Created by Fine Art graduate Craig Allan, [Untitled] exists to

promote the value and contribution of artists and arts/crafts groups
within Falkirk District. By providing a free publication,
online content, an art map, reviews and consultancy [Untitled]
offers artists, photographers, writers, theatre and arts groups the
opportunity to showcase the district’s diverse creative talents to a
wider audience.
By constructing a dialogue between artists, local art groups, local
authorities and the general public, new information about the arts
can be published, attracting new group members and
opportunities within the community as well as raising the awareness
of the importance the arts play in the regeneration and conservation
of communities.
If you are currently a member of an amateur arts group or an
artist working within the area of Falkirk and would like to see your
work published in the next issue visit
cover by Paul Tonner
2/ A Poem For Alan Davie /Paul Tonner
3/ Street Walker / John Grieve
4/ Falkirk Art Map
5-6/ Sepia Print / Bethany Ruth Anderson
8/ I Know Things / Katie White
9-10/ Forest Of Cloth / Stephen Shirres
11/ Moments / Michael Davis
12/ Ginsberg
13/ Forth River / Samuel Best
15/ Sweet Harmony Barbershop Chorus
16/ Sunfower Petals / Geoffrey Leung
17/ Tanka / Karen French
18/ Square / Craig Allan
19/ TricksterFeathersamended / Geoffrey Leung
20-28 / Mind At The End O Primary 6 /Dickson Telfer & Sonja Blietschau
29-30/ Review
31/ Nick’s Pug / Paul Cowan
33-35/ Funding
36/ Acknowledgements
[A Poem For Alan Davie]
Catherine wheels reel
across mottled canvas
bright arcs of melody
bolts of harmony
rhythmic pulses
dot dot dot
stars into aboriginal
dream-time skies
reptile brain reacts
to serpentine coils unfurling
among runes and cruciforms
shapes ocular and peculiar
dark totems and godheads
heavy voodoo bass lines
oscillations and distortions
deep down vibrations
and scintillations
tribal memory awakened
the bearded shaman
controlled by forces
occult and primordial
in a wordless cacophony
of boundless virility
veering, careering
brush hand unbound
vigorously now
painting sound
free form
free from
Paul Tonner
Launched in mid 2013 by [Untitled] creator Craig Allan, Falkirk Art
Map provides a way of documenting and promoting voluntary,
amateur art groups, events, venues and landmarks across the entire
Falkirk District, with the aim of providing an easy accessible guide
to Falkirk’s rich cultural landscape. Proudly displaying the locations
of over 40 arts and crafts groups, ranging from metal detecting to
sculpture, the art map aims to have a marker depicting the arts in
every town and village throughout the district. Local members of art
groups are encouraged to get in contact with [Untitled] at the
address provided below to have their group placed on the
Falkirk Art Map.
The mission to have at least one arts or crafts group from every
town in the district requires groups to come forward and make
their group known regardless of how small or amateur it is. On frst
glance of the current Falkirk Art Map it’s clear that the towns in the
South of Falkirk - Hallglen, Avonbridge and Maddiston - are under
represented. If you are a member of a group operating in these
towns then Falkirk Art Map wants to hear from you.
Visit the art map at
[Sepia Print]
She is, like most of them, a fgure of fear and apprehension. I do my
best to appear calm and indifferent; I’ve done this so many times
before, but she hasn’t. I place a smile on my face in an effort to
make the experience as comfortable as possible for her.
‘So, Ellie, what have you got for me today?’ It’s my job to inject
some hope into my voice, like I’m expectant of great things.
With shaking hands she lifts her portfolio from the foor and onto
the table. Her nails are badly painted in a saccharine shade of pink.
Of course: I couldn’t have expected any other for the girl. Trembling
fngers reach for the zip and she bows her head, afraid to meet my
gaze as she prepares for judgement. Placid and patient, I casually
wait, pretending to fddle with a feature on my Casio that doesn’t
She takes a sharp breath as she slides a document wallet from
the leather portfolio case. I can’t help but notice that the colour of
the plastic is a very similar shade as her nails. She exhales as she
slips out fve A4 prints, spreading them out in a fan. She steals a
glance upwards and I reward her work with a reassuring smile: she
hasn’t failed. Carefully, I peruse the prints, picking them up in such
a way that my thumb only comes into contact with the border and
not the photograph itself.
‘Fantastic use of light in these, Ellie.’ I play the part of the
encouraging tutor, keeping the attention of the rapt student. I push
towards her my favourite of the fve; a pretty take on a bowed
daffodil head. ‘And I really like the use of focus here.’ My fnger
hovers over the yellow petals, ‘It’s very interesting.’ I hear her sigh
in relief and she wipes her palms across her knees. I feel the curves
of my lips drooping: this is, or should be, my serious face.
