You’ve probably heard of the author Milly Johnson. She is best known for her women’s fiction but did you know she also writes poetry too? I’d like to tell you about her poetry book called A Cat Shaped Space; all proceeds of which go to the charity Yorkshire Cat Rescue.
Milly has very kindly given me an excerpt from one of her poems entitled “The Menopause” to share as well.
A Cat Shaped Space is a lovely little poetry book that is available from Milly’s website as a paperback with full illustrations by Stuart Gibbins, or as a Kindle release on Amazon.
It is full of varying styles of poetry about subjects that many of us older ladies will identify with such as motherhood, menopause and midlife. There’s one about Elvis Presley and as you would expect there are lots about cats and several about Christmas. One was even written by Milly Johnson when she was a copywriter for Christmas cards.
I love that Milly explains why she wrote each poem. I find it really interesting to find out what inspires any creative person, whether they are a writer, artist or musician.
As you may have seen I write about menopause here on the blog. I feel that we need to address it with humour sometimes to cope with the effects that it has on the health of our mind and body. I also like to raise awareness for various charities when I can, and when I saw the poem called The Menopause in this book, it seemed to tick all the boxes.
Milly Johnson told me about her involvement with the rescue and how her charity book A Cat Shaped Space came about:
“I bought my first cat from them in the 1980s when I lived in Haworth and they were Haworth Cat Rescue. I’ve always stayed friends with the lady who set up the charity which has now grown into Yorkshire Cat Rescue and when they asked me to be their patron I jumped at the chance. I know that the money they receive goes where it should do and not on fancy fripperies for their office. They work tirelessly to rehome cats and I’ve had quite a few of them myself over the years.
I wrote this book for them and they will receive all the profits. Volume II will be coming out in 2020 because I had the best fun writing it – although many of the poems were written many years ago.
My friend Stu Gibbins, who is an incredibly talented artist, did all the illustrations and we even chose top notch paper to make it a proper gift book. A really lovely feel good project which has raised over £3000 for them so far and I’m hoping for so much more. ”
THE MENOPAUSE by Milly Johnson
Sharon has started to sweat a lot
She’s abandoned her nightie and slippers
She now goes to her bed
Dressed from feet up to head
In a wet suit with snorkel and flippers
With the cash she’d save not buying tampons
Mags was going to buy a Mercedes
But the brass in her banks
Has all gone on Spanx
Health supplements and Tena ladies
Caroline’s hobbling and wobbling
She needs two new hips and new knees
Her joints are as stiff
As a teddy boy’s quiff
And she throws her back out with one sneeze
She used to walk tall in stilettos
In the old days she’d out-dance St Vitus
Now all she can handle
Is a Dr Scholl’s sandal
Thanks to gout and plantar fasciitis
Jane was too vain to wear glasses
Her world was a dim blurry mess
She’s now rather vocal
On the joys of bifocals
And owns more specs than Vision Express
Sam’s been backpacking all over the world
New Zealand, the Congo, Madrid
But now what she’d choose
Is a nice Saga cruise
Or a ‘Turkey and Tinsel’ in Brid
Dawn used to down pints of snakebike in one
She was Yorkshire’s own female George Best
But she’s stopped getting drunk
Cos her bladder has shrunk
And she daren’t risk her pants getting messed
Pam goes up stairs then says ‘Why am I here?’
She thinks something is wrong with her head
‘Where’s my phone, where’s my keys
Did I feed the Burmese?
What’s the name of the bloke in my bed?’…
Milly Johnson also wrote a book called The Barn on Half Moon Hill for the charity Care for Claire. You can read about that in my earlier post of 15 Women’s Fiction Books.