Fife poet reflects on life with Parkinson's

A Buckhaven man who has lived with Parkinson’s for almost 10 years has released a poetry book about life with the condition.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 9:35 pm
Mark has released a poetry book.

Mark Coxe, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 50, is a member of the Parkinson's UK Fife branch. He has published ‘Reflections – Poetic Thoughts about Parkinson’s, Pandemic and Life’, – a collection of honest, quirky, and perceptive poems written throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mark (59) admits he hated poetry at school but had an urge to start one morning during last year’s lockdown - and he has not stopped since.

He started sharing the poems with friends in the Parkinson’s community and was encouraged to compile a book after his writing received a warm reception.

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About 12,400 people in Scotland have Parkinson’s – which is around one in every 375 adults.

But Mark, who will retire from his job at Forth Ports this summer, hopes his poetry collection can put a smile on people's faces as he gets set to produce 500 copies of his poetry book.

Copies will cost £10 plus P&P with 60 per cent of profits going towards the Parkinson’s Active appeal to enable people with Parkinson's to access local exercise programmes, and 40 per cent going to the Parkinson’s UK Fife branch.

Mark said: “I woke up one morning last May and looked at my daughter’s prom dress, which was hanging on the back of our bedroom door and for some bizarre reason a poem developed in my head based on the fact she would never get to wear it.

“I felt sorry for it and wrote a poem - Ode to a Prom Dress - and that’s the first poem that’s in the book. They’re not just about Parkinson’s, they're also observations on the pandemic and general things that popped into my head that I’ve written down.

“I put them on the Fife group WhatsApp and everybody really liked them and the committee said I should write a book and sell it with proceeds going to the charity. We started editing the poems and putting them into some sort of order for a manuscript. I approached the company who does the printing for my employer and they have done all of the formatting free of charge and the printing at cost.

To reserve a copy, email [email protected]