‘Just a couple of things you might want to think about.’ I attempt
that reassuring smile, trying hard not to scare my student away.
‘First, you might want to mess around with your composition a bit,
and I think for your next project you should experiment a little with
your subject – maybe include a human, or try a different mood.’
I give an assertive nod of the head. It’s always best to leave the
student in good favour and feeling at least somewhat confdent, so I
add, ‘I look forward to seeing what you do for your next project.’
At once her heart seems to kick back into motion and she gives
herself the luxury of breathing. I push the daffodil, the balloon, the
teddy bear, the cakes, and the paper windmill towards her as she
scrambles for the pink plastic wallet. She doesn’t stay to put it back
inside the portfolio case, but tucks them beneath her right arm.
I am offered a curt nod of the head and a quiet, ‘Thanks’ before she
makes a quick exit. I’m sure she’ll be fne.

Give it some time, and she’ll return to the small study room for a
similar exercise. The sound of her boots will announce her arrival
before I will see her enter the room. She will look different,
complete with an air of excited anxiety. Short, gnawed nails will pull
back the zip of the case this time, and I will notice that one of her
fngers is still damp from when she had it in her mouth to chew. I
will smile throughout, ever the pillar of example. There will be no
pink wallet this time, or clumsy display of prints. Instead, she will
reveal each photograph one by one, each an individual work of art.
I’m used to seeing photographs of this kind; students attempting
to push boundaries with prints of dead animals. I will examine the
fox and the arrangements of its intestines on the kerb and she will
give a wry smile, ‘That fox was still breathing.’ And I’ll look closer
at the beady black eyes and tear my gaze away. I will hide from the
fear I imagine is there in the glinting sepia light.
She will present me with another piece, a portrait – the frst
evidence I have seen of her taking pictures of a human. There is no
mistaking the look on this man’s face: his teeth are screwed shut
in apprehension, betraying his youth with the frst appearances of
crow’s feet. I will smile, unable to remain passive. Of course, my
student will notice and she will match my smile with a hint of
satisfaction in her voice, ‘He was getting his frst tattoo done.’
Before I can reply, she will have brought out another portrait, this
time of a woman’s face. I will worry slightly of the circumstances of
this work because the captured pain will appear so intense. Ellie will
seem to enjoy my response with a smug grin. ‘Waxing,’ is all she will
offer of this.
At last she will reveal her piece de resistance. The agony etched
on this man’s face will remind me of the stone-carved faces of
gargoyles. And yet, unlike the others, this man’s eyes are wide open
as though caught by his pain in complete surprise. ‘This...’ Even I,
with all my years of expertise, and all my time of controversial
galleries, will be shocked and in awe of this photograph. The
composition, the lighting, the expression, the position. I would dare
any person to look at this print and declare that photography is not
a work of art. I will look again at the frightened eyes; the intense
fash of surrender and shock. The mouth gapes open, lips cracked
while saliva builds up in the corners. With immense determination I
will look back to Ellie, expectant of some explanation. Instead she
will smile, soft and satisfed: her job here is done.
Bethany Ruth Anderson
[I know things]
Things, like the distance from the earth to the sun or who invented
the light bulb. How many gold our Olympic team won, and most
importantly, where to touch behind your ear to make you squeal
and giggle. But… none of those help now as you lay here across my
lap, occasionally whimpering in your sleep, the noise muffed by the
mask you must wear. A mask I know I have to fnd the strength to
remove soon, to take you away from all this.
I’m not sure how I have the ability to lift my hand and stroke the
damp hair away from your tiny face. My body is so heavy with this
numb calmness inside me. My earlier torrent of rage, fear and des-
peration weighed down now by grief and sickening
acceptance because I know I have no choice.
I know things…like you having the same pale skin and ridiculously
long eyelashes as your mother. My breath catches in my own mask
as I realise afresh that she will never hold you again whilst your
tiny heart beats. Never again chase you to let her brush your hair
or catch you trying to paint an opaque pink nail polish on Fern our
German Shepherd. And I know this: Fern will grieve as hard as her
human counterparts. But that was no love match. An invading army
wouldhave received a better welcome. We almost called The Guin-
ness Book of Records after a year’s stalemate and rejection - on
Fern’s part that is. For you, from the moment you could, you tried
to invade her heart but she was entrenched in her eight years of
ownership mode and could not be won over. Until, that is, you fell
the massive height of six inches from your bean bag and sprained
your wrist. That act changed her attitude towards you faster than a
light being switched on. But, I know things, and it’s time to switch
your beautiful light off my darling girl: because I may not know a lot
about fying or planes but I do know we have to run out of fuel soon
and I cannot bear to watch your terror as we unavoidably fall into
the massive ocean below us. So for that reason, I know I must
remove our air masks whilst you sleep and hold you close to my
heart as we leave this battlefeld together. The last thing I know is
that no one else will ever know what actually happened here.
