The Illusion

Same song, different day
Carnival is still in play
Donald Trump and Theresa May
Shit and sawdust strewn our way

Ever apt it seems


Below are the words I wrote to one of Johnny’s amazing tunes. It’s called, ‘The Illusion’.

It made me think of the circus (which I hate). And politics. And we, the people. This world of ours.

I hope you enjoy the results of this particular collaboration.

Some people may be offended by some of the images. What can I say? I’m offended by them too.

Here is the circus, here is the street,

Ringmaster has found the beat,

Try to keep up with his song,

Try to march in time along.


This is the game we all play,

Carnival is now the way,

Jugglers, clowns perform, we pay,

Sideshow stalls have won the day.


See, look, the Big Top, there go the lions,

Whipped to submit, they stride in time,

Prancing ponies do their thing,

All well-trained for circus ring.


Fire-eaters and trapeze acts,

Contortionists, acrobats,

Bearded lady…

View original post 272 more words

Listening To Mikhail

When Mikhail says we’re making ready

That flags upon the charts are being laid

And our leaders posture, rhetoric unsteady

Should we listen to what Gorbachev has said


Should we listen to experienced survivors

To the experts who seek evidence and proof

To academics, historians and scientists

Who study past and future for the truth


Should we listen when the charities are groaning

Under siege to manage shelter, food

While governments can always conjure money

To weaponise our world for some vague good


When the friend within is demeaned and benighted

And tolerance is seen as enemy

When hatred escalates and is encouraged

Should we listen to what others maybe see


Should we listen to ourselves when twinges niggle

And reason urges calm and look again

Or should we just do nothing and make ready

To pursue a path that leads to greater pain


When the meanwhiles of the nations are unfolding

When the jigsaw picture’s starting to make sense

Should we listen, listen closely and decide to

Build no more walls and get down off our fence


When ex-leader of the ‘enemy’ proclaims it

Is it bluff and stuff to shrug off and ignore

Should we dismiss his words as fake and propaganda

Or should we listen like we never have before

Near Midnight



A scrawl and the hand creeps towards midnight

A tweet and more seconds slip through

The timer of sand in an unworthy hand

So fragile and grains left too few

Harsh words move the levers towards midnight

Pushing them past where they’ve been

One fifty of seconds and counting

Chaotic is calm and serene

At two and half minutes till midnight

The world gasps and points at the hands

Nudging the minutes towards doomsday

Alarmed at posturing stand

Revoking all rights, pushing midnight

New executive orders denounce

Push the hands back with insistence

Resist what the trumpets announce

Scots Wha Hae – updated

If the bard will excuse, just rewriting his words to Scots Wha Hae, to bring them up to date, for a wee singsong tonight at a Burns’ Supper.

Scots, wha hae, that claim the name

Those that call auld Alba hame

Welcome where we’re aw the same

Liberty fur aw


Now ’s the time, and now’s the hour;

