The Escape



The call for the police was frantic. Post-stroke and with diminished eye-sight our father had ‘disappeared’. It was s time amid the trauma of a bomb of hurt and a recovery when he could feel all at sea.

Haunts, friends and allies were phoned, asked and probed.


The first sight of him. He was in range of the safe haven of the sheltered housing. The claw came into view.

The three-pronged end of his walking stick. A thrawn beast, this walking stick with a queer end; to be put up with by someone who had been a Pipe Major on two continents.

Of course. A return. He had been calling in at the ‘YES’ shop on Kirkcaldy High Street.

This was them dropping him off. Home and safe.


Today I thought of that. I was still (somehow) shocked at a Sir, a Scottish Sir sell his soul: the suspension of two very senior MPs today from their parties.

A new system is built from the bottom up.

The Edinburgh Half Marathon from Hell (Rock On)


looking back

Like dafties we paid siller for pain

Breaking joints and spine on Edinburgh’s outlying lungs

The Arctic blast in April filleted the SAS team out;

Never mind the bands playing to the blue skinned

Natives and guests from all parts.


Yet it is as nothing to what hunger does,

What hatred carves out in many a heart and place

When you have a finish that is there not hidden

There is not much to get over

Just some pure Scottish rain pelting Saint and Sinner alike.



Having had a good response to a running piece-here’s one for all and KS-time for another?

Mostar Brig


Nae a body in sicht

In this summer whaur even tyres melt

Gone from the burns an yird

Bairns blasted tae smithereens fae baith faiths

Equal magisteria doun in the glaur

Unsullied in saul an speerit lik yon skinklin stane.

Sodgers fer wronged Prophets naethin

But murderers fae heid tae toe

Savagery is aye mair aboot pain

Thair pain, thair feelings o sma beings lost

Kennin we are

Jist sea spray on a wee planet

Dinna mourn thair defeat

A lang or short demise.

*I visited the bridge a few years ago


Nae-no, sicht-sight, whaur-where, yird-earth, bairns-children, baith-both, glaur-mud, saul-soul, sodgers-soldiers, kenning-knowing, dinna-don’t, their-their.

Lomond Hill Run

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It tested you that gut wrenching run

Up from the village keeping tight by the pine tree line

Burst a lung and cerebellum over rock, mound and mud

West Lomond’s skirts demanded blood, sweat, dying legs.


Knee strip support and mair* rests than Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’

Means I can still make it-

See Perthshire and the guts of Scotland beyond

Savour that kestrel level view forever.


Mair-Scots for more.


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‘The Mind Must Be Set Free.’

‘To reign in the mind tightly takes away its freedom. To keep our mind in close confines may be a necessary beginner’s habit, but doing so for our entire life prevents us rising to a new level, and will result in a life of unfulfilled potential.’

As Sensei Hazard says the simple is difficult

The difficult can be made simple by steps

Lown thocht* held light yet strong frees.


Like silk arrested internally for kamae*

A strike or block must suddenly be and power

From what was emptiness and calm

Be as lightning stretching across the Verdun summer sky.


(* Soft thought, Kamae-readiness, posture to begin)

That Summer

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That year in NY State Summer Camp

There were some more man

Than I was

Taller in the wheelchair than I wis standing.


Vietnam had taken a spine, a leg;

Even the ridding of human waste

Given out to the European counsellor.


Still the broken spleens, backs and lives continue

War and want around the world.


Back in that precious summer

Learning human dignity is earned

Despite the despots, Gods and demons

Who trample those with weapons or not.

Christmas Shopper

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This piece appears today in The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland). Good to have a wheen of readers across the nation.

Level to my car carapace eye

Five robin body lengths away

The blackbird guzzles yellow jewels.

Stuck as the rush of bipeds with bags

Goes by this atavistic duel

He eyes me as shoppers pass, motors run.

A yellow ocular rim gives his stare power

Mine bigger, less focused, mindful of the other.

Swallowing the berry orbs offered

He yields not a bit.

Relents to the green interior

His adversary is moving:

A fawn-coloured Mini has muscled in

Into a queue fat with the unnatural fuming.