Katie White
[Forest Of Cloth]
Leaves crunch beneath my feet. I’m surrounded by a forest of blank
canvases waiting for my art, for me to bring them beauty.
My medium, as my fat art teacher kept droning on about, is my
knife that glints in the cold sunshine. The problem is the art it-
self. Unlike his stuffy classroom there are no dust covered skulls or
mangy animal furs to inspire. Just leaves and trees, boring and dull.
I trip over a hidden tree root and stumble forward. My feet
scatter the leaves as if I’d kicked a puddle of water. The tree needs
to suffer. How dare it attack me? I’m here to help, to improve. I
drive my knife into its bark. Sap bleeds around the blade and onto
my scuffed army boots. Irritation is now anger. I kick out.
The wrong sound, more like stone on wood rather than my
boot. All I see are blank trees except for the one I stabbed. The
knife looks like a deformed nose dripping brown blood. My mind
focuses: I know what I want to create. My knife cuts the frst eye of
a destroyed face.
Pain rockets through my right arm. I pull up my sleeve to
reveal hot red with a hint of bruised purple. My fst grips my knife
tight. A light, female giggle flls the air as if the leaves are laughing.
A fash of white weaves between the trees. I follow.
The wind picks up. My cheeks burn red. The forest starts
to change. The green of life becomes the brown of death. Skeletal
leaves and dead sticks decorate the path. Decay is the perfume of
choice. Rocks burst out of the ground: giant incisors that match the
trees for size. Lumps of stone wallow in the mud. My boots are their
prey. I try to keep my balance but instead do a baby animal prance,
each step less confdent than the last. The ground takes longer than
I expect to slam into my body. A dull pain throbs through my side.
I’ve fallen into a natural bowl flled with crunchy brown leaves. The
sides are made of limestone rocks piled on top of each other likes
a baby’s blocks. Around the rim is a circle of trees with crooked
branches twisted up into bone breaking shapes. Their roots rip and
split the earth. The fash of white catches my eye for a second time,
a young girl with long, snow coloured hair in a matching dress. The
contrast against the wood makes her shine. She brings the palm of
her hand up to her chin and blows me a kiss that I feel land on my
cheek. She whistles a low pleasant note, almost hypnotic. The forest
around us comes alive.
The leaves become brighter, the trees straighter. Green emerald
cloth fows from the branches and wraps around the tree trunks.
The bark changes, facial features appear. The girl’s face becomes
bright with pleasure.
My body moves towards her as if some puppet master has taken
control. Her smile increases the closer I get. Her hands clap
together. I reach out to touch her, to feel her soft hair.
A long scream shatters the environment around me. The
sheer intensity of the noise forces me to the ground. Wood breaks
under my body.
My skin pebble-dashed with tiny stones and splinters.
Three fgures approach. They look like the girl but grey and
much older. Their skin wrinkled and shallow, loose on their skulls.
Their lips and eyebrows pencil thin, either side of deep black eyes.
Each woman kisses the girl before they turn and stare down at me,
like gargoyles on a cathedral.
“Rise,” they command as one.
The puppet master follows the instruction despite the agony
that is fghting for control of my body. The middle woman extends a
long knobbled fnger and presses it into my forehead with a punch
of pain. I squeeze my eyes shut as if the darkness will protect me.
At least I feel safe. Time and place no longer exist, only blackness.
The outside still creeps in; a cold tear runs down my cheek. I wipe it
away and feel the dirt of nature across my face.
“How dare you attack the forest,” they say in a low
poisonous whisper until the fnal word: a long piercing howl so
intense I slap my hands to my ears. They feel wet. I open my eyes
to see my palms covered in blood. The contrast to the green and
brown of the day is stark.
The single tear is now a waterfall landing in my hands,
blotches of white on the brightest colour. Beauty, for the frst time
today, I see real beauty. I lift my hands to show them.
Their response is a blossoming of joy, the look of the hungry when
food is placed in front of them.
A monolith of green cloth has erupted from the earth. The plain
surface starts to change. Contours and creases like a face, my face.
Stephen Shirres
Moments of Intolerable Sadness
your silly face swollen from tears
with your head upside down,
they drip up
into your eyebrows.
The sensation pulls at you,
a long distant reminder
fnds her,
through the cotton-wool blanket
of expressless nothing.
Moments of intolerable sadness,
permeating the dry,
heavy clausrophobia.
A clinging nothing
that makes you want to squirm
in your own skin
screaming your guts out
till your vocal cords
out of it. Boy
when you going to realise
this is it?
this is the whole thing,
there is no hidden audience
there is no secret play,
no one is watching
you acting this role.
And action without audience
is but an hollow mask.
wake up,
wake up,
wake up and wash your face
Michael Davis
[The Forth River]
The ripples wash dirt from our toes as we splash in, ankle deep.
