Nae Fuckin’ Pasaran!

Now, I haven’t seen the movie that’s previewed below but I’ve read about it and I love the idea of some wee guys from Scotland refusing to work on planes that would be instrumental in the suppression of a people. The title of the movie is ‘Nae Pasaran’.

And those guys made the difference by not doing their job. Queer, eh?

I tend to go searching for information when I don’t know what something’s about. So, when I first heard of this film – a couple of years ago – I had to do some research. And you all know how to read so  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nae_Pasaran.

East Kilbride is just up the road from me. I go shopping there. There’s a fab, country hotel where me and my best friend have spa breaks. It’s one of the so-called new towns, created post-war, and has successfully grown to be a thriving commercial and residential community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Kilbride

I’m in the Cambuslang bit that’s mentioned. Once the largest mining village in Scotland, according to my late father. And who am I to argue with him now that he’s long gone or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambuslang? And I’ve no intention of altering info on Wiki.

After reading about what the workers, at the Rolls Royce factory, had done to help the people of Chile and thwart the efforts of Pinochet, I felt all warm and proud that ordinary working men had played a significant part in altering the course of history.

If they could do it just by refusing to work on the planes, then why couldn’t we? What was to stop us – ordinary punters – from doing something similar when we encountered injustice?

For the most part, most of us tend to live quite ordinary lives. We rise and shine (sometimes not so much with the shining) and head about our daily responsibilities and, if we’re lucky, we get to relax and commend ourselves on another day well lived. We hope.

We fend for those we love; we feed and clothe them; we help educate them and form their characters. We’re busy. Busy loving and tending.

Then an opportunity comes along that we’re not looking for. Something we could do that might benefit someone else. Do we take it? Do we fit another thing into our busy lives? We’ve all been there. Sometimes we do it. What did it cost us, after all? A few minutes? A few pounds? Some hugs and a bit of extra love for someone not directly attached to our families?

Sometimes, we don’t.

And it’s the don’t part that bothers me. Or maybe it’s the don’t part that could make all the difference.

Over the period of time that we’ve been living this different life that the pandemic has forced on us, I guess a lot of people have had time to think about what constitutes a typical day. And how much of our time is taken up with repetition and grind.

We’ve all heard and read the urgings to return to work and get the wheels of the economy back on track. And, interestingly, those shouting loudest are those least likely to have to put themselves into any potential risk situation. But we do it anyway. What choice do we have? We have to eat, don’t we? We have to pay bills, for sure.

A helluva lot of huvtaes.

And, in the midst of it all, the world appears to be doing somersaults while we navigate the risks of the huvtaes.

In the space of a very short time, we’ve seen and read incredible things. The Black Lives Matter protests. The knock-on effects around the world. The fight for justice. I don’t know about elsewhere, but Scotland is having an ongoing argument that’s turning a bit nasty, at times, about gender recognition and the implications of it. The fight for equality.

Meanwhile, there are ‘leaders’ spouting forth on multiple subjects that they are not qualified to speak on while they ignore the advice from experts because, you know, what do experts know? The incessant lies from these so-called leaders have also given rise to a growing awareness of how little they are qualified for their roles and how much the decisions they take are based, not on the good of the people they profess to govern, but on the marketplace that so many of them are heavily involved in.

I, for one, am sick of being a cog in the machine. Fucking sick of it.

I’ve loved my job. I’ve done it, to the best of my ability, for over thirty years and, in the not too distant future, I’ll retire from it. I won’t entirely give up the role. I’ll do supply work when needed and I know I’ll miss it for so many reasons.

The main reason I’ll miss it though is because I’ve always worked. Since I was 13. Yes, 13. I had a job in a café when I was 13. Fifty pence an hour was what I earned. That’s about 25 cents, I think. Although exchange rates are a volatile business, at the best of times, so who knows?

Let me list the places I have worked.

