Thursday, 29 September 2016

Change of pace

Around people

Some people are sweet,
Some people are mean,
Some people laugh blue,
Some people cry green.

Some people stride forth,
Some people don't know,
Some people feel lonely,
Wherever they go.

Some people eat no meat,
Some people drink gin,
Some people stay hungry,
Whatever goes in.

Some people hunt comfort,
Some people need less,
Some people like questions,
Some people love mess.

Some people feel different,
Some try not to feel,
Some people seek perfect,
Some people want real.

Some people say “what's that?
Real – did you say?
Don't you know real
Isn't real anyway?”

Some people get tired,
Some people give in,
Some people keep at it,
Some people drink gin.

Some people love winning,
Some don't mind defeat,
Some people are mean,
Some people are sweet.

RF 2009

An older poem. I've not been writing much rhyming verse of late. I think I miss it sometimes.

And the photo was taken in July at The Lighthouse in Glasgow (a detail on a window). The company responsible for the detail (and many others around the building) is called O Street. I really like a little detail that manages to be so simple and yet say so much. Some people make big buildings, some people make the little details on the buildings... and so on, and so on...

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

In the trees...

No name

Never used to be this vague,
Had definition,
Had pronouns,
Went places,
Knew things.

Now, lately, amongst trees,
There’s merging,
Less edge,
More wood,
Gaps blurring.

Could make fear,
But that’s spent.
Time is a record
With new groove.
Oak, larch, pine.

RF 2016

It seems the poetry sickness is back for sure... it's not even Friday yet and here I am. Anyway, to quote Stevie Wonder, "I don't want to bore you with it..." but I will continue because it doesn't hurt anybody and I know some people are reading (despite comment sparsity - the stats say so and so do actual human beings.. when I encounter them...). There have been tree poems before (old one here, back in Poetry Bus days...). There will be again...

Today's photo was taken in a tree in California in May 2011.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Another Friday...

Another Friday, another poem. Not sure how long this run will (or should) last. Today's poem is new. The photo was taken up Lossiemouth's Covesea lighthouse in July this year. I like windows.


Sister, I never knew you,
Not your stories or your places.
I barely knew your name.

There are waves between us.
Extreme mysteries.

I try to read your eyes,
Open gates, make roads,
Unfold a future.

RF 2016

Friday, 2 September 2016

Stars on Friday

Some stars

It’s not the sadness
We love the most;
That can come easy,
We all know that.

It’s more the soaring
That calls us close,
The stretch, the gasp,
The ‘how did they...?’

We say things like,
‘They made it look easy’,
But the truth shouts loud,
The power of wow.

RF 2016

So, this is a new poem, another wee thing. It was prompted by, for a start, listening to singer/songwriter/musician Kathryn Williams talking about her passion, if you like, for the work of Sylvia Plath (radio programme here... I don't know how long that link will be live...). Also it's influenced, I am sure, by my having another listening-to-heaps-of-Amy-Winehouse period of late (and that was prompted possibly by another blogger here...). I almost can't describe the effect that that Winehouse voice has on me sometimes... and it's not about the tattoos and the look, the misery, the waste etc. etc.... it is the sound, the effort and the work of it. There are lots of other singers and voices that I adore (I heard Gil Scott Heron's 'B Movie' on the radio the other day and had a moment... sound and content - love!) but Amy's voice is definitely up there in my (quite large) 'favourites' pile. Here's a blast of her, because the wow can pull you through:

Photo at the top of this post is local Sunnyside ex-hospital (yes, again), taken last week, through shades...

Friday, 26 August 2016



You get to a milestone;
You look around, take stock.
Maybe you sit down,
Have a drink of something,
Maybe with friends,
Maybe not.

You review the route so far,
What’s loved, learned, lost.
There is a soundtrack,
You recall some of it.
Maybe the greatest hits,
Maybe not.

