Janet McKenzie

Another Perthshire Writer

| home | programme | projects | newsletters | writers | links | contact |

janet mckenzie

I was conditioned at an early age to write for profit as well as pleasure, regularly winning a five shilling postal order in a national newspaper's children's weekly writing competition. Later, when at home with two little sons, I entered a serial-writing competition and was subsequently commissioned by a woman's magazine to write serials, some of which were later published in Scandinavia and also as Large Print books.

Back in full-time work, I turned to shorter pieces, and have had numerous short stories, humorous articles and poems published. Now that I'm retired, writing is a pleasurable hobby.

As a founder member of Perthshire Writers and a Past President of the Scottish Association of Writers, I enjoy the stimulating company of our meetings.

Sea Green

Back then, the label was Utility,
with jumpers knitted from unravelled wool
washed out to serviceable fawn or grey.
My mother's needful hands undid the seams
of worn-out skirts or coats, to cut and turn
and sponge and press and stitch the parts together.
"Good as new!"" she braced me, as she pulled
abrasive cloth over my shrinking skin.

Behind the blackout blinds, we heard of days
when quite unnecessary journeys were allowed,
with summer jaunts to Millport, Arran, Bute.
I longed and longed to feel the sea’s embrace,
and when this yearning grew too strong,
I’d creep, unseen, into my parents’ room.
Naked, I’d slip between the billowing quilt
and counterpane of sea-green, watered silk.

sea green


D'you know what I mean?

Well, I hear what you say,
but how do I know
that you mean what you say,
or that words which you use-
if you’re being sincere-
mean the same to my ear
so that here in my brain
connotations are clear
and I know what you mean?
Do you know what I mean?