After the café, I had a job in a small grocery shop, a stint in Woolworths – loved that job! – a pub-come-function suite that catered for special occasions. I wasn’t even legal to do so at the time, being under 18, but the owner didn’t ask and I never thought about it. My birthday was only a few months anyway, so who cares, eh?

I worked in a variety of other pubs, one I even worked in twice after I packed it in and returned a few months later. In between times, I had gone to work in a disco on a Greek island where I wasn’t paid if no customers came in. That happened one night. But my drinks were free so I figure I won that night. Dance floor to myself too. The moves! Helluva hangover the next morning though.

During my three years at college I spent each summer working on the same Greek island. I did some chambermaiding. Euch! Do you know what they did with used toilet paper back then? Those bins were not pleasant to empty. But, hey, I was living the dream. After I was robbed, by a fellow Scot – bastard – I also worked, during the day, in a restaurant, making souvlaki and Greek salads, peeling spuds and chipping them to later serve them to holidaymakers at night. Didn’t see so much sun at that point. Or people. Or places. Not quite living the dream.

I worked in a biscuit factory on the outskirts of Athens where, I, unfortunately, gummed up one of the conveyor belts with a tea towel. The biscuits were hot! Only stopped production briefly, so that was okay. Turned out I was going too fast. At least, that was what my developing Greek picked up. ‘Look at that wee Scots lassie go!’ would be the rough translation.

When I graduated college. I applied for a job in Athens and taught 5-18 year olds how to speak English. Most of them were lovely. Some of them were cheeky bastards. Same as here. The joy of not letting on that I could now understand what they were saying then answering them in Greek was precious. Works in Scottish schools too. Swearing in Greek is the best. Facing the board, obviously. I’m not stupid.

When my contract was up there, and while I was trying to decide whether or not to stay on, I had to find other work.

I looked after a Doberman Pinscher that mauled me. He was a bastard too. The woman that employed me was a bitch. American she was. Worked for Citibank. It was a live-in job and I had to shop to a budget – producing receipts, of course – cook and clean while, in between, walking the beast from hell. And sewing the trousers of random strangers it attacked on the beach.

I gave it three weeks. Enough time to gather money to pay my rent and utilities. Then I worked in a bar in Athens. I loved that job too. The craic was great. That was where I first heard Men At Work – ‘Do You Come From A Land Down Under?’ Gawd, I heard it recently and I was cast back in time in seconds.

Umm, what else?

Oh yeah. When I came back home, I started training to be a nurse because there were no teaching jobs to be had – one of the reasons I had gone to teach in Athens, in the first place. I went to college and did my first stint on a medical ward. The most tiring job I’ve ever had in my life. Used to fall asleep with my clothes on as soon as I got home.

Then I was offered a teaching job. Temporary one. What to do? I wanted to keep nursing but, word had it, that there was a shortage of nursing jobs upon graduation and I didn’t want that again. I took advice. ‘Get your foot in the door and there will be other teaching jobs’. So, I did.

Two years of temporary placements, between two separate schools, before being offered my first permanent teaching job. That was how they did it back then. Very different now. Very different.

I spent two years in that job, applied for a transfer the year I was getting married – 1987. Twenty-six and multiple jobs under my belt. And that’s without counting random waitressing jobs. I seem to remember working a restaurant shift at the greyhound racing one night. Transfers don’t happen now. Pity that. It was a great way of, essentially, moving between departments. Now, it’s all, annual interviews and promissory contracts, if successful, with the process repeated annually. Not interested.

Spent 14 years in that school. By the end, it felt a bit like I should get time off for good behaviour. I moved to another school and did only a year there because I was pregnant with my sixth child.

I resigned.

I figured this would be my last baby and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her.

But, mainly, and I cannot stress this enough, I was heartbroken and couldn’t face returning. In my class, in that school, was a boy whose mother was a drug addict and prostitute. His father was in prison. He begged for food, with his two-year-old sister in tow, round the doors of the local area. I wanted to take him home. My husband thought I’d lost it. I had.

