Posts

Juvenile Delinquent

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Photo by  Pamela Marie  from  Pexels It was like this… We whaur raking for treasure this efternuin, Doun the back of the bing, The bit where ma Ma kin see us, Frae ower the kitchen sink. And well– Buried doun beneath some foosty plastic bags- Fou of someone else’s ‘sexy’ Tennent’s Extra cans, We fund four wheels of a Silvercross pram. So. We brought them hame and dunked them in a puddle by the kerb, The drain gunk cleaned the rust up, they whaur looking quite superb. Then Willie, Well- Willie wis having a muck aroond – Spinning the wheels, and ripping them Roond and roond and roond, Until the cauld muck spat Intae the plumes That our laughing made. Oh, and then! Willie chored a fence post frae oot the back eh Mr Bain’s While I was shottie. ‘But it was Ian that made the bogie!’ And it was the best boggie the Fruit-and-Nut scheme had ever seen. A pure dr-eeam. He made the seat frae a scullery chair, And drilled it tae a widden frame- Remember? The fence post that Willie c

Lochwinnoch Platform Renfrewshire

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Visiting my poem Platform in the train station in Lochwinnoch

Award Ceremony

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It has been over a year now since I was awarded second place a the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival for my short story Message in a Bottle. This is the largest audience I have read to, and yes, that is Mr Ian Rankin in the front row.

South Street Arbroath

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South Street Arbroath Every day is laundry day on South Street. White cotton flat sheets, stone-washed jeans; yesterday’s pink and yellow striped knickers Dip and duck like multi-coloured bunting. Children climb up from the beach Where the sand hems the grassy slope.  Plastic sandcastles filled with shells; razors And limpets, purple mussels speckled with shingle, and a wee deid crab, Protected inside a bleached Hula Hoop bag, Crumpled. The children’s laughter rips through the flapping blankets as they zigzag, dodging Mrs Campbell’s frilly knickers that joyride on the briny wind. The postman waves. He’s sinking useless junk mail through the rusty red letterboxes of the fisherman’s cottages. Unashamed. A peg pings and a denim leg  kicks the sky, snapping the wind as it buckles around a red rope. Heaven rests like burning oil on the ocean. A wrinkled man with leather lugs sits outside number twenty-five, His eyes a hazy mist of blue se

Mother of Pearl

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Photo by  Jonathan Borba  from  Pexels First published in Capsule Stories 2019 Stanley Harrison Unwin Galloway was not supposed to die first. Margo pulled the front door shut and hobbled out onto the veranda. She put her mug of hot tea onto the table then pulled out one of the plastic chairs. Fastening her fingers around the handles, she began to lower her fragile body on to the seat. She held her breath, knuckles white under the patio light, arms trembling, but her elbows buckled and gave way. She gasped . Her bottom hit the seat with a thud. The chair skidded backwards - with Margo holding on for dear life - and its four legs scraped the concrete, ripping a roar into the night. She sat rigid, her heart thumping hard in her chest. S he blew out a long whistling sigh. Clumsy old fool. A large brown moth tapped the light above her head. She watched as it hovered and tapped and hovered then dived, down towards her face. Unfastening her fingers from the chair, she swip

To the Man Who Died in a Doorway in Stirling

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Photo by Taufiq Klinkenborg Pexels The weight of the world smothers you Like a wet wool blanket And still, you lie there. Your eyes - dusted in grime Follow my reflection on the ground As my footsteps silence the sound Of a town laid on its side. A red umbrella flicks to the right And you hide from the eyes of a pigtailed child, Who skips behind a balding builder wiping pie grease From his mouth. I step out of their world and into space. Over and around you I listen And like a shell pressed upon my ear All I can hear is the sea and my heart S aying, I’m afraid of you. I’m afraid if I don’t shake you Who the hell will wake you? But I won't shake you For fear of hearing you rattle Like a bag of bones. I find your cup, drop a coin and say ‘Sorry man.’ Just like the last time And I wonder, When the first freeze frosts the leaves Will you see sparkles When I see dust.

Failing Union

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photo credit to Pixabay Pexels Spring is failing   And it’s not just the forecast   Crooned by the weather person   Or news headlines saying -   ‘Scotland still without power,’ - it's failing!   It’s failing the birds   And the hibernating animals,   Too scared to wake, too tired to sleep.   It’s failing the land   Choked up with murk and sand,   Sea swell spewing into empty shells   As ice shelves melt.   It's failing the people   Stung by a gas board rubbing   Fat hands over fat blue flames.   As meter's tick, tick, tick, empty -   Spring is failing.   Still, the snow falls,   Blowing from the sky like confetti   On a stone man’s wedding,   While the red-breasted bird   Salvages the last piece of fat   From the half-moon, hanging by a rope   On the only tree in the garden. Spring is failing.