Moonlight glimmering across the water; a long silver streak
reaching out from the horizon, far off where the river meets the
sea. The distant tide pulling back and forth, breaking like applause.
We wade deeper, our clothes in messy heaps on the bank. My teeth
chatter with the cold as the bed shifts underfoot. Ahead of me, she
dips her head under and surfaces screaming with laughter.
It’s not long before our feet are paddling to keep us afoat. Spinning
in slow circles, we grin and taste the water on our tongues. Beneath
us maybe a thousand feet of oceanslip, of fsh and sharks and shells
and sand – who knows? Around us nothing else to breathe the same
air. The coastline just a glittering string of lights.
The moon rises higher in the sky, a glowing coin against black
clouds. A light speckling of rain begins to fall. She grasps my hands
and we suck in deep, freezing breaths before diving under the
surface. It’s too cold to open my eyes but I enjoy the silence. The
heavy feeling of water all around; our fngers locked together. When
we surface we gasp for air, laugh, kiss, and look up at the sky.
I imagine us drifting out to sea. Past the fshing boats, past the
tankers, past the oil rigs to uncharted water.
To bits of ocean humans have never been before. At frst we’ll drink
the rain, eat seaweed, sleep in the mouths of whales. Then, after
a while, we’ll grow gills, learn to breathe the tide, and swim like
dolphins through fjords and reefs. Sure, we might swim back to land
one day, but not yet. It’s another world out here.
Samuel Best
Taking inspiration from the sweet factory
opposite their rehersal venue the
Larbert East Parish Church, Sweet Harmony
Barbershop Chorus aim to generate interest and
involvement in close harmony barbershop
singing in throughout the Falkirk District. By
encouraging existing and new members to
rehearse and prepare highly professional
public performances aimed at raising the
awareness, not only of the group but a
style of singing that has generally been
forgotten about throughout the area.
Sweet Harmony formed in 2012 after two members of the
audience at a ladies Barbershop Chorus event in Glasgow decided
that they too would like to have a go. After being informed that
another person in the audience, Ian Silcock, used to ‘run a chorus’
in the Kintyre area, they invited him to become involved. A meeting
was convened and it was agreed that the Barbershop chorus should
be born. An insert was placed within the ‘Larbert and
Stenhousemuir’ section of the Falkirk Herald inviting new members.
This was closely followed by a feature and group photo, again within
the Falkirk Herald, and very quickly the membership grew to 25. Our
frst performance was for the Larbert East Church Ladies, who had
been let down by a speaker and invited us to sing for them. What
started fairly nervously, progressed to a very successful debut. Since
that night the chorus, through regular practice, dedication, and the
enjoyment experienced from performing, has rapidly advanced and
now offers a performance of pleasant Barbershop chorus singing,
accompanied with laughter and some individual performances.
Sweet Harmony next events are;
15/07/14 – A Warm Welcome to our Barbershop Friends from Amer-
09/09/14 – Craigview Sheltered Housing Complex – Boness
30/09/14 – Larbert Old Church
[Sweet Harmony
Barbershop Chorus]
Geoffrey Leung
a swarm’s sacrifce
sweet razorsharp objective:
pollinate then die.
the efforts of countless wings
to be jarred in glass coffns
Karen French
I walk into the shopping centre
one summer
just after fve.
There’s no one around
the air is stale
as all freshness has been barred at the door.
I sit and look at the burnt out complex
with it’s 1990’s ideas.
Wondering why it’s still here
left to sit unused.
It’s sore on the eyes
of the hundreds of down and out spiders
who have no choice but to call here home.
I want it gone
torn down brick by brick
smashed up.
It shouldn’t be here
with its empty shops
with their empty boxes
full of shame and empty promises.
The spiders can fnd a new hole
The boxes can be recycled
I used to come here
but I never bought anything
that was 9 years ago.
Craig Allan
Geoffrey Leung
[Mind, at the end o Primary 6]
“Ah mind bein really excited tae,” Andy says, lookin through the
“Ken, me anaw,” says Fraser. “Couldnae wait till the bell rang.
Telt ma maw aw aboot it the night afore an she was like, ‘Really?
They’re gonnae let ye walk intae the toon yersels at lunchtime
–Primary 6s – oan thur ain! Nae teacher nor nuhin?’”
“Mental when ye hink aboot it, ay? Teachers lettin kids cross busy
roads tae go tae fuckin McDonald’s fur thur lunch. That kinda shit
wid be oan the news these days.”
A guy sittin wi his son looks up at thum through the glass.
“Look at the amoont o shit oan that table,” Fraser says. “Two Big
Macs, two o thae wee cheeseburgers, two cokes an two
McFlurrys. Wonder how many calories are in that lot.”
