We all have our fears and hopes. Some are reflections of the lives of others. Some are the heart cry of our own fate, and some are the sparks struck by thoughtless action.
Not every poem here has a name attached to it, though all of them could bring a name to mind, if you once knew them.


Whit c'n ye dae?

Whit can ye dae when y're thirteen?
Ye c'n be a teenager!
Hae spots, be rebellious, yaise big words.
That's whit ye c'n dae.

Whit c'n ye dae when y're fourteen?
If y're a laudie,
Buy a razor but no a knife.
If y're a lassie,
Be a woman but no a wife.
That's whit ye c'n dae.

Whit c'n ye dae when y're fifteen?
Leavin the hoose if ye dae hae a job
But no leave the skale
So forget 'boot that job.
Ye c'n be on 'the pill'
Cause they'll no tell yer mum
But ye cannae get mairred
Till the next year must come.
That's whit ye c'n dae.

Whit c'n ye dae when y're sixteen?
Get mairred.
Get pregnant.
Or the ither wey roond.
Get workin
Tae support her.
On the wages ye've foond.
Y'll no get the full whack
Cause youngsters get less.
And ye dae hae the wisdom
Tae get oot o this mess.
That's whit ye c'n dae

Whit c'n ye dae when y're seventeen?
Start drivin tae work
Cause ye need tae survive
Though there should be
nae problem 'boot Drinkin an Drive
Or there's jinin the Army
An getting a trade
Yer Country needs sojers,
That's hoo men are made.
If ye die fur yer country
Yer mum gets a note
Fae the bastard that sent ye
Cause you couldnae vote.
That's whit ye c'n dae

Whit c'n ye dae when y're eighteen?
Ye c'n get paralytic
Wi' drink like a fule.
Or go tae the Uni
Like yer pals fae the skale.
If y're no busy workin
And earning a groat,
Ye c'n go doon the station
An scribble a vote.
If ten thoosand want him
Despite whit ye say
Then he'll go doon tae London
On a nobleman's pay
So jist keep on graftin
Ye start shifts th'day
That's whit ye c'n dae

But ah'm only twelve.
Whit c'n ah dae?
The doctor looks worried
He's talkin tae Dad
He looks awfy anxious
And that must be bad.
Ah'm too young tae tell
An the nurses look cheery
The say "Brave Wee Man,
There's nuthin tae fear, eh?"
They talk when they think
That ah'm no listenin in
An nae ane'll tell me,
Whit's gaun on, ye ken.
They try to look happy
They try not to cry.
Ah might jist be twelve
But Ah ken hoo tae die

That's whit onybody c'n dae.

Enemy of the State

I was a child
You taught me to work hard
You paid me the lowest wage
I needed the experience
Spent the years of my youth
You made me redundant

I was a child
You taught me to look up to heroes
You sent me to foreign lands
I fought the people there
That you wouldn't have to, here
You called me a murderer

I was a child
You made me wait the years
You made another, my understudy
I passed on my experience
Foolishly looked for reward
You made me retire

I am a child again
You watched me lose my youth
You took away my dignity
I worked hard for this?

I saved away my earnings
You're waiting now, for my money

Being of sound mind
I spent it all
When I had the chance

You are angry now

I'm laughing

Why isn't a woman...

Why isn't a woman as tall as a man?
I've pondered this question
as much as I can
And I may have an answer ...

The height differential
as Nature intended
Was done for a reason
and can't be suspended
So please pay attention
and don't be offended
The explanation is this ...

When couples go dancing
and neither is gay
('cause it gets complicated
if that ain't the way!)
Things tend to get close ...

If the male is the taller
then look down, he must!
For the sole point of interest
and the cause of his lust
Is the mammalian attraction
of the warm female bust
It's not the same, looking up ...

It's the same in the kitchen
though hungry you feel
It's the wife does the cooking
though they both eat the meal
There's a reason for that ...

The oven is too low
for the male chef to see
That the roast beef is burning
and I'm sure you'll agree
That the height of the sink
is just right for the wee
(You have to be a miner
to get that one ...)

And when you retire
and consider your life
Time to relax
and spend with your wife
The heart just stops beating ...
(It can't lift the blood that high!)

The smaller built female
without any fuss
Goes bowling, goes shopping
goes touring by bus
If we'd been the shorter -
it might have been us!
And we wouldn't be
still complaining about it ...

For Lilly - On her birthday

A dull world
and heavy
Nothing shining
Blank of face
Time is lying
cold in puddles
Hope is missing
Has no place

You came
And I can dance between the raindrops
Laughing loud at darkened skies
Feel the gentle breath of starlight
Touch my cheek
Caress my eyes
In the inner light of being
I can look upon your face
Knowing this is life
and living
In your heart
I have a place

I love you

I truly do

The Fule

See the fule performin
Supple o limb
An able tae pat himsel on the back
While he fills his face
at the table o ithers.
Whit a gymnast!

Hear the fule talkin
Loud o voice
An able tae mak himsel heard
Though nane o the words
hae meanin.
Whit a trumpet!

Watch the fule struttin
Puffed oot chest
An heid noddin like a pigeon
But the mess he maks
is jist the same.
Whit a pity!

He talks o common sense
An never owned any.
He talks o favour
An never found any.
He asks for mercy
But never gave any.

Whit a fule.


Count the days
and make them precious
Live the hours
as though they were your last
Spare a minute
to ease the fears of others
In a moment
all of this will pass.


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