Time tae help the thistle flower

Resistance tae Westminster’s pow’r

Nae EVEL laws abide


Wha will look tae future, save

Our rights for country, children brave

Stand yer ground, for nae man, slave

Reclaim our sovereign rule


Wha for Scotland’s justice, laws

Wha for self-rule’s worthy cause

Wha will fight without a pause

Tae break restrictive chains


By oppressive governance

Outnumbered in that parliament

Upholders of new covenant

Scotland shall be free


Let the Tories feel the blow

United, onward, we shall go

By independence, we all know

We will thrive for aye


Robert’s words were timely then

His sentiments, Arbroath again

Declared by children, women, men

Unfettered rights proclaim


Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales

Unloose the chains frae London’s rules

Ungoverned by a tribe of fools

Rabbie’s words for aw


Power hungry knaves and knights,

Millionaires and lords talk shite

Magna Carta’s banged tae rights 

Different laws for aw


Be the people we can be

With voices strong, equality

Within the grasp if all are free

Nations once again


Wha will look to what we need

None that serve for power or greed

Bite the hand that will not feed

By self-rule change the game


Bastions of power shall fall

No barriers, no fascist wall

Free citizens, oh hear the call

All must do or die


UKIP, Tory, right-wing rule

Takin’ nations for blind fools

We have the will, we have the tools

If we signify


Testify tae what is right

Keep real enemy in sight

Those who rule tae retain might

Moral compass skewed


Rabbie knew the games they played

Power lost by power waylaid

The union’s deid, once more self-made

Nations once again


Brothers, sisters sharing land

A classless system, hand-in-hand 

In fellowship, for this we stand

Scotland’s on its way


We must travel where we will

Westminster’s voice is harsh and shrill

A banshee wailing, had our fill

Vain cockerel’s crawed its last


Wha would stop the tide in flow

Wha can stop the winds that blow

They move for aw, and most Scots know

Independence calls


Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales

Unloose the chains frae London’s fools

As free men claim yer own self-rule

Rabbie’s words for aw


I’m away, now, to print off a few verses, get my kilt on and gild the lily. The bard will be toasted, some laughs will be had and I anticipate a bit of a sore head in the morning. Be back when I’m recovered. 😉




Cry, enemy within, if walls seen crumbling

Cry, hostile, lest the barricades be breached

Cry, sacrifice and torture, for protection

Cry vitriol and vengeance, cry hate speech

Cry wolf to sheep predestined for the slaughter  

Cry to shepherds’ lying and neglect

Cry for brothers, sisters, sons and daughters

Cry for solidarity, respect

Cry to moon and howl against eclipsing

Cry to sun’s regenerating light

Cry, no tears, grieve not, but keep on fighting

Cry for dawn to birth upon the night

Cry future, cry survival, cry salvation

Cry, engage the strength, assuage the fears

Cry, defy all bullied domination

Cry, resist and use all useless tears

Cry, beloved countries, for your freedom

Cry for liberty, lampooned or slain

Cry not for kingdom, empire or dominion

Cry, rather, for all children, in their name

Immortal Memories, Remembered

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I thought I’d have a go

A resumé of Rabbie bhoy, showing aff whit I don’t know

I know his birth month, January, a bear fortnight after mine

I know he died at thirty seven, the age of summer time


I know he liked the lassies too, his inky nib aye wet

Penned his love to mair than wan, maybe every lass he met

I know he sconced the privileged rich, the union of the crowns

I know he ridiculed the proud and pegged their worth way down


I know he loved to read and write, worked magic with his words

A story-teller, born and bred, the Tam O’shanter bard

I know he liked a drink or two, I know he worked the land

Little more I do not know, but more I understand


I understand his great appeal, the fact he’s still the toast

Of poetry and Scots worldwide, the one we honour most

I understand why lassies liked his houghmagandy ways

His tributes must have turned their heads, their celibacy swayed


My love is like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June:

My love is like the melody

That’s sweetly played in tune.

How fair thou art, my bonnie lass,

So deep in love am I;

And I will love thee still, my dear,

Till all the seas gang dry.


Who among us lassies here could such a lad resist

A bugger, yes, in many ways but a bugger with a twist

He understood his frailties, his penchant for the dames

He even wrote, confessed herein, his womanising name


Ye jovial boys who love the joys

The blissful joy of lovers;

Yet dare avow with dauntless brow

When th’ bonny lass discovers

Pray draw near and lend an ear

And welcome in a Prater

For I’ve lately been on quarantine

A proven fornicator


Now, for those words, we’d have to say, he must have been a cad

Until we read of other deeds and learn he wasn’t bad

Weak, oh yes, in many ways and that’s part of his charm

Our heroes loved because of faults and desire to do no harm


He unifies the common man, the common woman too

For who among us can lay claim to perfection? Me? Or you?

