Kay Carmichael

Kay Carmichael

Kay Carmichael (1925 -2009) journalist, broadcaster, social worker,university teacher. While working as principal officer for offenders with Strathclyde Region, Kay helped to develop the Special Unit for violent offenders in Barlinnie Prison. Her publications include a column in New Society called Saints & Sinners, and books that include Ceremony of Innocence – a history of tears, and Sin & Forgiveness in a Post Christian Culture, and, finally, a poetry booklet – It Takes a Lifetime to Become Yourself.

A sample poem from It Takes a Lifetime to Become Yourself.


I live on the edge
of madness.
Only a membrane
fine as silk
weaves between my self
and inner caves
where pain and terror lurk.
Behind that skin,
sometimes seen by
my unfocussed eye,
a creature lives,
not mine, but bound to me
in old familiar ways, altering
my vision of the world.
Today the membrane ripped
and loosed not only him
to rampage through my head
but others I should have
killed off long ago
had I known how
had you been there to help.