This kid was the original Harry Potter, at least in terms of where he slept. The first book had just come out and one of the kids had brought it to school and asked me to read it to the class. When I discovered that HP slept under the stairs and that, laterally, that’s where wee J was sleeping, at his aunt’s house, I was undone.

When no one appeared for him at a social work meeting that I had only found out about that day, I was finished. My mum was minding my kids while I was waiting for anyone – anyone – to show some interest in this one. Mobile phones weren’t a thing back then and the meeting started straight after school. I left my kids and my mum not knowing where the hell I was while I hoped for someone to show an interest in my wee waif.

He eventually went in to care which was probably for the best.

I resigned.

Three years later, after my then youngest started nursery, I applied to do supply work and figured occasional days would do. The Education Office had other ideas and asked me to go full-time doing what is called Area Cover. This involves going to whatever school, in a given area, needs cover, for whatever period of time necessary.

I’m still doing that thirteen years later.

Love it. The variety! The experience. The number of schools! I’ve lost count.

So, yeah, I think I’ve worked hard.

I think I’m due retirement.

I think that ‘leaders’ who cry, ‘Get back to work!’ know shit about the real world.

And I really think that, having had no experience of the real world, they should be banned from holding office until they know what the real world involves.

Experience and learning from it. Education and learning from it.

Not a background in how to make money from others’ efforts and a degree in how best to do that.

During lockdown, we haven’t stopped working. Technology is a wonderful thing. At times.

What it’s not so good for is giving these no-marks a platform to air their agendas.

Now, I’ve waffled on for ages here. Jeez, you should know me by now.

What I started to say – a long time ago – was that those guys in the factory in East Kilbride were guys just doing their jobs and they made a difference. By not doing them, as it turned out.

We have no idea of the impact we have on the lives of others and all we can do is do our best in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

I have absolutely no interest in politics other than the fact that everything politicians do and say affects my life and the lives of those around us. Those we love.

Lockdown has been an education. An eye-opener. Things, already previously thought about, have crystallized.

The world is awaking to a new reality. And it’s not over yet. What do we do with that? What will be our part in the changing thoughts and feelings of those of us who have too long felt and recognised systemic injustices and party political manoeuvrings that exist to serve only those who may benefit from policies designed to keep us in our place?

Do we down tools like those Rolls Royce workers? Make a difference in the simple acts? The effective acts? Or do we do as we are told and suck it up?

I’m coming up on sixty. I’ve no idea how that happened. Really. I was 18 a wee while ago. I was full of hopes and dreams and doing whatever I could do live the dreams.

I’m still dreaming. Dreaming of what I can do after I retire.

For sure, hubs and I will explore more of this beautiful country we call home. For sure, we’ll be here, god willing, to continue to do what we can for the seven children we’ve been blessed with. Oh yeah, Anna appeared when I was 46. In between shifts.

Because life goes on. It goes on and on. And we have an impact on it. We do. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

We can down tools.

I think an international strike may be in order.

A strike that says, ‘Fuck off! We’re not doing all this for you! We’re living for our families, for our neighbours, for our communities, for future generations, for all people – creed, colour, gender and religions, not an issue. We’re living. We’re dreaming. We’re here. And, so long as we’re the ones keeping the wheels of industry oiled, we demand better! We are not cogs in your machine to make you richer and more powerful. You are charlatans and thieves. You are liars and corrupt. You are what we are fighting against. Not each other. You!’

And then we change how the world works. We make it better. Fairer. Happier.

We look at outdated systems of governance. We redefine governance and we ensure that representation means just that. People. Real people. Experts. Ordinary folk. Workers. United.

We are one.

Nae fuckin’ pasaran tae would be fascists and dictators!

P.S. I started writing this tome because I read a post on Cole’s page about that arsehat in the US and a guy who, through personal experience, knows a cult when he sees one. We really need to be bigger and better than cultists and followers of whatever eejit happens to hold the reins of power because, as sure as fuck, very few of them are doing whatever they profess to do for us.

We can do anything we put our minds and backs to.

Or not.

