I was born in Bournemouth on the south coast of England in 1968. I stayed in Christchurch a beautiful town near Bournemouth up until the age of 8 when we emigrated to Australia (Perth, WA). I had a fantastic life in Australia and competed at a junior level as an archer, a lifelong passion for the sport. We returned to the UK when I was 13, I joined the Royal Air Force in 1985, a very enjoyable and exciting 15-year career.
I have lived and worked in the Middle East, India, and Central Europe after the RAF. This period in my life was hugely rewarding as I held a global position and have had many incredible trips to all corners of the globe.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
Buckie is a small town in between Inverness and Aberdeen in the Northeast of Scotland and is where I call “Home”. This beautiful area fills me with joy every day, I love the remoteness, the scenery, the fauna, flora, the people, the languages and dialects, and of course the history. In particular the historic castles, monuments, and the carving of the ancient “Pictish” (From the Latin Picti meaning painted people) people of the Iron Age who communicated by using elaborate stone carvings instead of the written word.
What turns you on creatively?
Surrounding myself in nature, the complexity of human emotions, and the spirit of humanity in adversity. The multitude of cultures I have had the honour to interact with all over the globe.
I see pain from bereavement, working proudly as a volunteer for SoBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide), having lost my eldest Son Stephen to suicide in 2019.
I regularly write about mental health and suicide and of course bereavement. Some of this poetry is dark, however. I also write about my personal journey coming back to the light and my healing path and the support I have been given by those closest to me. My poetry is my way of saying. “I know how you may be feeling and I’m here for you”, “Lean on me and let me share some of your grief”.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
There are many words that I love, I guess it’s the passion of the written and spoken word that poets and authors thrive on. But if I reflect, I would choose HOPE – My poetic sentence would be:
“When you are surrounded by darkness, reach out and touch the healing hand of light, your Salvation, your HOPE awaits”.
What is your pet peeve?
Martialism and the divide between those who have material wealth and think they have found happiness, and those who have nothing yet have everything that’s important to us as humans, love, family, and humility.
I am frustrated that in the 21st century, the gap between capitalist societies and the societies that live in poverty remains and is getting ever wider.
The over-reliance on communication via the internet and the fear that future generations will abandon the most important form of human communication, story telling through reading and writing. I touch on my worries in my poem Immersed and Drowning.
What defines Stephen Ferrett?
I would like to take my perspective of me from not only my own view, but from the others who know the real Stephen Ferrett, those being, the most special people in my life:
My desire to find happiness in myself firstly, to live a humble and respectful life and by the mantras I have set myself and read daily. To have continued empathy for others who may be suffering and to use my words and my experiences to give those souls hope.
I would like to think that I put others first, but try and occasionally look out for myself, particularly my own mental health and well-being, as I suffer from PTSD.
My children define me as a Father and role model, I think they view me as old fashioned and techno-illiterate, but a fun guy to be around that loves them with my every fiber.
My partner (My beautiful Jen) defines me and the values I hold. The utmost importance I put on openness, honesty, and love. Knowing the feeling of being soulmates, friends, and lovers.
She might even compliment me on my cooking skills, but also shake her head with my dislike of sometimes having to begrudgingly engage in small talk with strangers, something I’m working on!!
Stephen has had a love of writing and poetry from an early age, influenced by his travels. Now he is focused on several key areas, mental health and bereavement, Scottish history and landscapes and social outcomes. He lives in a small town called Buckie in the Northeast of Scotland. He hopes one day to publish a poetry anthology charting his own mental health from its lowest point, through recovery on to living a happy and healthy lifestyle, in order to help other who maybe suffering in silence.