Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Autobiography of a mediocrity in bad verse

In Gala was our hero born,
A rotund Babe with baldy head
Precursor of his future form
A hairless crown with beard instead

In Peebles raised by maw and paw
A brother soon they added
Through border hills our hero roamed
Though gut grew richly padded

At Priorsford he went to school
His chums there were so many
Kickabouts and adventures
were more than ten a penny

At PHS he passed some tests
Whilst learning with his buddies
With Bruce and Zico,  Chris and Hogge
They excelled at media studies

At seventeen he left his hame
And set off for Dundee
Made friends and more,  he somehow passed
And came out with degree

Then signing on,  he was told
To go for interview
He got the job,  in shop he worked
All thanks to the burroo

While at the shop he chased a lad
Who had stole wee girl's pants
Lad pulled a knife,  our hero froze
And nearly soiled his scants.

Then Revenue a job offered
With salary and pension
Our hero joined, joined pcs
His life gained new dimension

For twelve years now, Our hero's toiled,
for employer and for justice
You've heard his tale,  and may now wonder
Quite what all the fuss wis.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Offensive art

Without seeing the piece, they protest
just the thought of it, they detest
to minds that can imagine its content
unseen, it causes discontent
offending their sensibilities,
taxing their cognitive abilities
their moral outrage unsurpassed
but their logic is half assed
"boycott,  blockade!" is their cry
but the punters pass them by
the moral high ground they have lost
by not paying the admission cost
by not engaging with the thing
their protests have a hollow ring

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fair City

In the year ae oor LORD twa thoosan an' twelve,
The fair city ae Perth caught up wi it's ain hype,
When the Queen took pity on them
And let them catch up wi' Dundee in one regard.

Perth is now officially a city.

Teen pregnancies they're still working on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reminder for dark days

Some days,  darkness will come
No matter what triumph it follows
Like smoke building up, till all is black
Suffocating positivity
A fall for pride possessed.

Some weeks, darkness will linger
In dark you wake,  night past but yet
No blazing orb of light can penetrate,
Dissipate, that dark
A darkness that pervades.

Yet each time,  a light will shine
If long enough you wait. Piercing,
A spotlight on the positive strikes through
Illuminating and offering
Perspective so needed.

That light will come,  my friend,
That light will come.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The day after

Disappointed, but no depressed
We done our best and did no bad
We dared to dream
Of better future
Gave it everything we had

And though the votes,  they tallied no
Our hope is still alive
For folk in Scotland
Still can dream
Our dream it hasn't died

In our thousands we called for change
A cry that echoes still
Around the country
That we love
Resound it always will

The disengaged that we engaged
Cannot be packed away
We want justice
For us all
We want it here today

Scots can be be proud of what we've done
In taking on the state
Of calling loud
For better world
For love and peace,  no hate.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Across a nation, engaged anew
Voices never heard before cry out
The sound of a people with a purpose
The sense of something happening
Something reborn in beauty

Together,  we sing our song 
of future bold,  of hope fulfilled
Together we say that what has been
Has not been good for us
Together we stand for a new nation

Our power is not in old ownership 
But new and fresh, the dispossessed 
Demanding more,  demanding change
Demands not modest,  starkly put
From mouths ignored till now

A trajectory towards tomorrow's vote
That can't be changed or fettered 
A fearless face towards the future 
A desire stated boldly for justice
Denied by dealers in distraction

Tomorrow, let our stand be noble. 
With heads held high,  in spirit of love, 
Let us begin our betterment 
Let us decide our fate
Let us vote Yes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I want to feed you burgers

I want to feed you burgers, 
But my life won't let me
I want to be there with you
So you don't forget me
I want to be there, hold your hand
When times for you are hard
But life it has me elsewhere, often
Won't let me be your guard
The way of things is what it is
I can't be there with you
But know that you are in my thoughts
In everything I do.

Not a love letter

This isn't a love letter
I just wrote to say I care
To let you know I'm thinking of you
Although I'm not often there

You mean the world to me,  you know
And I'm glad you're in my life
You cheer me up when I am down
When my problems they are rife

And although we can't be more than friends
I won't ever let you down
I'll always be here on the phone
Even when I'm not in town

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The wan whit votit naw

A hypothetical apology from the person whose single vote tipped the referendum to no...

Ah'm the wan thit votit naw
And ah'm sorry tae yis aw
Fur ah really didna think it wud be me
That cost us independence
When I cast my vote the day
wis the wan preventit Scotland being free

Ah'm a wee bitty feart
Tae tell the truth tae yous
Cus ah ken that ye had hope when ah hid fear
But the nice man on the telly
Tell me what Ah hud tae dae
Independence it wud raise the price ae beer.