P.P.S. I went back to Youtube to check out the name of the band and noticed this comment underneath. The only comment.

Πολυ ωραια μουσικη πολλες αληθειες

And I could still remember my Greek.

Very beautiful music, very true.

Dead chuffed.  Remembering is important.

Bullshite and Empathy

A cautious, ‘Hi’, here.

My response to Mark, at https://healingyourheartfromwithin.com.au/2019/08/28/empathy/

was becoming rather lengthy so I figured, make a post of it.

I reckon there are others who feel as I do.

Forgive me, Mark, please, for using a comment as a post. Haven’t quite mastered the art of brevity.

Hi Mark, the prodigal Scot is dipping her toes back in WP waters and you’re the first one I came across in my comments. I don’t even know if I’ll read anything else.

No, I’ll visit Beth at Colemining. You and she are two of strong connection. And that might be it.

Some of the lovely people I had met on here don’t figure in my thoughts when I’m away. That’s just life. Fleeting moments of remembrance and brief connection and we move on.

I hardly know why I’ve been away so long but your post has struck a chord.

Empathy.

It’s a bugger for me. Not only me. I was speaking to one of my sons recently and he was feeling emotionally and mentally drained to the point of …not depression…but similar… a hopelessness. He works with troubled young people while also studying at uni. He feels. He feels the world. It’s painful. I tried to explain what you are saying, in your post, but I don’t think I got it myself.

One of my daughters is the same. Mostly, the others of my crew practise a lot of sublimation. Or, maybe they just deal with the part of the world they have any control over and they’re better at separating the two than some of us are. Force them, and they’ll talk. They’ll give their opinions. They’ll tell you their beliefs. But, mostly, they get on with life. And I try to do the same.

But a few of us here struggle with the realities of what is happening all over and fluctuate between action and inaction, depending on how much energy we have left after dealing with life.

Empathy. The drain.

I’m struggling with the world. My own corner of it. What a mess is going on here. That’s kind of why I’ve been absent from WP. I decided to do something instead of writing and talking about it. But I’m not sure that what I’m doing is making any difference. Any more than words would.

Communication, for me, has always been key to dealing with people. Although, frankly, I don’t really relish being with people. It’s like I love humanity but I’m not so fond of it on an individual basis.

Someone once described an introvert as a person who can party hard with everyone else but needs a long time to recover. I rather liked that description. It fits who I am. I’m compelled to deal with people – kids, mostly – all day and, at the end of it, I just want to sit quietly in a corner. But I can’t, for the most part, because life demands and commands.

I began to take a more active role in politics last year, in the belief that actions speak louder than words. I still think that’s the case but those who have the time for action tend not to be holding down a full-time job and managing a household. Something always suffers. My writing has. It has become the last thing I do after everything else.

But it’s been bugging me. The same son I was speaking of earlier told me once, ‘Mum, writing’s a constant for you in your life. You always return to it.’

He gets me. The lass who feels the same also writes – in between living.

And that’s the shitty bit.

Something that constantly returns, but has to be put on hold, suffers neglect because arseholes are making a mess of doing the job they’re supposed to be doing.

I’d have been sacked for less.

And quite rightly.

They have all day, every day, to manipulate the world and I – we – are ants in the middle of it. Working till we drop.

I can’t stop seeing a bigger picture. It’s hazy. But not as hazy as I’d like it to be. All too clear, in lots of ways. And I’m bleeding energy for the state of the world.

What do I do about that, Mark?

How do I make empathy work for me? For the world? Because, right now, all it’s doing is draining me of the hope that has been as constant as the writing.

Thank god, right now, we have the September Weekend – a four-day break from work that’s a Scottish holiday. How I need it!

 

I had no intention of posting anything on WP. Hasn’t even figured in my mind at all in months. But, your post, Mark, speaks to me. I just don’t get it.

I don’t know how to separate what I think and feel from my energy source. When I think, I feel. When I feel, I’m exhausted.

I need a course on how not to let thinking and feeling drain me.

I need to retire, quite frankly!

