Sunday, 26 February 2017

Yoga: a poetry post

I have tried to do yoga in recent years. I have had babies and required physiotherapy, and got older and stayed fat, and had years of not getting enough sleep. I wanted to regain the feeling that my body was strong, that I was flexible. I also wanted to focus on the breath. I went to my local yoga class where the teacher was lovely, but I don't think she was experienced in dealing with fat bodies, perhaps she just wasn't experienced in dealing with mine. She gave me blocks and things to help me get the positions rightish, but I simply couldn't breathe in some positions, and I was acutely aware of what I looked like.

That said, I know that no-one was looking at me, but I couldn't relax for imagining my oxygen starved frame toppling over like an elephant on stilts, domino-ing into my neighbour and causing havoc.

When it came to the relaxation I was able to breathe. In the quiet of the room I told the tears running down my face to stop, but they didn't. I wiped them away as discretely as I could but the teacher saw me and came to hug me, telling me that I didn't need to tell her what was wrong, but that I could feel safe doing so. I told her that nothing was wrong, that my face was just crying and who knew why. I thought of my friend who always finds herself laughing during yoga. The teacher assured me it was alright to not say what was wrong, and tried to cheer me up.

I wasn't sad. I was mortified.

I am rubbish at wearing the smiling mask that some people have got down. I wish I'd had one then. I imagined I did when it came to writing this poem.


I try to fit my arms upon the mat,
to focus on the breath, the rise and fall
of my chest 'neath the cover of blanket,
to quiet a mind that never stops at all.
I have no time to pause, I'm too busy.
What matters 'bout the thoughts I've locked away?
I don't know why tears fall for you to see,
don't think I'm sad, just busy. I'm OK.
And would I find there's something wrong with time?
And with that knowledge, where would I then go?
Perhaps behind this smiling mask of mine
happiness bides and I don't even know.
Sometimes the mind is full of stupid things
distracting from the wonder that life brings.

Ⓒ Cara L McKee 26/2/17

Myself and some other local poets recently got to collaborate on a project with local photographers Blue Kiwi and Largs Lenses Together, writing poems inspired by the photographs. I wrote one inspired by a gorgeous picture of a squirrel which had me researching yoga on YouTube (I love my job), weirdly straight after I'd done that I went on Instagram and saw someone sharing their love of Jessamyn Stanley's book, Every Body Yoga - she's fat and tells you how to take that extra flesh into account! I have ordered the book and cannot wait to be able to mess it up in my own front room, with the curtains drawn, obvs!

Prose for Thought

Monday, 20 February 2017

She Broke Gods: a flash fiction post

Hello all! I'm taking part in Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenge today, sharing this ever so short story about, well, it's about a woman who broke gods. Iconoclastically. I'm getting more into short fiction lately, so let's see how I get on!

She Broke Gods

She did it methodically, working her way around the incensed alcoves while the men in their robes worked out what to do. Some sank to their knees, praying to the gods even as she smashed them, taking her time to hit them repeatedly against the wall, the floor, anything which might help reduce the beautiful statues to ground powder.
Hands raised in blessing flew across the floor as she hauled each god down from its plinth, and if any of the be-robed men challenged her actions, and they did, tears tracking down dust grimed faces as she performed her iconoclasm, taking her time to get it right, she seemed to pay them no heed. Yet, as she swung the statues down, golden crowns tinkling to the floor, she managed to hit any man who got in her way.
Their broken bodies would be pulled away by their brethren who, once outside, ran to spread the word that the Temple of the Gods was sullied, that female flesh had crossed the threshold and that now the Gods themselves were falling one by one. Gone and gone.
Some had argued that women should be allowed entry, even some of those that were now running. That was before. Now they saw their error. Just one woman, and she was grinding the gods to dust.
She worked her way around. Even the Father was desecrated, his head broken off to roll across the floor, scooped up by fleeing brethren, his tears revealed to flow from a faucet that now gushed water to the rubble-strewn floor.
Not all ran. Some still remained. Not arguing, just kneeling in prayer as their gods fell around them, their robes filthy with the mud of destruction.
Still she went on, silently devoted to the attentions she gave each of the puny gods.
They all fell. All the gods were broken.
Then she turned to those few that remained. “Get up.” She demanded. “Your gods are broken. Get off your knees.”
Hesitatingly, unsure what might be safest, most of the men got to their feet, but two remained on their knees, their praying fervent now, as if they could pray time to turn back.
The woman rolled her eyes and pulled them up. One took to his feet, backing away from her, but the other made no effort to stand, held there with his feet dangling. She brought him close to her, close enough to kiss. “We women have held you up too long.” She told him. “While your gods have ruled us through you. Stand up!”
He went to put his feet down and she dropped him those last two inches to the floor. “That time is passed.” She said.
And she left.
No-one knew where she went to, nor what her name had been, but in the temple a golden statue was built, strong and wild and female, and the temple got a new name: The Temple of the Goddess.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

You know nothing: A poetry post

Did I mention that I'm a massive fan of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and of Game of Thrones? I spend far too long listening to long podcasts about the History of Westeros (honestly, it's fascinating). Anyhow, the lovely Sara at Mum Turned Mom's writing prompt for this week was SNOW, so there was only one thing on my mind.