Rabbie owned his faults, and more, he gave us all permission

To be the weak but still aspire to fulfil our lifetime’s mission


I winna blaw about mysel
As ill I like my fauts to tell;
But friends, an folk that wish me well,
They sometimes roose me;
Tho I maun own, as monie still
As far abuse me.

There’s ae wee faut they whyles lay to me,
I like the lasses – Gude forgie me!
For monies a plack they wheedle frae me
At dance or fair;
Maybe some ither things they gie me,
They weel can spare.


I’ll move on now from faults he owned

At least he owned them well

He didn’t brag about pussy …..cats

On gold and wealth, he did not dwell


In fact, when young and bachelor

He formed a club of brothers

Diversion, relief for weary men

Worn down by life of labour


The rules were few, admittance clear

Young men of honest hearts

No dirty, mean or self-conceited

Welcome in these parts

A lover too of fairer sex

Of one or more professed

No miserly, mean-spirited

Good men and nothing less


Such aspirations filled his work

His ode unto a mouse

Reveals compassion at his heart

And even to that louse

That crawled on haughty head of one

She who sat with airs and graces

While beastie ventured where it ought not

On ladylike at praises


And as for Rabbie, spying this

This heresy, ye gods!

An infestation out of place

He was not lost for words

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,                                   An’ ev’n devotion!

How many here can honestly say

Hand on heart from all

There’s not a certain satisfaction

When the mighty, pride-filled fall


In demographics of this land

Oor Rab would be at base

And a huge percentage round the globe

Are also in that place


Could it be that Rabbie Burns

Is seen as common link

A working man, salt of the earth

But a man of words who thinks


And knows that women, mice and men

And even worst of louse

Deserve some recognition

A job, a meal, a house


If he were here this day, today

He’d even take his words to Twitter

He’d fire off some grand one-liners

Sad! But not orange, weird and bitter


He’d fight the fight, he’d walk the talk

That’s recognised worldwide

And side by side, he’d stand by men

And women with gay pride


He’d fight for justice, liberty

He’d watch the bastions fall

I know this, perhaps you do

Oor Rabbie got it all


Then let us pray that come it may
As come it will for a’ that
That sense and worth o’er a’the earth
Shall bear the gree for a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
It’s comin’ yet for a’ that
That man to man the world o’er
shall brithers be for a’ that.


That’s fighting talk with full intent

That’s action writ right there

A man, okay, who liked some skirt

But a man who, first, was fair


He felt the hunger, saw the need

Espied the traitors, knew their greed

Condemned the lorded fealty to power o’er us

He knew! And wrote this chorus


What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro’ many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few
For hireling traitor wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour’s station.
But English gold has been our bane,
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.
“oh would that I had seen the day
when treason thus could sell us
my ain grey head had laid in clay
with Bruce and noble Wallace
But pith and pow’r to my last hour
I’ll make this declaration
we are bought and sold for English gold
such a parcel of rogues in the nation


And put to verse some words for Bruce

To rouse a nation’s spirit

Self-governance and self-determined

Oh rousing’s written in it!


Wha will be a traitor knave
wha can fill a coward’s grave
wha sae base as be a slave
let him turn and flee

Wha for Scotland’s king and law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw.
Freeman stand, or freeman fa’
let him follow me.


Rabbie knew what we all know

That common man is screwed

He penned it then, long years ago

And still, by fuck, it’s true


A working man, a man of hope

Of weakness, born to land

In nature and experience

A man who took a stand


To die upon a bed so young

Not a fiver to his name

But to live forever in hearts and minds

That shall be his claim to fame


A man of words, a man of soul

Knew education’s worth

And elevated Scots worldwide

By virtue of his birth


So to this day, in January

In the year of 2017

The wisdom of that poet then

Holds good, for truth is seen


I understand though never knew

The man behind the words

So here’s tae Rabbie, tae Scotland’s bard

May our souls, he always stir


Ladies and gentlemen, lads and lassies,

Charge your glasses please

To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!