RF 2016

So, I realise that since I've been writing poems again (and posting them here and elsewhere) that most of them have been fairly sad. This is with good reason (many sad things to see and feel around us...) but even so... it cannot always be this way. So the above is (I hope) at least not too much about death (though I think nearly all poems touch death somewhere... don't they?). I suppose this one started because a lot of people I know are turning 50 this year (my turn in a few months) so I am at that thinking-about-time-passing stage a lot of the time, it is unavoidable. Mostly I think we are just all lucky to still be here in whatever form we have arrived. Oh and people keep posting old music on facebook... and that kind of thing. So here you are - thoughts on pausing and the past and what-not. Happy Friday.

Photo is of abandoned bus stop up at the former Sunnyside hospital (photo taken end July this year). The site has been sold recently so I guess this bus stop's days are numbered.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Stories Untold

So, it's August, halfway through already, and here in Scotland that means the schools go back soon (very soon... tomorrow in fact). As usual I have done little-to-no writing over the summer (family business, lots to do, some of it involving doing as little as possible...) but as it happened I was more than happy to leave the poem in my last post as my statement for the summer, if you like. News moves so quickly but poetry doesn't have to. The death that prompted that poem (the murder of Jo Cox) still happened. It is still shocking.

Today I have something a little more cheerful to mention however. Another poem of mine (written quite a long time ago, 2006, on a postcard here) has made it into the world of music (well done, clever poem). In particular the poem 'Significant other deceased' (poem itself not cheerful, obviously, written after reading an article about victims of the London bombings in 2005) is now part of the marvellous thing that is track 4 on the album pictured above - 'Untold Stories' by the very lovely and talented Scottish songwriter and musician Kim Edgar. The album launch was this Saturday (just gone) in Edinburgh and you can now buy the album via Kim's website, even though official release is in September. The site also has info about Kim, all her gig dates and so on. It is a brilliant album (as are all her three solo albums) and I cannot recommend her work highly enough (which makes it all the more exciting to be a tiny part of the latest album). Other names that appear in the writing credits for 'Untold Stories' are Karine Polwart, Jürgen Treyz and Gudrun Walther but most of the writing is Kim's own (and the singing, and the piano playing... and a fair bit more besides... like the stunning cover photography). The launch was in Stockbridge Parish Church in Edinburgh and the stage just before Kim came on looked like this:

There was a full house, a warm, friendly audience to match the artist herself and some absolutely precious sounds and expressions of love and care and hope (and a raffle with allotment vegetables). I haven't had many big wow moments in my writing 'career' really (though I did get an encouraging word from Michael Marra after I read a poem at a gig he was headlining some years ago... I've lived off that for a while!) but this was a pretty special night (for everyone there but certainly for me). Happy sigh.

Monday, 27 June 2016



She was not your enemy,
Not if you had thought about it
For longer than a minute,
Or had lifted your eyes
From the sites online,
Where every word is a knife
In some soul’s back.
Or worse.

She was not your enemy.
She was a classic striver,
Little person, big ambition,
Trying to make things better,
To help all people
(For we are all people)
Go forward to a place,
Where we all might survive.

She was not your enemy.
And even before
You set off down that hill,
You were jailed already,
In a past that never was,
Locked into a greatness,
That was simply not great,
Not for most of us.

No, in those great times
You would have dripped away,
In a trench, or other hole,
Some paupers’ prison.
You would have dreamed maybe,
Of a liberal do-gooder,
Who might fight for your rights,
For your tiny life.

You would have longed,
Don’t you see,
For someone like her,
Someone who gave a damn.
And in another trial,
Through different eyes,
She would have been your salvation,
Not your enemy.

RF 2016

The news, as ever, comes thick and fast and in amongst it all a woman died in Yorkshire on 16th June. We lived in that area, her constituency, for a few years a decade or so ago and maybe for this reason her loss is large in my mind even with all the other news that is flying about (some sad, some distressing, some confusing, some exciting... such is news, generally speaking). Her name has been in the news (and will continue to be there somewhere I am sure) and there will be other poems (by laureates and such) but for now, here is my offering. And a picture of the sky because right now I couldn't think what else to show next to a poem about someone being murdered in the street.