird and excavate the little bit of breast meat, fry it up and eat. In certain restaurants, with a small portion of wilted greens, lightly drizzled with truffle oil, this would be haute cuisine but for me it’s much needed protein and all I’ll have until my benefits are reinstated. I’ll never kill another poor wee pigeon. I couldn’t go through the deep feelings of guilt it would cause ever again, but then maybe I’ll have to in future. I think I’ll do more survival training just in case. I’ll draw the line at squirrels, they are too cute to kill. Maybe I could poach a duck from the canal, that would be marginally more morally acceptable, wouldn’t it?


(in Scots)

Ah dinnae ken whar ma heid is goin

Some say ahm a “diasaffected youth”

But aw ah ken is ahm scunnered


Ah cannae identify wi ma teacher

When ma family and freends

Speak a different tongue

Scots is what it is

Whars the shame in that


Ahm no stupid ahm no daft

It’s jist thit the meely-moothed

mak me laugh


noo ahm no a racist

ahm no a bigot

ahm jist proud o ma heritage

Ah wiz brought up wi pride

ma Ma an’ Da were the same


So gies a brek

Gies some slack

Ahm as canny as the next yin

It’s no intelligence ah lack

© Nicole Carter 2010
Mañana Attitude poems & short stories for grown-ups is available at Blackwell's, South Bridge Edinburgh for £10