A Treat

The smell of elephants.

Their moon-creviced hides.

Now in a circle,
formation trudging.

Leg on a drum,
one leg waving.

Damp hay strewn.

The whipcracks jar.
Blares of trumpets.

Laughs and claps.

I disappoint you
by hating this.

The sad-eyed tigers are done in.

Way Back

Everybody’s still alive

and the radio’s comin

oot the windae.


Ma’s hinging washing.

Da’s got binoculars.


The Sun’s blown wi a low whisper oantae ma skin.


Ma hauns part the lang grass

an Ah don’t need tae be feart,


cos Ah aye remember mah wiy back.

Between Sips

So he,
brought the cup

with a preparatory
lick of lips.

The porcelain had told him
minutes ago,

but that first sip
was coffee not tea,

and prodded him to musing
on the folk he knew like that-

expecting tea getting coffee.


Blueing over,

the morning glinting

as an intensifying dream, the sky

all swoll in the full bright.
Between spaces

birdsong sharpening silvergold,
everything young.

Eyes spark: a new day beams.
A skeletal hand against the sun.

Three Foot Soldiers

The little troop of us
pumped legs in ramshackle time,
fists determinedly swinging,
eyes skimming the cornfield for enemies.

We could hear
some kids on swings singing,
odd birds chirp, and our commanders orders.
We were Japs today.

An unScottish Sun
reddened our backs raw.
Out playing,
hours we went,
leaving snail-trails in the field,
slowing to a trudge,
the game’s laughter dead.

No provisions, and way past dinner,
we fell, rifles at our sides.
We forgot our names
and lay on our backs looking at the sky.

A Blemish

I tried thinking
the words onto paper:

then, a white pen;

but there was always
a shade of difference.

I tried speaking
whilst just
holding the sheet

but it always changed.

How can I make my mark
but leave this world

pristine, intact?

La Pelouse

La mer fractale de verdure surprenante ,

clipsé et de- contextualisée

à ce bateau dans une bouteille :

soustraites , aplati et réduit,

avant de re- érection rassis


de la campagne apprivoisée .

Le désert une mémoire pâle

à travers le verre en toute sécurité de la civilisation

False Hierarchy of Truths

The truth which you know.
The truth which you understand.
The truth which you believe.
The truth which you don’t believe.
The truth which you would never believe.
The truth which you could never understand.
The truth which you cannot know.

You are all these truths.

The lie which you know.
The lie which you understand.
The lie which you believe.
The lie which you don’t believe.
The lie which you would never believe.
The lie which you could never understand.
The lie which you cannot know.

You are all these lies too.

Sound Punishment

She wouldn’t let your big hand near me
“He doesn’t know his own strength” she’d say.
You’d crack the leather of a BB belt instead as a warning.
And I would hear it in whipcracks at the circus
and the terrifying roar of an approaching underground train.
And yet three dislocated shoulders in 12 months
we’re given out of love from her. And she later said
“If that had happened now, the Social would be onto me!”