ROSIE MAPPLEBECK’s stories and poems come from her deep experience of living among animals and birds and of magic. She loves sharing traditional tales, her stories and poetry with audiences where families and friends share together. She hosts live literary events in Ayr and takes story walks round Ayrshire. She co-owns a boarding cattery, offering holistic and healing care for animals and has studied botany with David Bellamy, been a Special Constable, Veterinary Nurse and once ran a heavy metal disco. She is part of the Living Voices project which shares story, song and poetry with elders and those with dementia. She is presently creating a heritage trail for Ayr. You may also find her wild dancing; foraging plants for gastronomic delectation or caring for her bees. Her website can be found at


Losing It

I’m losing my –

              Something you said –
                         I crossed over the
– its gone

              It could be my
              marbles but
at my age          what would
                                I do with them?
              or my Mojo
         if I ever had one
        What is that anyhow
and if I ever
had it
                  could I
                                         lose it?
My mind?   of course
              it              slips
              it’s had a busy life
                  always     always     thinking
                         always         turning
It moves me around

            my mind


to conclusions
                        with no idea
                                   no mojo

                                             ah, never




Night-light Robbery

Because they see in blues
I took a tinted torch
a railway Bardic lamp
signalling by colour
distance to imminent

Selecting tinting as advised
they could not see
uplifted roof of tin, protective wool, crownboard
covering, to check the bees had left the box.

I was a novice then, thought in human-optical
not touch-vibrate-smell bee

still using Mr. Porter’s one-way-only
inserts to clear workers down, away
from hard-won stores of molten summer gold.

When all the bees had gone
I’d lift the fifteen kilo weight away
wrap close in clean bin-bag and hide
it safe inside my home as autumn prize.

That night I beamed red light on swollen combs
alarm buzz rising fast as workers sought
the shadow cast
as target for their wrath
and danger red



Reassigning Memories

The laser shocks your skin to acned spew
diminishing the beard-hair I once praised
reminding me I bought your grooming kit
to celebrate your growth into a man
not knowing that this hit a double blow.

And when the sweat began to pour like a mare’s
tail down your back, your silken shirt all slick
and dark with beads of masculinity
I only saw you hated sticky skin
did not perceive you would prefer to glow.

When dancing women tugged upon your hand
your body hidden reticent beneath
the table of our feast, did you then yearn
to be one of the dancing girls instead?
Round many handbags you have danced alone.

Your worry seems to be, you’ll disappoint
my dreams, perceptions, an expected norm
yet nothing here was ever ‘2.4’.
My joy is learning who you are inside
your strong conviction making someone new.

Your room is still computer bits and games
and clothes dumped in accustomed random piles.
I see a new line-up of cheap perfume
make-up and jewellery on the piano lid,
weep for a teenage girl I never knew.


All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.


  1. Reblogged this on Crossing Borders and commented:
    What a great sight. Good friend and fellow Durham Botany graduate in the Glasgow Review of Books.

  2. I am moved to tears Rosie thank you for sharing and Congratulations on this wonderful work. Big hug xxxx

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

We aim to be an accessible, non-partisan community platform for writers from Glasgow and elsewhere. We are interested in many different kinds of writing, though we tend to lean towards more marginal, peripheral or neglected writers and their work. 

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