Ah'm the wan thit votit naw
And ah'm sorry tae yis aw
Fur ah really didna think it wud be me
That cost us independence
When I cast my vote the day
wis the wan preventit Scotland being free

Ah ken we've got oor pensions
And we could still spend our poonds
And the oil's still sitting there beneath the sea
And the nukes we never use
We could well afford to lose
But that's no whit they said on the bbc

Ah'm the wan thit votit naw
And ah'm sorry tae yis aw
Fur ah really didna think it wud be me
That cost us independence
When I cast my vote the day
wis the wan preventit Scotland being free

If ah'd kent that it could happen
Then ah might have votit yes
Cos ah dinnae like the workfare or tories
But ah dinnae like tae change things
Ah like them tae stay the same
And it's really awfy scary bein free

Ah'm the wan thit votit naw
And ah'm sorry tae yis aw
Fur ah really didna think it wud be me
That cost us independence
When I cast my vote the day
wis the wan preventit Scotland being free


Wednesday, September 10, 2014


A binary choice,  strange bedfellows maketh,
Murdoch and me we're no friends*
But polar positioning don't equal friendship
You'll find that we want different ends

I've got pals who'll vote no,
Some I call comrades too,
With whom I feel much more alike
Than digger billionaires
On the bandwagon jumped
I'd rather they jumped on a bike.

I'll still mark my x in the box labelled yes
For a country that's fair and that's free
From the evils of trident,  workfare and cruel war
And then I'll gae hame fur ma tea.**

*Rupert,  obviously. Pauline I'm very fond of.

** I'm not sure how Michael Marra would have voted. But hopefully he wouldn't mind the blatant theft in kind spirit.  Particularly not when I'm citing a pal none of my political friends know...

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Modern Employment Meat Market

Efficiency savings for bosses not workers
defaming disabled folk as feckless shirkers
the high cost of living that outstrips your pay
the offer of extra hours, each Saturday

The knowledge that if you're off, you will be canned
the neo lib vision,  supply and demand
dictating to people. what they have to do
It's all here already, in a workplace near you.

Friday, August 15, 2014


A thing of rarest beauty
sits just outwith our reach
Ours, if we focus,
give it all, grasp and pull.

Abandoning quicksand
that bogs us down
that with each passing day
saps us of our energies.

Refusing to be sucked in further,
to dilute our desires, our passions,
to compromise with milquetostes
in hopes of jam tomorrow.

triangulation towards a point
nowhere upon our map
yields power without purpose.
That is not for us.

We can reach out, affirm faith
in what we hope to be
In that future our children deserve
that we can see ahead.

The best of all possible worlds
is not this one.  And in this world
not all is for the best. but the best
we can be, we could be so simply.


September comes, the season turns,
and leaves they turn and fall.
for Scotland's poor, the answer's clear
vote yes, for sake of all.
Now weans they starve for want of bread
and thousands want for work
we could change this, and make things right
or in the shadows lurk.
allow big bro to run us still
spend cash on bombs not homes
prioritise the bankers' will
against that of our own.
By voting yes we could say no
to greed, and hate and strife.
we have our chance to make a change
this one time in our life.
We're not so daft to think one word
will fix things overnight,
but that one word it opens doors
gives us the chance to fight
for better world, for bairns not bombs
for government we choose
for hope and love and happiness
we can't afford to lose.
September comes, the season turns,
and leaves they turn and fall.
for Scotland's poor, the answer's clear
vote yes, for sake of all.


One word opens up our potential.
One word makes possible a different world.
One cross placed in the right box
One good intention, multiplied in millions' hearts
makes many free to fix what's wrong.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Country song without music*

I wish that I loved you
In the way that you want
I wish I felt for you, 
In a way that I can't
But I look in your gentle eyes
And I feel love,  it's true
But not how you want it,
And I can't lie to you.

You've been beside me in joy,
In sadness and pain
If I lived my life over
You'd be there again
But I look in your gentle eyes
And I feel love,  it's true
But not how you want it,
And I can't lie to you.

I hold you and feel good
We talk and we laugh
We smile and share stories
Together we're daft
But I look in your gentle eyes
And I feel love,  it's true
But not how you want it,
And I can't lie to you.
Not how you want it
And I won't lie to you

*this is actually a lyric in my head,  so I'm giving it a new tag. A slow sad country song.*** If you can come up with a tune,  please do. Let me know.  And if you get rich,  feel free to subsidise** my breadline existence (which is already much better than that of some)

**you could do this by either personally decorating,  or arranging the decoration of my flat by somebody faintly competent. Ideally not in old lady wallpaper...

