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Work by members of the Care and Share Writing Group



The Five Rhythms

The river flows gracefully along our shores
And banks of the rivers
With the fish and dragonflies swimming 
And spreading their wings in the stillness of the spring
Moving with the smell of lavender 
With cows and sheep running about 
In utter chaos to the sound of the waterfall
As it roars over the cliff tops. 
One could hardly hear the shunting and shuddering in the background
Of trains loading up coal into wagons
With freight trains taking sheep and cattle to the market

James Brown

Listening to Music

Music flows softly to the ear. 
If you listen to the words and sounds 
they are mostly clear.
The sound of music is relaxing from far and near.

James Brown


One of the first songs the Beatles made was called “Help!”.
Unto this day Jesus has opened up his heart to give people help
and guide them on the right path of goodness 
for the sake of all mankind.

Ramsey Gardens

So nice to see people out and enjoying themselves
with the quietness of the swans and other birds
on a nice sunny day

James Brown


Out on the ice
having great fun
granddad holds on 
to his little one

Sandra Dunbar


The planets are so weird,
you wonder if life exists.
Maybe God and Jesus are there,
and people who die

Sandra Dunbar

The Beatles

Four boys from Liverpool,
ordinary lads, 
started in The Cavern 
and they weren’t bad

Sandra Dunbar

The River Ayr

Flowing river,
so much to see,
ducks gulls, swans
means a lot to you to me

Sandra Dunbar


I was in London 
twenty six years ago
madness chaos all the time.
I loved it the,
it was fun.
I was young.

Sandra Dunbar

Fine Day

Lovely warm and sunny,
people going brown,
birds singing,
blue skies.
Very glad to be alive

Sandra Dunbar


Summer’s here, 
makes us all fee good ,
birds, bees, flower, trees,
walking in the woods,
watching people going by,
planes flying high in the sky.

Sandra Dunbar


Jazz is not for me 
definitely not my cuppa tea.
I love the blues, 
reggae and soul 
Bob Marley, Otis Redding – 
they make me feel whole!

Sandra Dunbar

Looking at the beautiful dove
it is the symbol of peace and love. 
Flying so high,
soaring the sky, 
reaching the heavens above

Sandra Dunbar


The beach is inspirational,
it’s got the deep blue sea
and the golden sand,
it’s so beautiful to me.
Also it’s got the sunset
that’s so lovely to watch at night 
and I think that’s such a wonderful thing.

The sun on the beach is fantastic. 
It makes me feel really good, 
it gives us a tan 
and I like going to the beach when I’m down
because it makes me feel better .
It also gets a lot off my mind
and gives me time for me to think
about what I want in life.

Sarah-Louise Cullen

The River and the Rain

The calm river made me feel lovely and calm –
all relaxed but the rain was distracting me.

Sarah-Louise Cullen


the swans are beautiful 
their white colour 
adds calm to the river

Sarah Louise Cullen


People walk along the River Ayr.
It is nice to see them chatting 
and enjoying themselves.
It makes me want to join them

Sarah-Louise Cullen

Three Haiku

sunlight making waves
seagulls’ ducking heads held low
guillotine approaches

stone structured arches
holding up ancient bridge
arms outstretched

fish under green slime
dashing round the rocky coves
ducks retreating home

Lisa Dunbar

Deep love

a broken bridge,
a broken dream.
I heard a thud, 
I heard a scream.
An Amish person said “Hi JIm” 
and I felt a love from deep within.

Lisa Dunbar


Engulfed in a circle of fire
trapped in the walls of time
betrayed by the friends of your fathers.
That was yesterday.
Tomorrow things will be brighter
if we hark to the voices of the winds,
and the whispering of the trees.
Mother Nature’s warning
never comes too late.

Lisa Dunbar

Autumn Leaves

A gentle breeze flows through the trees,
leaves blow through the air
and fall to the ground.
Storm brewing,
swirling, twirling in circles.
Suddenly it dies down,
leaves float to the ground.
All is quiet,
all is still.

Lisa Dunbar

The Eye in the Sky

Great eye in the sky 
gaze upon all your creation:
mountains, stars, volcanic rock
all contained within your watching eye

Lisa Dunbar


The lines on her face
Etched deep, no sleep
for weeks bridge creeks,
lampshade earrings weigh a ton.
She’s done.

Lisa Dunbar

If cares and tears were like rain
and flowed along gutters into the drains,
would they end up in the sea?
We could throw them all away 
and never pick them up again.
If joy and laughter were like sunshine 
and made shadows on the ground 
and sunbeam sandwiches 
we could always walk in the light,
and darkness would be no more.