I am very much aware that as well as writing this about Jon Snow, I've written the Edge of Doom inspired by a photo of Kit Harrington who plays Jon in Game of Thrones, so I'd like to take a moment to stress that I am not interested in Jon that way. He's so very young, and so very näive. If anything I'd just want to look after the boy and maybe make him a nice warm bowl of soup.

If I was shipping myself with anyone in Game of Thrones then I think that despite his myriad flaws I might be looking at Petyr Baelish, because you'd want to be on his good side! Mind you, I'm probably best off out of it. 

You know nothing

A blue rose grows
in a wall of Ice
and you do not comprehend
that the rose
and the music
are yours.

Yours is the song
of Ice
lit by Red Fire
and you know nothing.

Ⓒ Cara L McKee

This is my first Asoiaf poem! ♥

Prose for Thoughtmumturnedmom

Sunday, 12 February 2017

web-logging February 2017

I despair of ever having an original idea, but then who does? I hope I can use other people's ideas in original ways sometimes, and always remain open to ideas.

One idea I loved was that of Aly Hodge of Bug, Bird & Bee doing a proper kind of weblog post, you know, the thing that blogs originally were? She divided it up into sections and called it Right Here, Right Now. Go and have a look. I am shamelessly stealing the idea (and indeed much of the format) here to share what's going on with me at the moment. I'd love to know what's going on with you?

Right now I'm:

Sitting at my gorgeous wooden desk in the living room, watched over by Goth Girl and Emo boy, with the clock ticking on the wall behind me, and Glameow sleeping on the floor at my side. I can hear the girls who are playing Lego Marvel in the front room. My husband is out for a run and my boy is at a sleepover. I have pulled the curtain beside me so that the sun doesn't glare on the screen, but I can hear an aeroplane flying in or out from Glasgow or Prestwick.

A photo posted by Cara McKee (@caralmckee) on

Currently reading:

Revisiting Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, and collecting quotes from it in Google Keep to inspire my writing. The latest quote was from the young Mr Rochester on p51: 

I was young then. A short youth mine was.
Listening to:

I like quiet to write to (this is a bad plan with three children and a desk in the living room). But if I'm doing anything else I’m listening to stuff. My daughters love to listen to chart music, so we listen to the radio a lot. I'm loving Ed Sheeran's Castle on the Hill, which always makes me think of the days when we lived near Framlingham and I used to take my boy there a lot (before the girls were born), and play on the grass under the castle, as well as visiting the church and it's gorgeous artwork. I loved living there. Hope to go back for a holiday soon.

I also listen to lots of podcasts. Right now I've got a huge backlog of things to listen to again. Here are the five at the top of my list right now:
Having fun:

Yesterday we went into Edinburgh to meet up with family and take the boy to his cousin's birthday party. They were playing football in these big inflatable balloons, and it was so funny to watch them. When they came off for a break my husband had a go with his cousin. After that we met up with more family and saw their amazing home makeover, and the cutest dog in the world.

A video posted by Cara McKee (@caralmckee) on

I'm also taking part in BookRiot's #riotgram photo a day, which is all about books, over on Instagram.

Perving over:

Oh the shame! I saw this video on YouTube, and have been googling images of Trad Goth men since, because weren't they beautiful?! Goths are still beautiful of course, but those were my days. Sigh.


I've not really got onto the planning stage of anything yet. I'm considering various UK destinations for holidays...

Also I've been researching about hangings in Glasgow for a short story which I'm not sure if I'm going to write or not.

I've had lots of poems rejected lately, so I'm working on them (and also writing some more) with a view to getting them out again. 

The Rarest Rose is still being considered by people, and the Chaptershill book is still waiting for me to decide lots of things about it. 


I got Emo boy! See above. It's all good. I'm also learning how to knit, and searching down roads and paths I haven't been down to find new places to go. I'm also practicing my drawing, which I really suck at.

Watching on Sky/Amazon Prime:

I've watched all of Girls and developed a crush on Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), and am currently binge watching Mad Men on Sky Box Sets. I've not been watching Amazon Prime much lately, but have watched the film Chi-Raq which was weirdly awesome.


Cooking is boring, give me restaurants, salads and bread at the moment!


If I actually suck at the writing and should give up. If I will ever be able to draw. If I will ever have an original idea. 


It's all about the drawing at the moment. I'd love to write a graphic novel, but need to be able to draw. Here's a bit of my practice.