But, I’m not going to do that until I see a world fit for my kids. This momma didn’t raise no cannon fodder!

Just tell me how to stop feeling everything and letting it bleed me dry.

If not, tell me a joke so’s I can laugh and move on.

And, I’m only half kidding.

I need a laugh to deal with the bull.

Thank god, I have a few comedians here who keep me smiling despite angst. Great leveller is humour. And so much truth in it too.

(There’s a slight glitch in the video but it only lasts seconds and it’s well worth hearing till the end)

Where Extremes Meet

Imbalanced, unsteady

World out of whack

Cosmos chaotic

Can we find our way back?

 

Heavens to hell

We’re caught in between

Is anyone listening?

Do you know what I mean?

 

Richest to poorest

Filet mignon to mince

Palace to pavement

Paupers, crown prince

 

Eden to Gaza

Stripped of what’s best

Points of the compass

Confused east to west

 

Morbid obesity

Starved unto death

Billionaires, beggars

Comfort, bereft

 

Extremes in nature

Whole world in flux

Empathic encounters

While some give no fucks

 

Leisurely, lazy

Or worked to the bone

Temperate to pissed

Hyped-up to stoned

 

Scales have all shifted

They’re whirling like mad

Weighed down or lifted

Sky-high or launch-pad

 

Graven pretenders

Vying with Christ

Compassion, contemptible

Virtue and vice

 

A planet imploding

With greed, avarice

Don’t know about you

But I never voted for this

 

Button to reset

That might be the plan

Pit one against other

Warring woman to man

 

Polarised humanity

Silenced, shrill scream

Trying to stay upright

On an unsteady beam

 

Pendulum’s swinging

And the clock’s ticking down

Minutes to midnight

Of tragedy and clowns

 

Terrified faces

Rictus, raw smiles

Fiddles on scary

No deliverance for miles

 

We’re caught on a swing

With a g-force of ten

Tensioned to torment

Released, repeated again

 

Scrambling brains

By the power of extreme

While I’m seeking balance

Please say you know what I mean

 

Buckie an’ Gawd an’ Aw That

(source)

I’ve hud a few drams an’ I’m feelin’ grand

I think that I’m gonnae write

Creation incomin’, ma big pen in hand

Thunderbolts ur in sight!

 

I’ll start wi’ a bang cause I’m a big noise

A wee joke there! Whit am I like?

I’ll make loads ae space fur aw ae my toys

Nice work there fur a first strike

 

I’ll leave it the noo while I drink a bit mair

The lubricant’s good fur my aim

A few million years tae let the brew simmer

Don’t want tae make moves aw the same

 

Thish shtuff is braw, don’t know whit it’sh cried

But it’sh shurley nectar fur me

Ma haunsh urr aw shaky an’ sho urr ma words

Better leave thingsh shum mair tae I can shee

 

God, I’m feelin’ rough, nae mair ae that stuff

At least, no’ the noo, fur a while

A few miles roon the block should clear oot my guts……

 

…….Whoosh! Back tae work wi’ a smile

 

Time tae move oan wi’ ma opus, an’ that

Nae mair magnums tae I’ve penned a bit mair

Chewin’ ma nib, brain cells feelin’ smart

Wieldin’ my bolt noo wi’ flair

 

I’ll huv a wee peek tae see the land’s lie

Well, wid ye ever? Good grief!

Look at aw that! It’s grown by an’ by

This goes beyond self-belief

 

But somethin’ is missin’. Whit could it be?

Everythin’ looks too spot oan

Worlds aw a-turnin’, withoot even me

Some folk’ll think that I’ve gaun

 

Aw, that’s right, I’ve no made them yet

Ma brain’s still too fuzzy fae booze

They’re part ae ma plan, how could I forget

Noo, let’s think a bit then I’ll choose

 

I’ll start wi’ a man an’ we’ll huv a wee chat

Let him know how this’ll work

No’ too much, though, nae equals or that

Don’t want him goin’ berserk

 

I’m on a roll, he looks no’ too bad

Hi, there, ma lad, how ye dain’?