“Hunners, man. Fuckin hunners. It’s weird though, ay? We wur
that wee boy thon day at the end o Primary 6,” Andy points.
“Mind the buzz oan the way there.”
“Aw, totally.”
“Everyone talkin aboot whit they wur gonnae git, how much money
thur maws hud gied thum, if they wur gonnae go large or jist git
“Aye, an mind wee fat Harry Tonner’s maw gave him enough fur a
Big Mac, a McChicken Sandwich and a milkshake? He wis the envy
o the school that day.”
Frowning, the dad mouths ‘whit?’ His son husnae even noticed Andy
an Fraser, his mooth chompin awa at beefy cardboard an hot lettuce
oan ketchup-sodden baps.
“Ah’d love tae go in there an gie him a bollockin fur feedin his kid a
load o garbage,” Andy says. “Ah mean, whit kinda meal is that tae
gie yer kid at Easter, ay?”
“He probably cannae cook, man. Too busy workin or suhin. Ken
whit it’s like these days.”
“You soond like an auld basturt talkin like that,” Andy laughs.
“Well um 25 years aulder than ah wis that day we went to this very
restaurant, runnin aboot like it wis Christmas day or suhin.”
“Dinnae caw it a restaurant, man. Restaurants serve food.”
One says Keep Out, the other gies info aboot the project an the name
o the managers.
“Whit is it wi Scottish toons wantin tae be American, man?” Fraser
says, shakin his heid.
“Fuck knows. Popularity maybe?”
Walkin towards the Callendar Square, Fraser nearly steps in vanilla
milkshake thit sumdy’s jist dumped oan the groond.
“Looks like someone didnae quite make it tae the bin,” he says.
“An they wur so close too,” Andy says, pickin up the cup, lid an
straw. “Mibbie they mistook the middle o the high street fur the bin,
“Well, aye, mibbie. Easy mistake tae make efter aw,” Fraser says.
When they git doon tae the auld Tesco car park, thur’s hardly
oanybody aroond. A couple o guys huv jist turned the coarner tae
head doon towards Lidl, leavin only Andy, Fraser an the guys in JCBs
workin oan the KFC buildin. They walk towards the metal fence an
look closer at the shell behind it. Attached tae the fence wi cable
ties is a couple o notices.
“Aye. Bit how did shite food an creepy, paedo-lookin mascots
become sae popular the world over, that’s whit ah want tae ken. Ah
mean, jist pretend thur wis nae KFC or McDonald’s, right?”
“An me an you decided to open a fast food joint sellin high fat, low
nutrition junk at low prices.”
“An then ah says, c’moan an we’ll git a couple o mascots tae attract
children, make the grub fun, ken. Fur the chicken, the foatin heid o
some auld, crusty, bearded colonel who ye’d associate mair wi
Operation Yewtree than oanythin chickeny, an fur the burgers a
creepy clown like the one fae Stephen King’s IT wha plays an laughs
wi the kids an gies thum junk food an toys in a boax cawed a Happy
Andy laughs. “Aye.”
“Dae ye hink it wid take oaff? Like, aw across the world, an oor
logo would be recognised by everyone – an ah mean EVERYONE?”
“Aw c’moan, man, at least the Burger King in the High Street’s
closed doon.” Andy says.
“An whit’s Burger King no goat?” Fraser turns, raising a fnger.
“A creepy mascot?”
“Bit at least it’s one less.”
“Aye, true, bit how many fast food shoaps dae ye think thur are in
Andy looks tae the sky, daein a quick count in his heid. “Like, jist
Fawkurk, or like Camelin an Polmint an that tae?”
“Aye, Camelin, Polmint, Bainsfurt. Surroondin areas.”
“Dinnae ken, mibbie 30-odd?”
“72,” Fraser says. “Ah looked it up the ither night. So whit ah want
tae ken, is why dae Fawkirk Cooncil hink we need a fuckin KFC
Andy says nuhin, jist shakes his heid an looks through the fence,
eyes narrow. One o the JCB guys stoaps whit he’s daein an looks
over. Andy an Fraser stare back until the JCB starts movin again.
“72 fast food take away shoaps – an only one book shoap, or two if
ye count the Christian one oan Glebe Street. Whit dis that tell ye,
eh? Ken, this toon yased tae be really guid. Noo ye cannae even
buy a CD unless it’s fae a supermarket.” Fraser takes his mobile
phone oot o his pocket.
“Whit ye daein?” Andy asks.
“Pittin the number o the Construction & Safety Manager in ma
phone.” Once he’s punched in the number, he pits the phone back
in his pocket, pulls oot a penknife an fips the blade. The same JCB
guy stoaps whit he’s daein an looks over again.
“Bloody joke, intit?” comes a voice fae behind thum.