Who got up aff his knees!

Is that a gauntlet I see before me? The gloves are aff.


Rule Britannia

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be part of Great Britain.

I really can’t.

Everyday, I wake up and wonder what I ever did to deserve such bountiful benefactors. I thank god that he saw fit to bless me with the advantages I have in being ruled by Britannia.

When I think of how too wee, too poor and too stupid we are here in Scotland I despair at how we would ever have managed as an independent nation left to our own devices.

Can you just imagine what it would have been like to have to have lived under the privileged king or queen of Scotland? Imagine having had to support a royal family and kowtow to their hangers on! It doesn’t bear thinking about. Painting all that grass green because Queen Mary or one of her descendants was popping by for a visit. Maybe even having to learn French to impress her. Hell’s bells, quelle nightmare. And all that infighting that would have been going on until her favoured legions had settled into their hierarchy? Lord Muck of Clabber Castle jostling his way into position before Tam the Bam ousted him. That would have been too much.

And as for all that clan-bitching that would still be going on! Every Cameron, Blair and Broon squabbling with each other, over who owned what, what belonged to who and whose name mattered more than the other’s. Each one claiming that they had the best interests of the Scots at heart. Desperate stuff that would have been.

Then there would have been all that awful governance malarkey to contend with. Having to decide who in the country should get what, if anything, and whether certain bits of the nation deserved more than others. Whether to build a rail service between the Highlands and the Lowlands and wondering whether to bother with the islands at all, at all. Imagine having to decide how much tax to raise to make sure we didn’t just chuck our elders in the bins that would need emptied, or working out how much it would cost to run an efficient and humane social services. That would have meant sums. Better just leaving that to the number crunchers at Westminster. Wouldn’t want us to go carrying into the wrong column and you probably need to know your times tables for some of the really hard ones. And all that arguing about priorities and scratching your head about how much to lay aside for jollies to furrin parts.

Then we would have to have talked to other folk when we got there! Dear god in Govan, we couldn’t have done that. Trade ne…go..ti…a….Sorry, you’ve lost me there. I’m just a wee Jock wi’ nae knickers tae ma name. Hence the bare arse under the kilt, I suppose. Imagine the humiliation of our accent abroad! What a riddy it would have been to send an embarrassment of a foreign representative out into that big world beyond the Borders.

Close shave with that one.

We would have to have thought about defending ourselves too. Jesus wept. That’s lamentable. How on earth has any other country in the world ever managed that one? I suppose there’s the possibility that we could have come up with some sort of workable system that would have protected us should the marauding hordes from some far flung, or nearer, parts have descended, enmasse, to steal our cattle and ravage our women. Maybe we could have had an army or something. I’ve heard they work fairly well in some quarters.

But, thank god, we don’t need too many soldiers because Britannia has very kindly lent us an enormous penile extension to scare off the non-English speaking enemy. I don’t know all that much about it, what with me being too stupid and all that, but apparently, just saying we have it ought to be enough. Maybe flashing it once in a while to flaunt its enormity. ‘Check this out, pal! Come and get it if you’re brave enough.’ That should see us alright.

I daren’t think what would happen to us if we didn’t have the deterrent of something that might work. If we wanted it to.

And it’s worth it, isn’t it? I mean, it only costs a few bob, in the big scheme of things. We’re loaded, you see.

We saved up for it. We did, you know. Britannia thought about it long and hard. Got quite excited at being first among equals and decided tally-ho.

I’m eternally grateful. You’ve no idea.

To have such a magnificent specimen of manhood parked within 40 miles of Glasgow is a turn-on beyond my imaginings. And they let us have it. I mean, how generous is that? I guess it’s because we gave them all our oil. Only seems fair, doesn’t it? Probably by the time Trident’s been upgraded it’ll work out about evens.

