The Element Of Ether

– Poetry by Ailsa Snaith, Painting by Julia Guzzio 



A forum
Steeped in words – deliverables
Black coffee
Swirls ominously
To still
Ignoring the exhibit


If mystery could be measured
What might it say of the standing stones
Ritual tools and upright thrones
If abstracts were all answers
What might they say of a cyan splash
Laser lines, a dot, a dash
If climate was not treasured
What might it say of our silent voice
Desert minds, diminishing choice


I swim in the blue oceans of life
Collecting thoughts with each wave
After a while
I realise
With each new wave and thought
I have swallowed water
I struggle to breathe
I hear the voice
That tells me to lie on my back
Arms and legs outstretched
To watch the clouds part and pass
Breathing becomes easier
It was the Universe
She spoke to me



Ailsa Snaith was raised in Eryri National Park in Wales and started writing poetry as a teenager on a trip to Ynys Enlli known as the legendary ‘Island of 20,000 saints’. After completing a PhD in Cambridge and medical training in Aberdeen, she worked as a hospital doctor in Oxford. For the last six years she has been in Cyprus and the Middle East with her military husband, during which her focus turned to current mental health strategies and an interest in the potential benefits of psychedelics. Latterly she has been working with military veterans in crisis and has started collaborating in creative projects; it is through this work that her passion for facilitating access to psychedelics has grown and led to embarking on a Psychology Masters at the University of Highlands and Islands in Scotland. Ailsa’s belief is that a country may be judged by the services available for those most in need. Her vision is to set up a research and therapy centre in the Highlands devoted to creating a nature-based space for recovery, and an ongoing safety net, for those with addictions or suicidality.


Julia Guzzio is a multitalented artist creating works through many media. Julia draws, paints, photographs, creates video performance art, and writes poetry. She earned her fine arts degree from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, NY. Julia draws inspiration from observation, from her love of reading, the sciences, and a remarkably creative and expressive thought process.