Andy an Fraser turn to see a tall guy in an orange boiler suit an
white skip cap walkin towards thum, carryin a black rubbish bag an
a grabber.
“Whit, this place?” Andy says.
“Aye, this place. Ah’ll tell ye whit’ll happen. Aw thae fat basturt
bus drivers ower there.” He points towards the bus station wi his
grabber. “They’ll aw come here fur thur lunches an dinners an jist
end up fatter. An at night, thull be queues o fanny cars linin up fur
the drive-thru, boomin like mobile fuckin discos, an then they’ll just
chuck thur litter oot the windae. An who’ll huv tae pick it up? ME!
This toon’s gettin dirtier an dirtier cos o shitholes like this.” He jabs
the air with his grabber towards the shell. The guy in the JCB lifts a
mobile phone to his ear.
“Yer right, man,” Andy says. “Naebody seems tae gie a horse’s erse
“Ye’d probably be better eating a horse’s erse than some o the shite
they’ll be sellin in there,” the litterpicker says. “Ye ken they urnae
even allowed tae caw it Kentucky Fried Chicken oanymair cos thur
products dinnae contain enough chicken. They can caw the wings
an drumsticks chicken cos it’s oan the bone, an that new pulled
chicken they’ve been advertisin recently, bit look oot fur adverts
fur the tower burger, or the zinger hingamyjig, or that popcorn
crap. Nae mention o the word chicken, cos it’s illegal if thur isnae
a certain percentage o chicken in it. An folk’ll be queuin up in thur
droves fur it tae. Makes me seek ah tell ye.”
“Nae mention o Kentucky either,” Andy says.
“Wonder whit Kentucky hink aboot that.”
“If ah wis Kentucky, ah’d be happy,” Fraser says, strokin his blade,
the sun refectin oaff it. “Ken, ah hudnae noticed that aboot the
tower burgers,”
“Aye, fu o additives an derivatives an aw thae gubbins,”
the litterpicker says, pickin a fag end oaff the pavement wi his
grabber. He takes his cap oaff an wipes his foreheid wi his sleeve.
“Whoever it wis at the cooncil thit gave this the go ahead deserves
tae be threatened wi that blade . . . Oh, aye, here we fuckin go
again.” He points wi his grabber at the guy getting oot the JCB an
walkin towards thum. “Am oot o here.”
“Aye, see ye later, pal,” Andy says. Fraser takes a wee cloth fur
cleanin glasses oot his pocket an wipes the blade an handle o the
“Awright lads,” JCB guy says, approachin the fence.
“Aye,” Andy an Fraser say in unison.
“Do youse ken that guy?”
“Whit, that guy we wur jist talkin tae?” Andy says.
“Aye, him there,” he points.
“Wi the ram oan the back o his overalls. Lenny Ingram.
He’s a volunteer litterpicker.”
“Seen him aboot,” Fraser says. “Didnae ken he wis a volunteer
though, or thit he’s cawed Lenny. Is thur a problem, like?”
“Whit’s yer business here?” he asks, takin oaff his hardhat to reveal
a thick heid o dark hair, peppered grey. “Youse huv been standin
here a while noo, jist lookin.”
“S’no a crime,” Andy says. “We’re jist interested in building sites.”
“Fair enough, bit whit’s wi the knife?”
“We’re photographers,” Fraser says, polishin the handle wi the
glasses cloth. “Ah’m pleased ye came ower actually. We’re daein a
night class at the college an we’ve tae take photies o the sun re-
fectin oaff suhin in a local location. Loads o folk in oor class are
takin pictures o the Kelpies, bit we want tae be a bit different, so
ah thought we’d take shots o the sun refectin oaff a blade wi the
buildin site fur the new KFC in the backgroond, bit oot o focus, ken,
kinda blurry. Thought it might look quite arty.”
“Aye, arty an sinister, like the front cover o a crime novel or suhin,”
Andy says. “We’re jist waitin fur the sun tae git a bit brighter, so
that’s why we’re hingin aboot. Hae a look at the knife if ye want,
it’s no that sharp. We urnae here tae cause trouble.”
Fraser passes it through the fence. “So, is it awright wi you thit
we yase the site as a backgroond, or d’ye want me tae gie the Site
Manager a bell frst? I’ve pit his number in ma phone.”
JCB looks at the knife. His expression softens. “Ah dinnae see oany
“Andy here hus the best iPhone oan the market. It’s as guid as any
camera if ye ken whit yer daein.”
JCB passes the knife back through the fence, runs a hand through
his hair an puts his hardhat back oan. “It’s awrite wi me. As long
as nane o the workmen are in it.”
“Aye, nae bother,” Fraser says.
They watch him walk back an climb into his JCB.
“I’m embarrassed,” Andy says.
“O whit?”
“Mind, at the end o Primary 6, the excitement aboot McDonald’s.
Total cringe.”