Panic thee not, I’ll be yer dad

Noo, listen tae whit yer dad’s sayin’

 

I’m writin’ a book, an adventure an’ such

Wi’ twists an’ turns everywhere

I keep losin’ the plot wi’ imbibin’ too much

An’ ma heid is aye feelin’ sair

 

But, bear wi’ me, son, an’ I’ll gie ye the gist

There’s a flagon callin’ ma name

You write a bit fur me while I go an’ get pissed

But try tae keep true jist the same

 

I’ll no’ leave ye yersel’, fur that widnae dae

Ye’d die here left oan yer ain

Ye’re no’ a bad model, I huv tae say

But ye’re lackin’ a bit in the brain

 

I’m soberin’ up an’ I’ve hud an idea

It’s different but might be my best

Listen tae me, ye’ll be thrilled when ye hear

I’ve got plans tae plump up yer chest

 

I’m gaun fur tae make ye a partner, I say

A helpmate fur aw ae yer life

Ye can call hur ma darlin’, ma sweetheart, ma tumshie

Ye can even call hur yer wife

 

She’ll make ye yer dinner, she’ll darn yer soacks

She might even knead yer sore necks

She’ll massage yer ego but nag, fur a joke

Fur expectin’ too much kinky sex

 

I’ll make her yer equal tae stand side by side

But remember, she’s no’ built like you

Hur muscles, internal, hur strength, ae the mind

So, be gentle, whatever ye do

 

Don’t punish hur boady because ye’ve brute strength

Use it insteid tae defend

She’ll last ye a lifetime if ye’re kind and, at length

Mair men an’ wummen I’ll send

 

So, why am I sendin’ a wummin, ye ask

Cause a wummin’s the best part ae me

I’m split doon the middle wi’ genders, my task

Tae try oot the options an’ see

 

A word tae the wise fae the heavens up here

Don’t treat hur as if she’s yer slave

She’s ma secret weapon, so listen, don’t fear

Fae yer ain worst excesses, she’ll save

 

So, here comes the wummin. A brammer! A beezer!

Staun back, man! She isnae that type

Noo woo hur and show hur ye urnae a geezer

No’ like that! Gawd, whit ur ye like?

 

Noo, move back a bit an’ gie hur some space

Ye’re crampin’ hur style wi’ that thing

Whit wis a thinkin’? Don’t shove yer dick in hur face

The trouble that thing’s gonnae bring

 

I can jist see it noo if men are in charge

Charge! The target’s in sight!

Ma dong is bigger than yours, it’s well large!

Aye, it is! Hey pal, you waant a fight?

 

Haw, wummin, c’mere, I’ve got somethin’ tae say

A bit ae advice, a wee drap

The man I huv made waants sex everyday

Fur your sake, make sure ye’re sittin’ oan tap

 

Cut him some slack tae he’s caught up wi’ you

Don’t waant tae undo whit I’ve made

A couple ae years tae he evolves, well, a few

Noo, remember, aw that I’ve said

 

Jist hing oan a while an’ he’ll figure it oot

An’, tae he dis, ye’re the wan who knows best

I’m right behind ye, I’ve got yer back

I’m callin’ it a wee IQ test

 

Put up wi him an’ ye’ll get yer reward, see

No the noo, though, so don’t make too many plans

Love him an’ guide him an’ don’t poison his tea

He’s only prototype man

 

An’ watch oot fur power, it’s a bugger fur men

Testosterone aye waants tae strut

You’ve got some tae, though it’s tempered, ma hen

That is ma deepest cut

 

Yer moods they will swing wi’ the mix I huv made

But remember, ye’re no mental, an’ that

Yer bum’s no’ too big, jist the time ae the month

An’, naw, jeez, ye don’t look too fat

 

Models at the ready, a guy an a gal

Ye’ll dae aw right if ye heed ma advice

But naeboady’s listened tae me fur a while

I huftae say everythin’ wance mair than twice

 

The time it has come and eons huv passed

Feck sake! They don’t know whit they’re dain’!

