Writer In Residence

  C J Barr




loch ness

shivers down the mountain

clouds rolling up

sweeping between the trees

and swirling around the ground


this is what i saw that day

when i stopped to look

but i ended up seeing

behind the exterior of the world

i saw the mother that cares for us,

she sends chills throughout the air

that catch our breath

and glimmers at us

through the light of the trees


she swirls the earth

and disrupts the path

but she is the carer 

she is our mother



being enby

being non binary isn't just about wearing a binder or androgynous clothes

it's not about my genetic code or my sex assigned at birth


it's about what's beyond what we see

beyond the act we put on to fit in and pass


feeling safe in my surroundings matters more than my pronouns

feeling secure but being true to myself

in a world where non binary is still shoved to the side


being non binary is who I am

no matter what other people say or think behind my back

or even what they say to my face


I am me, not he or she, just I





Rising from the sea

Forming together


Making a land 

A land we can escape to

Escape the crushing reality

Pushing us down

Breaking our roots

Sinking us



an ode to the sea 


her body like isles

that resurface in the low

all those imperfections and scales

bein washed over smooth


wobbly bits that move

Soft to touch

like rubber

but also rough


as the tide comes in

she washes away

the blemishes

like bumps from the seabed


where the land meets her mither



a new way

in this silent world, how do we meet?

its like grasping at smoke, to try and capture a connection

and maybe one day we can hug, and not cry alone

maybe one day we can go and see the world again

all the sights and sands that are too many to count

once the boundaries are gone, 

but for now

just silence

grasping at passing moments



the beginning of February saw the snow

it started slow but with every passing hour it grew


it swelled

it raged


then it was calm


a moment to stand with your feet buried deep

before the storm rages again, swirling in your face and around your body

so wrap up and stay warm

wait until the storm passes and the snow melts

for the rage will not last forever, it wont even last long


sometimes it lasts merely a day or even a week

sometimes a month

here, in the North we are used to the cold

but the snow stops us in our tracks


our cars stuck, and roads closed

we wait it out and watch from our homes

we build snowmen and go walks

until it melts

and we see spring again



Deja Vu

a moment lived before, in another life,

like a flash, not quite in the future,

but not in the past 


a life already passed, parallel to this one

when your heart skips a beat




The sounds ripple the earth

Creating waves and water

Moving around

Like a line

Drawing back and forth 

Like a wave comes and goes






Shaping from below the surface 

Particles floating

Holding their own




as the seasons change and the sun stays longer

we see the shift in emotions and the happiness of others

and we wished it would last forever 

but soon the snow will come again


how we sought after those long days

where we spend hours without a care.

until then we float through 

waiting for better ones to arrive

to bask in the sunlight

without worry for what's ahead


365 days, how it seems much longer


a year later

we thought it would be over by now,

a year into a mess that doesn't seem to clean away

taking a moment to reflect on those lost

but yet the way out becomes clearer every week

there is hope on the horizon that's ever changing

although the looming thought that we have been failed

we were not cared for the way others were

the way we should have been

our safety put at risk for money that means nothing in the end

those classed essential were once thrown aside 

being unfairly treated, like machines

not human, just parts

waiting for the world to reopen

and life to commence

like it did before

and we will forget what it was like

to be apart from each other and locked away

unable to touch or go beyond your door

but i hope we remember

the hardest time of our lives and the way we were treated



a time

I can’t remember a time


When you weren’t there 

To hold my hand

And guide me through the sand


When I was little

You showed me the ocean

And now I always go there


I watch the tide

And feel the sand

And I think of you


Those shells we collected

I hold them close

And add my own 


Because I don’t remember a time

When you weren’t around


Paint My House outline.png