“Dinnae worry aboot it. Ah yased tae hink Noel Gallagher wis a
lyrical genius.”
Tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon. Like, whit
the fuck dis that even mean?”
“Ha! Fuck knows!”
“Right, ye ready?”
Andy does a quick look aroond him. “Aye, let’s go.”
When JCB hears the ring o feet oan the fence, he jumps oot the
cabin an runs. Bit by the time he reaches thum, they’ve awready
handcuffed thumselves tae one o the struts.
“Whit the hell are youse daein?” JCB says, arms oot wide.
“Ye need tae stoap workin,” Fraser shouts. “Stoap turnin oor toon
intae a great big advert fur fast food.”
“Are you stupit or suhin? Dae ye no hink we’ve goat the tools tae
cut through thae cuffs?” JCB laughs.
“This isnae aboot you, man, we’re oanly lookin efter the toon. Bit if
ye want tae make this personal . . .” Fraser takes his phone oot his
pocket wi his free hand “. . . Ah can phone yer manager an tell him
ye threatened us wi a penknife. Yer fngerprints are aw ower it.”

Words Dickson Telfer
Photography Sonja Blietschau
One of the best things about poetry and prose in Falkirk is that it’s
heavily self motivated. Events pop up in the area because groups of
writers are in love with jotting down stories and poems, creating the
literary scene and the diverse talent in the district themselves, that
they decide to put their material out there.
For 25 years Falkirk Writers Circle have been providing spoken word
events throughout Falkirk to great acclaim, this year with the help of
the Glasgow based bluegrass quartet, The Daddy Naggins they took
over Falkirk Town Hall Studio to celebrate Words and Music.
Opening the event with their own brand of Scottish and Irish folk
songs, Daddy Naggins warmed the audience into a good mood with
their foot tapping bluegrass renditions of well known and
original folk songs. The Writers Circle were more than a match for
the jangly banjo riffs as they presented an evening of well written
and perfectly dictated poems and short stories, magically weaved
together by the welcoming hosting skills of the groups’ chairman,
Colin McNeil. On show was a broad range of poetry styles and
subjects, ranging from growing up in Stenhousemuir to Memento
Mori. As well as hearing the work of the group’s more established
and acclaimed writers, the event provided a platform for the circle’s
new talent to take centre stage. A highlight was the emotional
poems of Ian Todd, as he eloquently described his unforgettable
experience of serving in the armed forces.
The set up was simple: the group stick to the same routine each
year, and why not as it is effective, inviting and proven to work
every time in delivering a professional and well-presented spoken
word event. Words and Music acts are more of a yearly
celebration of the group than a gig, as the audience is mostly made
of the group’s members - this is evident by the lack of hand-out
material providing links to websites, social media or even an email
address, as a result there is no way to follow up on the work of the
group for frst time visitors. As the group boasts a large membership
, it can afford to fll the Town Hall Studio and provide enough speak-
ers that each act only has three minutes, ensuring Words and Music
was fresh and engaging from start to fnish.
As a whole, the works of poetry and fction presented by the Falkirk
Writers Circle were extremely entertaining, well-read, rich in detail
and, in places, sensitive and surprising imagery was created,
resulting in a friendly, wide ranging and high quality spoken word
event held in the centre of Falkirk, created for the love of it.
Photograph provided by Eddie McEleney
[Review: Words and Music]
[Nick’s pug]
I noticed him walking past my driveway with a little smash face
on a leash. It honestly looked like someone had smashed it with
precision square in the face with a shovel. I walked over.
It muttered around my ankles in little squeaks and puffs mumbling
in pug language, then turned to look up at Nick who towered six feet
three above it. His muscle taut arm was struggling to take the strain
of this feather weight giant of a beast, with its burnt Xmas pudding
I looked up at Nick, an old childhood friend and he was staring at his
massive vein popping arm with an obsessive devotion as if I wasn’t
He looked down at me and widened his eyes, then looked quickly
back at his arm. Then he did it again, but as he widened his eyes he
nodded his head towards his fexing arm as if he wanted me to drool
and say,
‘woooow nice guns!!’
I said,’ Long time no see mate how’s things? It’s been ten years
since school. Remember a smashed yer windy when ye were washin
yer hair wi fairy liquid in the kitchen sink and I tried blaming it on
the invisible man hahahahahaha eh???’
He said nowt with a stone face and his goaty beard started doing
the shuffe.
His all in one eye brow started doing the caterpillar. The overcooked
dumpling pissed and shat in my driveway and started barking at me
as if it was me who did it. Then Nick the dick leaned over and did a
big gob on my car bonnet that slid down onto the pavement. This
big green goblin steroid of a thing. If someone got stuck in it
Nick would go to jail for man snotter! So I eventually gave in and
said,’ Been going to the gym big chap?’ His face lit up and he said
one solitary word whilst nodding, ‘ NAW.’
