'Trojan Horse' at GOMA, 24th September 2017


Hello Friend

(First verse to be sung to the tune of Frère Jacques)



Hello Friend


How Are You?


I’m Fine Thank You


Nice To Meet You



I walk and the Clyde stares up,

its cataract of hazy sky

those dodgy hues 

to catch your breath 

or lose your mind in. 

When I skim stones across its skin

I don’t expect them back:

there’s a greater beauty in

those little holes in the wind. 



Some panes take my heart less seriously. 







Equalising Pressure


In the shower everything comes back,

while removing city from the holes in my face

I remember other places, dangerous orange

and birds that fish, coiling laughter.

They showed us rocks laced with moon metal, 

giant holes and piping bands to plug gaps

in ideas of Beyond.

‘It’s the Great Barrier Reef!’ she cries in desperation,

hoping to rescue this moment from

the aggregate of memories

 trademarked for further reflection

on the eyelids’ underside.


There are other places,

a draped eel glistening green in a 

crater lake’s fallen tree’s forked branch cleft,

the other fish wide eyed at my pale invasion,

 but I keep my distance:

it’s best to leave some things unseen. 







For Martyn


Down Sauchiehall Street scant rain dusts

ruddy stones plate glass 

mirror wheelchair passing 

by, tinny bagpipes patriot’s frosting,

ailing hair under threatening sky. 

Glances gather on 

Richard’s corduroy, all fluted brown

to flatten his beard, perhaps

she was pretending though:

‘Dead gorgeous’, we feared,

Just dead. 

Later impish under motorway,

sleet licks sharper relief 

from hollow spaces, hats and bridges

watch a wider world appear

‘We can make this ours’ you say.








Small Man


It’s 19:39 on the Glasgow train

as HD Hitler spits his rhetoric to the Quiet Coach,

where few even notice his presence,

registering only flashes or susurrant bleeps,

A war we’re begged to remember to swat other fears away.

People mainly read here, or eat sandwiches from Tesco,

as tanks advance slowly across tray tables.









Two coppers in the surgery

scope the room as if breaking the Fourth Wall.

You, tiny torpedo,

smear your hands with custard creams,

a sugary outer layer to fend off

the baddy bureaucrats keeping you

from nap time, and then to draw a line

under the matter you exhale a globby filament

of milk, joining mouth to floor

for one sucked-up second.

All that in Springburn this Sunday afternoon.