Lisa Dunbar

List poem

high-rise flats
Turner’s Bridge
Mill St
walking sticks
motor scooter
nice weather

oh what a lovely day
sun shining 
breeze blowing oh what a lovely day
birds are chirping 
ducks are quacking
children are playing 
women are gossiping
oh what a lovely day

Frances Hillhouse

Three Haiku

Buildings bridges towers
rippling water
swans seagulls pigeons

Trees leaves branches
grass flowers weeds
people in the sun

A river softly flows
water, reeds, fish within
people ambling by

John Sculllion

Writing in a Stream of Consciousness

I dreamt and as I dreamed I saw myself eventually, intermittently crawling and jumping on a pathway made of books and furniture and pot plants all leaning like some double-shuttled Salvador Escher daydream. But it wasn’t, this was my dream.

Somewhere while on a viscous bender I lost both my game-systems.  I knew they were with Ned Junk and his crew, but while I was out getting drunk and loosing shit, my home from home at the Railway Station was flattened.  Oh Bugger!

So, I;m crawling , climbing and stagger-stumbling over all these books and plants through people’s houses in dingy junk-flats and finding elderly cigars and a broken measchaum pipe with baccy left half smoked since 1718 (strong, but some rush).

An old wise lady, she’s 94 they proudly told me gave me a 1920s car and I met her kitten. It had odd little semi-vestigal arms , four of them with tine elderly hands (four digits), no opposable thumbs fading, faded blue eyes with slight opacity (cataracts?).

I saw a girl of 10 or 12 drag a guitar by two steel strings bumping and jolting over concrete and gravel.  I thought it was mine, but it was the wrong colour.  Hell, I knew it was mine!  But it was the wrong colour.

I’d been drinking bourka and ice-cream with Irn-Bru.  Frothy and fun!  And I bought munchies in a dump in the middle of Flea Town.  Cooked jumbo sausages and half-burned greasy full rind bacon (still crisp and limp at the same time).

The cat was subtly Bag-puss shaded or  was it more foetal?  (Foetal attraction).

Rory Stevens

Water Clock

each in its own time 
marking the minutes of the hour

Drips drip 
plip plop 
seconds pass into glass

Time drops each marking
into glass seconds

The last drops have fallen 
and silence marks the day.

Rory Stevens
Five Haiku

River bank sunshine
placid ripples seen through bars
where gulls contest ducks

Brightness clears the clouds
and dapples bush and joyous bird
behind sun wind is cold

Gulls bathe here 
cool ripples lap the steep bank
I find inner peace

Lee rows his boat slow
across the calm of twilight
his oars dip rhythmically

Across the river
green pond scum
festoons shopping trolleys

Rory Stevens


Fluffy clouds, fat comfy
drifting tides of wind 
below the sky, the sea
Ailsa Craig painted in spring
Birds sing madrigals

Rory St




Care & Share is run for, and with, people who are either homeless, have been homeless or are vulnerable to homelessness.  The group first met in February 2008 and since then we've been on a journey together that has shattered prejudices and forged many new friendships.  Some members are only with us for a short time - finding support to help them through a time of crisis.  Other members drop in and out of the group depending on their needs at any particular time.  Several members have remained with the group and become a source of support and encouragement to others going through similar trials and difficulties.


Care & Share has developed from a drop-in lunch club to a one-stop shop facilitating the interface between service users and service providers.  Partnership and mutual respect have always been at the heart of what we do.  The unique strength of Care & Share is to be found in the relationships between the various partners involved - employees of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, South Ayrshire Council, Riverside Church volunteers, various support agencies and the members themselves.  We work to bring people and hope together.  


This booklet is the product of much work, but it is also evidence of much hope.  

My thanks and congratulations go to all who have been involved.


Ian Gall

Associate Pastor - Riverside Church, Ayr



These poems (and prose piece) are an example of work created over a period over six months at the Care and Share project in Riverside Church.  When we were not writing in the church’s meeting room, we were out along the banks of the River Ayr deriving inspiration from nature on dry and sunny days. 


Thinking retrospectively, it strikes me that the major thrust of the group’s tenure at Riverside has been discovery: discovery not only of the writer within, but the discovery of other aspects ourselves and of each other.


Writing creatively has clearly enabled us to understand each other better, sharpened  perceptions of our shared connections and deepened friendships.  Such is the power of the pen.


Alistair Paterson



Nov 2009


A great many thanks to all who have very generously supported us, and assisted in the groups’s efficient running: Linda Muir at the the Learning Shop; Tracey McAllister, Public Health Facilitator for Homeless Clients; Jackie Blane, Community Learning & Development - South Ayrshire Council; Jim Cobb, Ian Gall and Bobby Robertson from Riverside Church, and all the volunteers  who help out on a Wednesday afternoon.


We dedicate this book to Tracy McAllister, without whose vision and hard work the enormous success of Care and Share would not have been possible.










































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