Paul Cowan
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[Small grants for small organisations]
Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund Grant
The Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund Grant is provided
and administered by The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust and is
available to voluntary and community organisations in the UK.
The scheme is intended to support projects with the following
Arts and education projects which help young people to achieve
their potential or show support for UK charities which defend civil
liberties and human rights.
Projects in the developing world, especially Africa, which maximise.
Enquiries call 0207 410 0330
Awards for Young Musicians
The charity supports the UK’s most talented young instrumentalists
aged fve to 17 years of age who, because of fnancial need, may be
prevented from fulflling their creative potential.
Grants of between £200 and £2,000 are available, based on evi-
dence of musical talent and fnancial need.
Key Criteria:
Aged between fve and seventeen years.
Financial need (all applications are means-tested).
Exceptional musical talent and potential.
Visit for more details
The Cardiff International Poetry Competition
The Cardiff International Poetry Competition is run by Literature
Wales (Llenyddiaeth Cymru) with support from Cardiff Council. The
competition is an annual award open to poets from any country,
working in any style or subject matter. The competition aims to
showcase poetry from around the world and is designed to allow
writers to convey their own unique approach to poetry.
Contact for more details
Grants for Community Groups in Falkirk
Community groups and schools across the Falkirk Council area have
the opportunity to apply for grants
of up to £500 from the Falkirk Community Schools Charity Board.
The Charity’s objectives are to
advance education and to provide or assist with the provision of
recreational facilities. Projects
previously funded include creation of eco-gardens, equipment for
school clubs, art clubs, local sports
clubs and historical societies. Since the beginning of the scheme in
2010, more than £12,000 has been
awarded. Applications to the scheme are assessed on a quarterly
More information at
Falkirk Council’s Community Grant Scheme
Supports community groups and voluntary organisations to deliver
projects that make a positive difference to communities across the
Falkirk Council area.
The Community Grant Scheme can offer support up to a maximum
of £5,000 towards community-based projects that can usually be
completed within a 12 month period.
Falkirk Council’s External Funding Unit
01324 506065/506260
The Elephant Trust
The Elephant Trust offers grant to artists in the visual arts, small
organisations and galleries throughout the UK.
The Trust aims to make it possible for artists and those presenting
their work to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by
lack of funds. It is committed to helping artists and institutions that
depart from the routine and signal new, distinct and imaginative
sets of possibilities.
Third 2014 deadline: 7 July 2014.
Contact the Elephant Trust:
Live Literature Funding
Live Literature Funding is provided by Scottish Book Trust with
funding allocated by Creative Scotland.
The scheme is a Scotland-wide initiative that will part-fund the cost
of hiring authors, poets, writers, storytellers and illustrators to
attend public literary events, such as readings, workshops and
Deadline: 30 September 2014 for events taking place between 1
January and 30 June 2015.
Funding can cover 50% of the author’s fee,
plus their travel and expenses.
Contact Live Literature at
The Cross Trust
The Cross Trust was established in 1943 by Sir Alexander Cross.
Sir Alexander Cross believed that a provision of funds at the
appropriate time in a young person’s life could turn someone who
may be described as ‘an awkward youth’, into a successful member
of society. He established the Cross Trust in order ‘to enable young
people of Scottish Birth or Parentage to extend the boundaries of
their knowledge of human life’.
No maximum or minimum grant levels are specifed. Applications
are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Deadline: Awards for organisations: 8 August 2014.
Contact The Cross Trust at
The Golsoncott Foundation
The Golsoncott Foundation offers grants to voluntary sector
organisations in the UK for projects that promote fne arts and
music. The Foundation’s declared objective is “to promote, maintain,
improve and advance the education of the public in the arts
generally and, in particular, the fne arts and music”.
The annual deadlines for applications are: 31 January; 30 April; 31
July; and 31 October.
Maximum Value £5000
Contact the Golsoncott Foundation at
[Untitled] would like to thank the artists, writers and groups that
either directly provided help in the creation of this publication, or
whose information and images were used with permission.
All images are the direct property of the groups or the collection
from which they were obtained from, and all copyright laws should
be observed.
This page does not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the
groups involved nor does their policy represent that of [Untitled].
This page is the sole property of [Untitled], and all funding for it’s
creation came from the small private funds of [Untitled]
[Untitled] would like to again thank Central Scotland Forest Trust for
kindly donating a multifunction printer, without it this issue would
not have happened.
Acknowledgements to Contributors
Bethany Ruth Anderson
Samuel Best
Sonja Blietschau
Paul Cowan
Michael Davis
Karen French
John Grieve
Geoffrey Leung
Eddie Mceleney
Dickson Telfer
Paul Tonner
Stephen Shirres
Katie White
[Untitled] is edited by Craig Allan