Twentieth Century Boy

From the Tower of Certainty

we saw Fear itself


Fear of the bomb

Fear of communists

Fear of change to the status quo


Fear of turning into your parents


Fear of the other

Fear of the unknown

But then

We know nothing

And have the opportunity to fear everything


You know me.

The breath you took at the end of that line was mine.

This readerly writerly warm dance

where our meanings mingle, wants intertwine.

Touch the screen.

Feel the sentences pulse in you.

Breathe again. Say the words aloud,

Alchemise what was unsaid in me

And know it.

You know me.

You know my next sentence.

I stole it from your heart.

Before we were even born

Our consciousness forced us into being.

Before Waking Destroys My Memory Of The Dream

Before waking destroys my memory of the dream

and I walk my mind downstairs back into the cellar.

Before the dawn ruins me,

timeless time within welcoming reach:

the real world held in both hands, one of them sleep,

I will throw candles in the afternoon.

I will draw the half-world,

open my heart to my head.

Separation and unity co-exist without contradiction.



What we can’t see-

The system self-investigating.


Every fucking day.


I had a happy childhood,

I kept telling me.


Play and repeat.


You don’t miss what you’ve never had,

unless you learn what you never had.


Retrospective loneliness,

Unconsciousness rising.


Only child, I knew-

but not this,





Yet here you are:

rewriting, rewiring me


No more unhugging.

No more force-fed lies.


The thin gruel of yesterday

nourished by the full-fat milk of your love.

Panther Me Crow

Out the window

and fondly, observant

of crow nature,

I coddled- ratchety movement,

velvety feathery tufts,

feral heartbeats,

black button eyes;

part of me, in here, crow too.


Lathered, shaving

amidst runny foam,

a nick of wild raspberry red blood blending

opening me up-

a zesty nip;

and as I disappeared in mirrored eyes

I felt the crows again,

and somewhere, that poem about the panther.

The Triumph of Populism

The greys are gone.

They’re not hanging around.

“May you live in colourful times” they said.

The shades are coming with them.

Maybe, Partly , and -ish

are currently considering their positions.

Arbitration and compromise

have agreed to disagree.

And as they vacate the premises

the stomp of a party tune upstairs,

“Look what they’ve done to my Dogma”


Wood pigeon kingpin

perched, rubbernecking


who hover, peck and flit

stabbing fatballs busily.

The big boy buggers off.

Wings purr greedily.

One wee bird

on a feeder limb


Another comes

shoving fat into its’ mouth.

A child?

A mate?

I don’t know.


Cormorants wing-drying on the breakwater.

Fishermen’s oilskins.

Six puffins bob on the near shore.

Toy tugs.

A grey heron,

all acute geometry

pokes around marsh grass.

Gannets peep-peep,

tourists from the volcanic plug

The offshore distant Craig

Pied wagtails

zip my eyeline

As I scuttle through

Britain’s Birds for the umpteenth time.


Maw, dad n me

We were only three

up in the flats.

Forty nine stairs

Jist three flairs

bit it felt higher.

Ah would skelter up them

tae beat the lift.

Startin at grun

Press “3”

jump oot

then leg it.

Sometimes the games spiled.

Yer oan the second flair

an hear some wummin

stoap the shutting door

wi her fit.

There’ll be nae wee victory the day.


I’m ok.

I’m not ok.


The contradictions

inherent in the structure of language.


I think



I can also think



so NOT THIS too.


They can both be true.


I was unwanted.

I was wanted too,




What was unwanted was A BABY,

what was wanted was ME.


The first was true before I was born,

Both were true after I was born.


I was a buttonhole.

I was the emptiness that held a marriage together.

And the way life should have been was a button too big for the hole.