And it’s even providing more than five hundred jobs! That’s a big number, isn’t it? I think. Maybe not as big as five million. But five million’s still quite a piddling amount, isn’t it? That’s only a city in some places. And you can’t park a nuclear weapon in a city. Everybody knows that. That would be dangerous. Maybe even contemptuous of the lives of those in that there city. So, we’re holding it for Britannia, at the moment. We’re like that, you see. Generous to a fault.

I know you’ve probably heard about the mean and miserable Scot who created the Grand Canyon because he dropped a penny in it. But it’s not true.

How could it be? We give everything away. Even our freedom.

But, some of us are okay with that because we get to wave a special flag. It’s a lovely one. Better than a lot. Not as good as some. But it means so much to be able to drape our coffins in it.

I, for one, can’t tell you how grateful I am to be considered a special region of Britain.

I really can’t.

Fighting For



Why are you fighting, why do you foam

What are you fighting for

Why petted pout and tetchy tantrum

The slamming of all open doors

Has someone pained you with their lying

Stolen your toys or treats

Why crocodile tears, the threat of more crying

The stamping of petulant feet

Who has affronted, who has offended

Sensibilities, pride or your dress

Or have you broken fences that cannot be mended

Grow up now and own up, confess

Have you hurt your friends, insulted their name

Been a bully, a braggart, a pest

Are you really culprit and won’t take the blame

Have you really tried what is best

Why are you fighting, what is your cause

And who are you hurting the most

Where common sense in all that is lost

Your brain in meaningless boasts

Time to reflect on the nature and meaning

Why no friends now come to your door

Why are you fighting, what are you fighting

Just who are you fighting for

Cumulative Snowflakes

Shall strength be found in most fragile of flakes

That melt before the heat of angry rays

Disappear, dissolve, in fierce seas and lakes

Can one alone halt traffic on highways


Can that delicate drop precipitate

A fall of snow that fills the chasm’s void

Though uniquely formed it has no great weight

Singularly, too easily destroyed


Crystallised cohesion in pearlised chains

Strengthened beauty around the nuclei

Forging links, formed from irritating grains

Precious snowflakes blind disbelieving eyes


On collision course with an avalanche!

Accumulated pressure shall advance!



Planned Obsolescence

You’re sick, you’re old, you’re vulnerable

We’re questioning your worth

Your contribution’s negligible

And has been since your birth


You’re young, useless, culpable

Your prospects nullified

We’ve weighed you up, unapprovable

Reduced spending’s justified


You’re unemployed, uncoachable

You’re lazy, mental, broke

We dole it out, you spend it all

On drink and fags and dope


We care, of course, we’re honourable

Our policies humane

All of them enforceable

Lessons sanctioned by champagne


We’re wealthy, placed and personable

You’re excess baggage, weight

We’re necessary, you are not

A drain on social state


We’ve worked it out, forecastable

We only need enough

To function, you’re expendable

The breaks, we know, are tough


The rabble are forfeitable

Population needs decreased

We’ve cast our charts, all graphable

You’re due to be deceased


We spout, believe you’re gullible

We coat facts with our gloss

Your presence here untenable

Quite frankly, you’re no loss


Don’t think that we are horrible

We’re really not, you know

We have to be responsible

And you have got to go


We’ve pruned the tree, it’s laughable

You used to own the lot

But things change hands, all leachable

Either got it or you’ve not


We’re afraid it’s unpreventable

We just can’t go on this way

You may say that life’s lamentable

But you don’t really have a say


So that’s it folks, regrettable

If you’re chosen, hop on board

It’s been, you know, all calculable

Order will be, soon, restored

Arguably the greatest institution of Britain is its National Health Service (NHS). How long before it joins this list? (See UK) What were once publicly owned, privatised.  An ongoing policy of dismantling. Neglect, claim insupportable, sell for a song, profit the few, failure to reinvest. Charge or divest. To the detriment of the infrastructure. Blame the populace. Social engineering a la government. This will be the ‘sharing society’ then?