Everyone is doing well, bored of the winter and squabbling, but looking forward to the Spring. Everyone learned their Burns poems (more or less), but no-one got through to the Cronies and everyone was quite happy about that. We seem to be pretty club free at the moment, but we're putting all that time to good use having fun.

The boy is in P7 now, and looking forward to transitioning to Academy after the summer. One of the rites of passage is to host the annual school Burns supper, which he went to with his grandparents and thoroughly enjoyed (he liked the haggis too, but avoided the neeps).

Here's Miss 6 doing her Burns poem:
A video posted by Cara McKee (@caralmckee) on

and here's the boy rocking an ill-fitting kilt:

What have you been up to?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Worthy of the sun: a poetry post

One of the things I love about writing poetry is that you can put in secret messages. Some of them are so secret they might never be decoded, others can be pretty obvious, but still offer an opportunity to plead innocence.

Weather is a good way to talk about things, we are all used to weather being used to tell us things in programmes and in books, so it works easily in poems too. I've written a poem about books which was actually about a person I know, although that one's not currently available. This poem is about plants. Honest.

Worthy of the sun

This seed is just as worthy of the sun
but staked and tethered has no room to thrive
instead, the same trees race to feel gold rays,
taking the place of others pushed aside.

Many, it seems, must naturally fail,
yet flowers are diverse here down below
and if we could find more space in the sun
who knows what wonders we who tend might grow?

For those who fear the plant may 'come a weed,
shading the leaves that we have grown to know,
with greening sun and nourishment below
just watch and wait to see what fruit might grow.

Ⓒ Cara L McKee 9/2/17

Prose for Thought

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Be: a poetry post


I'm down in the dumps at the moment. It's February and the rain is falling. Everything is cold and dull and wet, and staying in has ceased to be all hygge and lovely and become incredibly tedious. Not that we're staying in all the time, but I long for days of warm sun and lunch outside, of not constantly cleaning up muddy kitten prints (although they're doing great outside and having fun, which is good).

My Mum is moving house today, which is brilliant for her, as her old house was too big and needed too much work. It's fine for me as well, but I'm rolling about in memories today, of all the things that happened in that house, all my memories, all the memories shared with others who aren't in my life now. It's weird to think that I won't ring that pull-bell again. It's weird to think that I won't need the memory of which steps creak.

I'm busy doing lots of writing at the moment. Bitty stuff of poems to go with a photography exhibition, and a column for Scotland 4 Kids. I feel like I'm avoiding writing the bigger things, but that's probably alright, because I think there are things I need to figure out about those. I've had lots of rejections lately and that's battering my confidence, but I'm choosing to believe that these things come in waves and a good wave is just around the corner.

The prompt this week at Mum Turned Mom is BE. And this little poem was just bouncing up and down to come into being. With thanks to Sara (at Mum Turned Mom), and to Nirvana for the inspiration.


Be who you are
who you were
who you want to be.
Be-a-utiful and strong,
be wild, be free.

Beside yourself laughing
beside your friends
and family.

Be you.
Who else is there to be?

Ⓒ Cara L McKee 7/2/17

mumturnedmom   Writing Bubble

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Writing up a storm: a poetry post

Hello there

This winter has been pretty uneventful on the storm front. I thought that was what the weather was now, storm after storm after storm, but instead it's been pretty much OK, and not even that cold. It's been grey and wet and windyish the last few days, but nothing exciting. No power lines have been torn down, I have not struggled to close car doors, no crazy snow storms, it's even been pretty calm on the wind front, so I've actually been using an umbrella, which is pretty rare around here!

But I'm feeling down in the dumps (lots of rejections, lots of rain, this will pass), and the news just keeps on happening, and who the hell is running the world and why did we let them? Ugh. 

So, my writing prompt today was to write up a storm, and I looked out of my window and wrote what I saw, then thought about it and rewrote it to reflect how I'm feeling and how the world looks through my eyes. And here it is:

What the wind wreaks

Mostly you can't tell.
Looking carefully is not polite
but if you do, if you stare
into that leaden eye
slight shifts of the light
show that things move apace.

It is unfathomable that the rain
never stops. How wide this tide of grey?
How deep? That it should carry on
relentlessly bringing more
and more and more and so
we miss the drowned snowdrops
for the sandbags at the door.

Cackling gulls need make no effort
soaring on still wings across seething skies
and I swear it is the darkest there,
there where the dark-drenched earth
meets cold-wet cloud-crowded sky.

Some speak of blue skies to come
but when the grey sky lightens to white
it only serves to sharpen the shadows
and is that worse? The memory of blue?

We are wrapped and muffled while
waves of wind wash the grey,
fluttering the feathers of the dogged cordyline,
whipping the skinny eucalyptus.
But still they stand
ready for more grey, 
more rain, more wind.
Which will come and will go.

Seasons have passed before
no matter what the wind wreaks.

© Cara L McKee 2/2/17

Prose for Thought