Posted on 18th October, 2016

 We are planning a celebratory gathering of contributors to this year's

Livewires Blog and you are, of course, invited.


‘Livewires Live’ - a celebratory reading from the Writers’ Blog on the Southlight website:
2.00 - 4.00 pm Saturday 29th October at thWildfowl & Wetland Trust, Caerlaverock  

(Free entry to the reading but you buy your own cakes!) Eastpark Farm, Caerlaverock, 

Dumfriesshire DG1 4RS)

Do let me know if you would like to read - e-mail :



Whooper Swans - Tom Langlands



Great Crested Grebes


Drew drove Toni to Castle Loch, where they parked up and spent a pleasant few hours wandering along the trail of the loch. Drew pointed out a pair of birds that were swimming on the water. 

“Can you see what’s on the back of the bird at the front?” he asked, pointing at the bird.

Toni followed his pointing finger but saw nothing to begin with.

“No; just a couple of ducks; or whatever they are. Oh. Hang on. What’s that?” She continued to look and finally made out 2 fluffy chicks riding on the back of its parent. Suddenly the adult dived under water and disappeared from view, along with its offspring.

“Goodness, they’ll drown!”

“I doubt it!” laughed Drew. Sure enough, the chicks bobbed back up to the surface as did the parent a short time later and they were soon reunited.

“How extraordinary!” exclaimed Toni. 

“They’re great crested grebes; this loch is renowned for having them and while I have seen them before, I have to say, I have never seen that particular type of behaviour, though I have read about it. There are only two babies there: possibly others have become prey to something under the water, or even from the air," he continued.

"Oh! Poor things. They are beautiful aren't they! Just like little humbugs!"

"They are, aren't they!" laughed Drew. "When there are bigger clutches, the adults seem to favour a couple, and solely look after them. Then you might only see one bird with the babies - it's probably a good survival technique, I guess. I'm not really sure."

They watched the birds for a while longer, but gradually the birds disappeared from view, and the couple continued their walk, hand in hand.


Angela Haigh





A spring spate

Higher in its course,

Becoming a placid rill

For guddling trout

Supports a clutch of ducks

Who learn to preen

And swim and dive,

Feed on the slippery algae

Greening all the stones,

Nibble with eager beaks

At water-weeded banks,

Content to dwell

In tranquil coolness,

Knowing nothing 

Of the torrent far above


Thelma Hancock





Firebird of the Sun


(For children)


Once upon a time there was a beautiful golden bird who followed the sun’s path all around the earth.


His huge golden wings carried him effortlessly without ceasing, and he only ever came to earth when thirsty as he could catch and eat plenty of small birds and insects on the wing.


After many years he could not remember his parents or the nest in which he’d hatched. On and on he flew, chasing the fierce yellow globe in the sky. He loved the brightness and never felt weary.


Then came a time when he felt – not unhappy, but strange. Yes, definitely strange. He came down to earth to drink, even though he wasn’t really thirsty. This time he lingered and, for the first time ever since he was a nestling, he saw the sun sinking over the western horizon. He knew he could not catch up. Fear gripped him. He closed his eyes to blot out the darkness


He awoke to the sound of cheeping and something soft brushing his eyes. Looking up, he saw a strange new silver light above him, and beside him a bird like himself, except that she (somehow he knew it was a she) was entirely silver.


“Who are you?” she asked.


“I am Firebird of the Sun”, he replied. “Who are you?”


“I am the Silverlight of the Moon” she said. “What is the Sun?”


As they talked the moon sank and, much to their joint amazement, the sun returned. After a few days Firebird ceased to be afraid of the dark and grew to love the shadowy night world. Silverlight could not stop talking about the wonderful colours she saw by 



the light of the sun, which, as she pursued the moon on its nightly journey, she had never seen. 


Time passed. They built a large nest on top of a tall tree. Four chicks hatched. Two were striped in gold and silver; one was fiery gold like his father and the other pure silver, like her mother.



The two striped chicks grew up to love the variation of light and dark, making their homes close by the family nest and raised children of their own. The fiery golden chick grew big and strong; one day he left, to follow the sun’s path as his father had done. His sister took off the same night to track the moon’s path.


As to Firebird and Silverlight, they decided to enjoy life on earth. Each came to look more like the other, as gold mottled Silverlight’s feathers and Firebird’s wings developed silver stripes. 


Linda Powell





Beans with greenbottle - Hazel Lowther



Whispering Prompt



Partnering for life, heart shaped

Whispering gently


Jane Richardson




Abesence prompt


Twenty years since you went


We accustomed ourselves

to your absence

To our greyer hair

To our growing offspring

The passage of time

Without you

And now, the next generation

And one who suggests your return

The smile

Is your smile

The eyes are laughing

And you are once more amongst us


Jane Richardson





Behind the door prompt



The letter pushed through the door



was thrust back out again. She didn't want to know.

  Blown by the workaday wind, it slid down the street,

narrowly missing the gutter, a puddle; pausing beside, 

  then passing by, the well polished letterbox of Mebdh. 

Poor Mebdh, who was hoping for her own love letter.  


Seth Crook





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