Private Gentle

The Smedum Test

(This piece is from the above. I have great admiration for the courage and determination of Mrs Gentle.)


Private Gentle


(Deed Iraq, June 2004)


At ower six fuit yer hert,


Micht hae beat in a pine tree,


Ye deed in Iraq blawn apairt,


Whiles Whitehaa mandarins socht WMD.



Somme, Goose Green an mair,


On mony a village or toun stane,


A nation still bottom o Europe’s eco-stair,


As yer mither is racked wi pain.



Nae chiel sent fae London toun,


A PM’s son sent tae fecht,


A litmus test niver pit doun,


Huid up tae harsh daylicht.


Lik the best pub stories his muckle nieve,


Lik the closest family ye went in peace,


Lik the emptiness thae cannae believe,


Lik thaim we want murderin tae cease.



Throw politics and history aside,



Excuse mere wirds intae a bleckwell,



Jist A wid honour yer son Gentle


And tell.



An illegal war, a Party that lost its soul, June 2016.



A Riverside

Europe has many witch sites, death camps

But outside our Parliament have we this?

A silent sculpture so small it would sliver

The diamond calluses of the narrow hearted.

Where the home-grown Hungarian Nazi’s murdered

Their ain-the Danube still flows, pushes

atween Buda and Pest.

Children, parents flung to their death

Their protection for delicate feet is left.

The grandiosity of Parliament and castle

Whimpers to fit the infant slipper.

Titles Poem


Kelty Woman causes stramash at wedding before

Ainster boy turns fish supper into £10 million pounds in bearer bonds

Glenrothes granny has waiver from Care Home to be MSP for Defence

Cupar Headteacher gets nominated for classical opera’s highest award.


A bampot of a Burntisland individual has destroyed the new Forth crossing

A raging Rosyth bairn has eyeballs tattooed with the Dunfermline players’ names

While a flounder the size of Edinburgh is found in Falkland estate pond.



The true Stone of Destiny has been found on Tentsmuir beach


A pensioner from St Andrews has adopted Donald Trump

Trump settles to being a St Andrews caddie.

*Inspired by an actual recent headline from a Fife newspaper; stramash-fight/scene; bampot-fool; bairn-child; MSP-Member of the Scottish Parliament-sadly now with extra Members deluded enough to think Independence is a bad idea.



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Only two digits

How many thoughts, loves and dreams?

Crushed, lost, some killed unlawfully-

Twenty men or women ‘lost’.


10 and 10

A simple sum disappeared:

The total of workforce deaths in Scotland

Most years.


Not fit for a nation, powers

To change improve this.


Count 20 of your loved ones


Only 20.

It’s easy.

*Comments to the new First Minister suggesting she should be happy with the powerful new scope of responsibilities for the Scottish Parliament; the ability to act on workforce deaths was one stripped from the proposed new powers.


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Attract, sustain and prompt..

Some of the traits we learnt when studying advertising.


A Prime Minister

Emoted tears about a broken Union.


A Scottish Labour Leader Hope Full

Apologises for a political Party sclerotic

without relevant principle or hubris.


Do all the above with no shred

Of moral purpose or

real change.



an end to posturing.

An end

To tribalism and a socialist movement emaciated-

skinned so much

only a skeletal smile can gleam out

for the requisite television interviews.



The Prime Minister will banish child poverty

He will also accomplish the following:

A flattening of the Cairngorms

This as a part of a satellite London (boom) building program.



The North Sea will be emptied

This will allow proper fracking operations to take place;

Prison will also be abolished

Ex-prisoners (not MPs out after incarceration)

Will build the Wembley-sized extraction pipes.


In a bid for international approval-

From the Madrid establishment-not Catalonia

The possession of non-Shakespearean literature

As of Monday next will be judged as suspect.


A final edict on any mention of the ‘poor’ as ‘poor’

Lies in putative form with the Adam Smith Institute.


* At the Conservative Party Conference


Nicola Sturgeon is Alone

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Nicola Sturgeon is still there-alone

The sign that holds her name:

Black marks on a pure white rectangle

Has lost its twin marking the Time.


The hall meeting is past, history

Still it stands as the small haar lifts;

It is the morning after the vote.

No one has moved her, no one has taken it.


It seems nothing has changed

It has, and nothing is yet written

What and who will be on other signs, other markers.