Grangemouth port worker publishes first poetry book on life with Parkinson's amid pandemic
A Grangemouth-based port worker who’s lived with Parkinson’s for nearly ten years has published a poetry book reflecting on life with the brain disorder.
Forth Ports employee Mark Coxe, who was diagnosed with the condition eight years ago aged 50, discovered a previously untapped flair for poetry during the coronavirus lockdown to produce his first piece of published work.
The Buckhaven man’s book, titled Reflections: Poetic Thoughts About Parkinson’s, Pandemic and Life, takes the reader on a humorous and thought-provoking journey.
Mark hated poetry at school and disliked poetry as an adult but woke up one morning with words flying round his head trying to organise themselves into poems – all inspired by the sight of his daughter’s prom dress, which he knew would go unworn last year.
He then jotted down almost 100 honest, quirky and perceptive pieces of work, often mirroring events faced by us all throughout the pandemic but guaranteed to bring a smile to faces even in darker moments.
Mark was encouraged by the positive responses he received from his Forth Ports colleagues and friends from the Fife branch of Parkinson’s UK.
The feedback persuaded him to compile a book and share his newfound talents with a wider audience to raise money for the Parkinson’s Active project and branch funds.
He said: “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.”
The release of Reflections: Poetic Thoughts About Parkinson’s, Pandemic and Life last month coincided with World Parkinson’s Day.
The event is held each year on April 11 – the birthday of Dr James Parkinson, the first to describe ‘Shaking Palsy’, or to give it its proper name ‘Paralysis agitans’, a condition that would later be renamed Parkinson’s disease.
Copies cost £10 plus postage and packing, with 60 per cent of profits going towards the Parkinson’s Active appeal to enable people with Parkinson's to access local exercise programme and 40 per cent donated to the Parkinson’s UK Fife branch.
Orders can be placed by emailing [email protected]