Pride/Requiem by Fiona McCulloch


Poetry by Fiona McCulloch


Leadsom spews opportunistic bile

Parents choose whether to expose offspring

Chechnya purges 

Brunei stones 

Alabama blocks marriage 

Missouri retirement home rejects couple

Missouri turns away dance couple

Palm Springs nightclub shooting 

Orlando Pulse  



Aunt said it wisnae cos they’re gay

Cousin said move anywhere 

Folk are fine wi aw that nooadays

Didnae understaun ma relocation anxiety

Best friend said the affront o’ her 

Putting her erm roon her girlfriend an’

Checking to see who wis watchin’

Me and ma husband wir oan a night oot

You’re the best kind o’ lesbian cos

You don’t make a big deal aboot it

A patient’s partner came in to visit, she said,

Aw cuddly and attentive, mair 

Than any straight couple wid be 

The cheek o’ them! 

Tongue immobilised 


She attended the wedding 

Left early – boyfriend feud 

Estranged husband died 

She’d several affairs

Lent three grand when their shit hit

Redundant, never repaid or asked I’m ok

Boasted ye’ve nae idea how big my salary is 


Silent too long  

I ghosted her  


Brother boycotted our wedding  

Won’t expose his son  

To that kind of thing 


Teenager lost, afraid, invalid 

No ontological comparatives 

Erasure Section 28 


Precious progress remains fragile 

Our humanity deceivers deride  

Lack empathy yet stake 

Morality’s high ground 

We must steer forwards 

Never deny ourselves 

They want us afraid, cowed 

Gauging safety of holding hands 

Feign threatened way of life 

Refuse other citizens equality 

Denying us is cultural genocide 

Our history choked in educators’ throats

Keeps each generation concealed 

Their narrative mirrors distort 

Our image estranged from ourselves

Shatter their glass, it is a simulacra

And you a verifiable truth



Park picnic party 

Space invaded 

Post-lockdown heatwave joy

Laughter casual conversation

Bathing in each other’s company

Sun tickling your neck 

Uncanny after isolating months 


Something catches your peripheral Vision too late 

Shock leaves you rooted like blades Of grass or 

Tree foliage under which you shade 


Knife cutting angrily 

Through space and time 

Chopping the air 

Severs your skin 

Penetrates your internal 

Organs slicing slicing 

Sliding through butter 

But it’s your fragile frame 

He’s splaying 


Horror oozes through 

Onlookers dumbstruck 

Watching some surreal act 

Too too real 

Your lives cut short 

A cull a cult 

Of rage against fellow humans

Three gay men slain 


Incandescent constellations

Ripped asunder 

Inspiring philosophers

Opening minds enlightening

Futures to think 

Snuffed out 

Cut short 

Impoverished planet  

Dark ages cloak  

Evolutionary progress

Fiona McCulloch is an out of work academic, otherwise labelled an independent scholar. From a working class background, she was the first and only person in her family to go to university, and also gained a PhD in English Literature.

11 September 2020