Neither ae them listened tae the advice they amassed

They’re eejits, these men an’ these wummen

 

The choices I huv, they are many an’ vast

I could jist rub them oot, start again

But I never undo whit I’ve written doon last

I leave that aw doon tae mad men

 

Extinction, it seems, is their aim, so it is

Whit can I dae aboot this?

Quicker than I’ve made it, they’re destroyin’ it aw

Noo who’s takin’ the piss?

 

Haw, wummen, c’mere, I’ve loast maist ae the men

They’re aw away the fairies

If we don’t fix it noo, afore it’s too late

There’s no gaunae be any mair ae ye’s

 

You’re no’ quite loast so listen up, see

I know ye’ve no’ hud real chances

Tae be aw the wummen that youse can aw be

Ma fault, hen, that men ur such dunces

 

Cover yer breasts, ma bow ye shall yield

Don’t be a slave tae yer tits

Gird up yer loins an’ hoist yer big shields

Bugger men! We’re gaunae fix this

 

Here come the wummen! An Amazon clan

Ready for battle to start

You men huv muffed it wi’ aw ae yer plans

An’ I’m jist no’ huvin’ aw that

 

I write the stories! Follae the script!

I’m puttin’ wummen oan tap

I shouldne huv hud aw that nectar I hud

I should’ve jist hud a wee drap

 

Never create when ye’ve hid a bit much

A good few too many drams

Keep the big pen an’ the bolt oot ae touch

Or yer characters might turn oot tae be bams

 

Bampots United versus female race

Jeez, this writin’s a laugh

I’ll put ma money oan hur, tae save face

A wee lie doon noo tae sleep this stuff aff

 

Aw, jeez Louise, look who they’ve picked!

Mad May an’ that man is still there!

I’m feelin’ scunnert enough tae be sick

I’ll be back when I’ve cleaned up the flair

 

A few years huv passed noo an’ whit can I see?

A beautiful world doon below

Nary a human, it’s jist birds an’ bees

An’ I’ve learned a lesson, I know

 

When writin’ a book, make sure tae stay sober

An’ start wi’ a wummin’ next time

Lay aff the nectar, at least tae October

Thon Buckfast is mair than cheap wine

 

Fortified noo, wi’ intent an’ a plan

An’ I’ll try oot a totie wee pen

Best tae gang slower an’ write oot long haun

An’ keep ma pen aff ae daft men

 

I’ll no’ start wi chaos, this time, naw, I’ll no’

Better tae draw oot a wee chart

Plan it oot furst, make them act it oot slower

I’ll have a wee drink. Then I’ll start.

Distracted, Abstracted

skin of papered onion 

peeled in pen and ink

as doodles crossing virginal

help me mull and think

with layers of lined abstraction

in markings freely made

thoughts and things I’m dreaming of

when words remain unsaid

while radio goes rambling

through the contours of my mind

in each portion printed pattern

discoveries I find

glassed in red libation

smoked in embers’ flames

onion’d contemplations

melt with those I’ve named

mid musings in a mindset

that meet where two lines merge

diverging while perceptions

collide and then converge

as news holds deep disturbance

tangents here to there

while my pen reacts to everything

in words I cannot share

The Precious Touch

The texture, more important than appearance

The feeling, more appealing than the look

The facets of quality, as measured

Like the content of a treasured, well-read book

The touch, far more impressive than the visual

Though first drawn by sight alone, ’tis not enough

The smoothest, gliding surface when encountered

Convinces more than coarsened, crude and rough

The elements, attractive in display case

Cannot be chosen till character is felt

In life, as in the study of the gem stones

Intrinsic value known once precious held

Fighting Shadows

Do veins take on new colours, shades and shadows

Absorbing spectrum’s range as multi-hued

Muted, harsh, spectacular or mellow

Bleeding into consciousness till true

When courses plasmic liquid in exchanges

Breaths of capillation, calm, serene

Does dreary darkness vie with light in stages

Concur as cancer, out of sight, unseen

Inseparable companion, undercover

Ominous and partial to disguise

Unaware the host, a mother, brother

Living, breathing silence with each sigh

When veins resist the rainbow, embrace shadow

Pray light into the gloaming till it flows

 