***it also roughly fits to the tune of "the black island"

Anyway,  no excessive profits to be made without me ceasing to live in squalor.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Of Sarah, on her birthday (ish)

A miniaturised,  but highly concentrated
explosion of the purest love
Her presence brings warmth,  content
Her passion inspires,  and her smile delights

Feeling more than most,  a compassion
that shames those less pure shines bright
Bringing people together,  without artifice
She speaks from the heart, and brings love.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A rhyme to bring fairness

We're no the biggest
but we can be the best
stand as a nation
vote Yes to protest
'gainst those who divide us,
deride us and worse
vote Yes in September
and put fairness first


A desire for fairness
a belief in us
faith in fellow folk
not bankers or bosses.
we have the chance
to change things
refuse their cruel rule
we can make a difference.
make things different.
make things better
we can give our children hope

Friday, July 04, 2014


Not to sound big headed,
but I'm staggering.
From wall to wall I bounce,
in bed I don't feel still.
This sensation,
brings perturbation,
brushing teeth
makes me feel ill.
Inside my ears
sense liquids slosh,
my brain it feels confused
my timid feet
recall the years
when my liver
I abused.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


The intense intoxication
of fresh seduction
as lips touch, tease,
hands roam, grasping,
pulling inwards, together
meeting in new ways
time and again
the fantastic new,
dreamt of, made real,
lines are drawn, crossed,
as barriers are determined 
and others come down.
The rush of discovery
mutual and individual,
nerves tense, yet 
inhibitions lost, as
we two 
surrender into 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Thought error calamity

Something happened.
It was the worst thing ever.
It took over from that thing yesterday.

Today it was the car.
Tomorrow it will be something else.
And that will be worse.
Trust me.

Yup, that about sums it up.
Until I've dealt with it,
I know I can't deal with it.
It's a disaster.
Another one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My 2012 beard

It was the sort of beard
you end up with
when around you muster
people so liberally inclusive
as to be unable to mention 
that in expressing your 
individuality, Comrade,
you may accidentally have
expressed, on your face, 
the individuality
of an alcoholic seafarer
of the 1870s.

One that didn't own a mirror.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A moment lit by fireworks

For Rick & Katie

Glowing embers drift through air
fading out,
as in our ears echoes sound
a tinnitus ring,
a negative noise,
a remembrance of explosion

In the dark, faces barely seen glow
with warmth and love
laughter resounds as stray rocket roams
dangerously close
but none are hurt
all are whole

In the dark, the light burns brighter
rocket light in the sky
and the light in the eyes of those
who come together in love and joy
in front of lodge
in peace

Monday, April 28, 2014

Keep on Walking

Keep on walking through the rain
ignore the blisters, deny the pain
another day, to reach Faslane
March on against the bomb

Bombs kill Pandas, people too
And we know what we have to do
Keep on walking, onward to
oppose a final slaughter

The songs and chat along the way
as old friends go, and new friends stay
fill us with hope, one coming day
we'll bring an end to Trident


Modernisation is,  I am led to believe,
the relentless drive in one direction,
with anybody who asks if it is the right one
labelled Luddite, mocked and scorned.

It is curious,  the way in which this concept
is applied as science, proving the need
for redundancies,  for cuts,  for lower pay,
but never for a shorter week.

Yet still,  those on top know
that we have never had it so good
and benevolent,  they tell us so.
So good they will freeze our pay,  cut our dole.

It's really good of them to tell us this,
as modern life can be confusing.
With so much going on,  if they didn't tell us,
we might think we were screwed.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A fleeting encounter

buzzed by beer
two strangers meet
in tavern of conspirators*

hot cigarette smoke
in cold night air
wreaths rambling conversation

"You sound like Chris O'Dowd" she says
"I'm Scottish", he replies, before in pidgin Deutsch
advising that he speaks little German

paths diverge, and in his pocket,
a small rectangle of card
represents the only link remaining.

He thinks fondly of her
and wishes her well.

*A convenient translation of "Taberna de Conspiradores", the post-Jarama march howff favoured by the Dundee contingent in Madrid

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Her arms they flap wildly, exploring the air
Her wee voice bleats goatlike, telling all she is here
Her perfect little fingers find her mother's hair
and Lucy brings joy to the world.

Monday, January 06, 2014

James remembered

James Martin, a good Comrade.
A shaven head,  an acid wit,
a passion that burned bright
for a justice universal.

James stood up for others,
fought for them. His love was
pure,  and his devotion shone.

He did not shy from any fight,
he did not duck or run
James took them on.

Remembering him now,  I think
Of that fire that burned for others,
And wish that he could have seen
That brightness too.