For 24 years May Simpson has been providing joy and comfort to our readers through her poems, and this week she talks to the Times about her inspiration.
Pensioner May has lived most of her life in Newtownabbey, first in Glengormley and then in Cherrylands on the Doagh Road. As well as working in Gallaher’s factory on the York Road in Belfast she and husband George ran Simpson’s Butchers in the Diamond in Rathcoole for 37 years.
Mother to Lorraine and twins David and Philip, she also has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
May has been a member of Abbots Cross Congregational for more than 40 years and would be known to many around Rathcoole through her work visiting elderly people around the estate.
But to many her name is recognised as the weekly poet in the Newtownabbey Times.
She told the Times: “I have always loved poetry, and always wrote poems all the time and then the Newtownabbey Times approached me about writing a piece every week - it’s been a long time, but I do enjoy it.”
May has also written and published many of her own books, recently she donated £300 to the Hospice from the proceeds of her book sales.
She went on: “I don’t know how many ledgers I have in the house, but they are thick books, some with 40 poems on each page.
“I just think about writing a poem and then before I know it I have one done.”
“They just come to me, I’m a Christian and have just always felt that’s the way God works in me.
“He is very important to me and guides me. He keeps me well.
May’s poems are well received often with people buying the paper just to read her latest instalment or approaching her in the shops to thank her for her poems and urging her to continue the good work.
She added: “It gives me a great wee lift when people say they enjoy them.
“Writing for me is very comforting and the poems do give me a bit of company - I honestly think it is a heavenly inspiration and I do love writing them.”