Friday, November 28, 2008

Alex Millsom

(Too many years ago. 1980/1996)

'There is nothing more appalling than being alive and having to die.' - McGuire.

Damn! The memory of Alex, 16 Years Old: DEAD!
Smashed over an L.A. highway lying there like
an open wound for every one to see and remember
their own childhood. All the cars that passed and
all the passengers that looked, would never know
that Alex would be on a life support machine
for one week before it was finally switched off.
No, they still do not know that and nor should they.
Nor do they know that Alex's parents where Scottish
and that on the day he lay dying on that road
the woman who came to comfort him in his pain
was Scottish and the last voice he heard was Scottish.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Keiran's first death:

(Dedicated to Maw McGuire, Oatlands, Glasgow, 1901/1990.)

Keiran cried for one day without stopping. Someone had passed away in the family. A distant Grandmother had died in his family. Keiran was eight years old. This was his first death. His father had woke him and told him early this morning:

'Maw died in her sleep last night...' The words were spoken solemly but without urgency as if all along it had been expected. These words held a silence that spread over the entire day. He knew death meant something irretrievable.

Keiran wept in his bed, wept over his breakfast, wept walking through the park, wept in the supermarket aisles, wept in the car, wept on the couch, he wept in the bathroom, he wept at the dinner table, he wept in his bedroom and finally he wept in his sleep.

The next day he did not cry a single, solitary tear, he had thought out death.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The window pane

(Dedicated to a window on Kings Park Road, Glasgow.)

The window is crying. The tears are disguised by the rain drops. The window is so lonely, invisible and thin. It stares out blankly. It cannot move or call out. It cannot make itself known.

The window is crying. It has no hands to cover its face. It has no face. It is simply a window pane that people look out from or in through, and that can be great company, especially when a warm hand presses against the glass momentarily.

The window is crying - it stares, bare glass, thin, skeletal. The tears roll and fall in time with the rain. The night is dark, the amber light from the street lamps cast out. The traffic is unconcerned. The window is shattered and lonely in the distance.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The love inside of the balloon

(Image by Bansky.)

This is a short story about one large balloon filled with love that a small child let go of and how it kept floating up, up, up into the air and everyone panicked for the child, for the balloon and for the love inside of the balloon. The child cried. People stretched arms high, clutched at the sky, in a last scrambled attempt to catch hold, but no one could bring it back down from the sky; it continued to float away, further and farther, higher up in to the atmosphere, escaping in to space where, like an illusion, it eventually burst.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Boy at the zoo

Boy at the Zoo,
you feed a peanut to an Elephant
through the wrought iron fence;
she graciously scoops it from your palm.

Peanut! Pea nut!
Nuts! Nuts! I think.
Will you discover later,
how devastating the world is,
and why the fence grows higher still?

The Sun glints and pokes my eye,
and I move on to the monkey enclosure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


'All Wars are one war' - McGuire

'Lest we forget'

The Third World War is on its way
and all the while everyone sits
patiently drinking tea sleeping
or fixing bolts on to large sheets
of metal, slaving over pliable life.

I'm in the bath:
The War is a million miles away.
I know a decent set of mountains.
I know basic survival.
I know how to run.

If I am not caught in some
atomic explosion melted down
to my basic puddle of atoms
then I'll find a way to ignore
all the hell and horror
and set up my own Croft
somewhere beyond
City and Contract
and the wall of War.

I shall grow
Giant Vegetables and Fruits,
learn whittling
sing at the top of my voice.
And no one will know
the secret of my escape…

Friday, November 07, 2008

Olaf the apolitical optimist

'The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter'- Winston Churchilll

O Olaf, even when you weep
the tears laugh as they roll
down your Joke Face.
Olaf, come on!
Let's play at Singing
and blow up balloons in
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce,
because we cannot join Mensa,
Neither start nor stop revolutions.
And we refuse to educate ourselves
in economics because we have
shortbread attention spans.
O Olaf, despite everything,
even when you weep
the tears laugh as they roll
down your Joke Face.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The troubles of George Eliot

(Sketch of a Glasgow Grandfather, Kilmartin Place, Arden.)

I keep forgetting myself more and more. Just the other day I was looking for my glasses ages I spent, hunting through the house. Lo and behold, where did I discover them? Perched upon my brow. A common stupidity I suppose. The obvious is easy to forget. A busy mind cruelly absentminded. Even Margaret is finally going spare. She bites her tongue mind. Honestly, only this morning, I said wearily to the postman as I walked to the newsagent:'Is it Saturday or Sunday, Son?' He said:'It's Friday.'

I was mortified, a tad disorientated too strolling cringing at my absentminded. Seriously, I'm forgetting everything, imagine. God help when it's something serious. God forbid I should forget something vital that could lead to serious danger. I'm looking at trying out those brain train games. They are meant to work quite well I hear. Keep dotage at bay. Keep you alert. Keep you from losing it completely. I mean, I'm a grandfather, now.