Abracadabra – by Maggie Mackay

Dad was a maker of magic.
He rose above our wee catastrophes,
mined for shiny coins to treat us
to Knickerbocker Glories at Nardini’s.
Their rainbow layers made us smile,
the ruler length spoon,
the wafer arched like a Spanish fan,
the tall glass waiting for a rose.

On wet afternoons we queued at the Dominion,
Smartie tubes squashed in our pockets.
The curtains swished back – wheesht –
as Pearl and Dean sang out. I slid into velvet.
Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion in Winter,
The Big Screen. My Dad.

 Abracadabra was previously published in Pod Holiday Special, at The Fat Damsel,  August 2016

Maggie Mackay, a Scottish lover of jazz and a good malt, is in her final Masters year at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in print and online including The Everyday Poet edited by Deborah Alma, Amaryllis, Bare Fiction, The Fat Damsel, The Interpreter’s House, The Poetry Shed, Prole, I am Not a Silent Poet, Three Drops Press and Indigo Dreams Publishing.


Three poems by Finola Scott


Ah que bella!

Dad strolls from the city bus,
trilby tilted jaunty as always.
Blue touch paper’s under his arm –
pasta waits to explode.
A brown bag holds garlic, its white skin
rustles as he brings this regular
pay day treat from Fazzi’s.

In our mod-con formica kitchen
green oil and red puree sizzle
turning scot’s mince into magic.
Sunshine in a pot.
Our dreams smell of Dad’s Italy,
the only wartime smell he mentioned.

He carries the kitchen table out
to the sun where we watch him
toast Mummy. Their heart-red Chianti
winks in glasses. He teaches us
to kiss slurped spaghetti and think
of The Lady & the Tramp, never
the fighting in Salerno.

A version of this poem was published in Pod, Fat Damsel in 2016

No stablisers today

Gravel sharp   grey crunching
ground   slopes down   acid
dandlelions crowd the edges
don’t go there don’t
      stay on the smooth path
      fast too fast
      but Daddy says I must
      go fast
      or I’ll fall
Wheels  whirr  whizz
My buckled sandals pump
faster round the pedals.
Daddy runs alongside laughing and
calling, ‘ You’re doing great.
Straighten up. Now!’
His tight hand at the saddle’s back
keeps me steady.

Sun belts down   burns freckles on neck
grubby hands slip slide on chrome
  I can’t do this        too fast         I can’t
Near path’s end I rush
forward  past  the broken fence
hurtle alongside
the rough brick wall.
My curls bounce   gingham dress whips legs.
I glance round to ask
Daddy what to do
but he’s not there.
He’s grinning
from the top of the lane.

A version of this poem was published on Silver Birches site 2016


Published by The Scottish Book Trust in their collection  ‘ Treasures’  in 2013

Finola Scott’s poems and short stories are widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Ofi Press, Raum, Algebra of Owls,The Lake, Poets’ Republic. She is pleased to be mentored on the Clydebuilt Scheme by Liz Lochead. A performance poet, she is proud to be a slam-winning granny.  Her roles as daughter, teacher, wife, mother and grandmother are important sources for her writing. She is involved in the political, with especial reference to women’s place in society.