I had no idea what to expect when I looked at the submissions – all with pseudonyms so identities were concealed. I was delighted by the diversity of petitioners. A great deal of wit was on display, but many heartfelt and poignant pieces too. I greatly enjoyed reading them, and I hope you do too. Thanks to all who sent submissions. Don’t forget if you are a FWS member you have a right of reply – see below.
The eighteenth up is David Betteridge, a recent addition to the Scottish Poetry Library’s Online Guide to Scottish Poets. Like many contributors, David is deeply moved by the plight of our fragile planet and his poem speaks in the voice of the earth sorrowfully pleading with us to work with her, not against her. Will we listen?
David says of himself and of his poem (link below) ‘Like many people learning about the world through the smog-ridden late 40s and 50s, I arrived at a Green perspective quite naturally. Frequent black sputum was sufficient reason. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring continued my education, as did successive UN Conferences on the Environment.
My poem “Earth”, long matured, summarises some of what the whole world knows. It joins other writings of mine of a political kind that have been published in book or pamphlet form over the last twenty years, principally by Smokestack Books, Manifesto Press, and Rhizome Press, and also online by Culture Matters and Facts and Fiction.’
You can read David’s poem at https://federationofwritersscotland.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/earth-petitions-humankind.pdf
I’m delighted too to be able to bring you contributions from our current Makar Finola Scott and our current Scriever Charlie Gracie. These will remain accessible on the web-site until all the posts from contributors have been displayed and will of course appear also in the printed version of the anthology.
You can read Finola’s rousing call to all ‘Braw Lassies’, originally written for a Stellar Quines project, at https://federationofwritersscotland.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/braw-lassies.pdf
You can read Charlie’s letter to Mother Earth, a masterly deployment of Swiftian irony (think ‘A Modest Proposal’) at
Any comments on any of the pieces published should be sent direct to me at email@example.com Don’t forget if you are a Federation member not already accepted for the Arbroath anthology you can write a response to the poems posted. Email me at the above address for details.