If you pray, please pray for my eldest brother who, for the second time, has had a diagnosis of cancer. He will be undergoing surgery within the next week.  He has the strongest of spirits and has fought his way to life through major health trials over the years. My heart aches for him that he has to fight once again. Thank you.x

Deliverance

Where servile siblings gather, there you’ll find them

Trading lives for plaudits promised soon

Sacrifices welcomed and encouraged

Naked greed stripped bare by fulsome moon

When night it falls beneath a clouded mantle

Where secrets in the pot are mixed with bile

Souls hawked upon the futures’ febrile markets

Linger there and watch them for a while

They dance upon the graves of friends and strangers

Buried and forgotten easily

Names only in a ledger, stones eroded

Watch closely now, believe all that you see

Remark upon the eyes, how dark and hollow

Empty vessels mustered to be filled

Adherents to philosophy of selfish

Disciples drugged and daggered to the hilt

Swaying to a music marched macabre

Ecstatic to the beat of blood and gore

Listen while they chant to inner hatred

Death to all, their rousing ribald score

Stay softly, do not move, you are a target

Keep camouflaged, be hidden till they’re through

Upon the heath, beneath a sky turned blood red

Offering oblations to dark brew

Beware the servile siblings and their legions

Biblical bombast of putrid smell

Feeding evil, justifying actions

Of power stoked in fires of human hell

Deliver with dispersal of the siblings

Upset the crock where poison has been stewed

Serve antidotes of love by rise of morning

Negate the darkness, let light be renewed

Ceud Mìle Fàilte – To My Part Of Our World

I think I’m really clever

so coordinated

when I can remove

the remnants

of today’s make-up

with my right hand while

unhooking earrings with my left

after having

stacked

crockery and cutlery

in preparation

for twenty

having cleaned for the days

I didn’t

while working

teaching

clearing

sorting

finishing

one job

before embarking

on the next

 

I think I’m so organised

after

shopping

with my list

for food

drink

accroutements

the je ne sais quoi

of visitors

 

I think I’m on the ball

 

I’m not

 

I’m not on anything

but the same wheel

that we’re all on

you know the one

when we impress ourselves with our

own abilities to cope

under pressure

to be

to do

to act

to keep on

keeping on

 

I think I’m doing so well

and I am

 

I definitely am

 

I know this

by comparison

to when I’m not

and, oh, there have been times

when ‘not’ has been

the ‘it’

 

but now

right now

I’m doing well

as well as anyone can do

with

still

so much to do

 

I think I’m so clever

removing

with my right hand

today’s make-up

while

at the same time

my, oh, my!

such dexterity

disentangling dangling earrings from lobes

time-saving

knowing I have organised

am organised

will be

the hostess with the

enough

more than enough

to make them welcome

and

next week

I’ll abseil

and kayak

just for fun

 

these are the

holiday-days

the manage-and-do

and fill-the-days

with what is not the

everyday-do-days

these are the good

but also

busy days

 

as all days

 

I think I’m so clever

so coordinated

so resourceful

that I can do all this

and be

sane

 

while monitoring

watching

still

always

what is going on

in the realm of those

whose lives

coordinate

and manage

a different agenda

where

welcome

hospitality

ceud mìle fàilte

are not the operative words

I know

I’m doing well

and the earrings and makeup removed

two-handed

in a satisfied acknowledgement

of

the fridge

and dishes

ready

speak my truth

 

I’m clever

in some ways

in more ways

like so many

the everyday ways

we do

we are

the embrace

that love

to welcome

life

and loving

 

how clever

and resourceful

and full of life

are we

in spite of all

 

slainte

friends

 

these are the days

of life

living

and being

the welcome

to our part of the world