Saturday, 26 February 2011


A round flash of colour -
Maybe blue, maybe grey -
A small dark centre,
Darkened by the depth
Of the world of which
It is only the beginning.
Sparkling somehow,
Reflecting beauty,
Reassuring friendship
Flashing a warning.
To catch her eye for a second
Is to see so far into her mind
That you blink
And look away,
A little scared, in case too much becomes known. 


15 February 1972


Friday, 25 February 2011


Peter just sits there silently
Watching the people go by and
Wishing he were one of them.
He smiles at his little book of
Delicate doodles and drawings that
Say the things he can't say.

His clothes are his brother's who
Is doing well in the city.
His hair is cut too short on
Sundays when his uncle comes
With the scissors and another
Pencil and little sketch book.

Mary just sits there and looks at
Him in his little world of no sound 
Telling him fireside stories which only
They know and only they hear.

A door slams goodbye after supper,
A car engine whispers 'they're gone',
A glance at each other says
More than just words,
A kiss says forever
For a while again.

March 1972


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

And Still The Light Keeps Burning

I run down
A never ending slope
To a bright blue lake
Of sympathetic water
Surrounded by
The red and white stripes
Of deck chairs
In a room
In the country
Near one of those roads
Which goes round
And round
Next to the signpost
Pointing to the village
Of strange smiles
And don't you know faces
Facing nothing
That you don't know
Connected by wires
To the socket
In the wall 
Where a picture
Telling me I've been
There before
Before my eyes closed
On artificial sunshine
Trying to create
A world of their own
To see where the
Bluebells grow
In the pine needle wood
Next to the field
Where I fell asleep
And forgot
To turn the light off.

20 April 1972


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sometime Between

Sometime between closing my eyes
To sleep and
Waking in the morning again
We're together in
One of those romantic scenes
Others only know at
Some kind of old time movie.
Our fingertips touch gently
As we look into
Each other's eyes knowingly.
I kiss your cheek in that nice way
Someone of
Our generation just never seems to do.
You smile at my baggy trousers and
My little bow tie whilst
I look down at the ground, embarrassed.
On a little island in carefree ocean
We are
Sometime between today and tomorrow.

13 March 1972


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Woman In White

Over the hill when the full moon is high
Sadness shimmers in the haze.
'Don't go there,' they say, 'while the dark owls fly'
'No not there' - in the distance they gaze.

Their eyes seem so weary, lacking lustre or shine
As they turn their heads back to the ground
Shuffling along with no sense of time
No smile of  joy, no laughter, no sound

Winter darkness veils the old houses
As candle shadows leap in the street,
Such silence only the unknown arouses
In the village, echoes waiting to greet
Morning's blue skies and cool breeze relief.
'She'll come again.' they say. 'But why?' they ask
'Why are we haunted?' 'Why so much grief?'
Questions perhaps to be answered at dusk.

Later in half-light strange, neither today nor tonight
When moon shadows send lambs running scared
Desperate sorrow arose neath the stars' light 
Few looked up, just the few who dared.

The shape of a woman appeared in the wood,
Walking silently yet demanding attention.
'I have come to you, as you all knew I would.'
Crystal voice spoke to aged apprehension. 

People knelt and bowed their heads to the earth.
'Look up!' she looked, 'You're old but alive,
'Not to linger for death did your mothers give birth. 
'I beg you, for love and laughter to strive.' 

'But why send us fear for thirty long years?'
Wondering voice cried out from the crowd,
'To our hearts so much fear, and so many tears?'
A question everyone echoed aloud.

'Aged are your voices, as the songs here once sung
'Like the last drop of snow in spring you remain
'And hide from the sun - you dare not be young -
You let sadness return once again.'

'I am that sadness, and the memories you know
'That'll stay until time will allow 
'You to forgive the girl who died long ago
'I've a right, I believe, to know how.'

3 March 1972  

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

I Believe

I believe there's a city in the pleasure-grass
with towers of hopeful in the clouds
a door in the smile-please opening to a hello
and a welcome-mat bristling with joy
somewhere that over the rainbow knows
but the better the devil ignores
somewhere that sometime goes for a wind in the stroll
visiting clothes-horse and whiter than whiter
accelerates motor-car and
fares tram-ride gaily whilst
heard sits there silent on
the sun 'neath the road-sign 

29 February 1972


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mine Is

Getting dressed on a cold winter's morning
As the snow slowly whitens the ground
Making breakfast and lighting a fire
Crouching close to the warmth of a flame.
Smiling at faces at work when when I get there
Wondering what they're thinking and why
Opening a file and writing on papers
Trying to work hard when your mind wants to wander
Feeling hungry and parting with pennies
In return for a brief but hot meal
Sitting back for a moment to let it go down
Then waiting for 'time to go home'.

Watching the sky grow dark in the window
Seeing the moon grow bright as I leave
Listening to night's slow fall all around me
Hearing the rush-hour crowd rushing by.
Getting back to my room and one comfy chair
Resting in please don't disturb land
Writing that must write a letter to her
Reading it, folding it, just sitting holding it.
Closing your eyes at the end of the day
Dreaming of tomorrow and what it will bring
Hoping it's good knowing nobody knows
Sleeping by accident, dozing on pupose
Waking at dawn to an early bird song
Musing the mystery of mist on a grey day
Til sunshine bursts through once again.

15 February 1972


Monday, 14 February 2011


So difficult to say
What I want to.
These very lines
Seem so inadequate -
Just scratching the surface
Of untold depth of meaning.
My mind cries aloud
But my voice merely murmurs.
My brain screams 'How?'
In a wondering whisper.

I can run through thoughts with ease
Only to stumble in audible clumsiness
Like dropping a knife
And severing my heart from my lips.
Miming to a record
Of well-used phrases.
I do want love care mean
I have can will need
I see know believe
I trust hear feel seem
I hope understand
I hope you understand.


15 February 1972 

With Infinite Care

To open the door on a an empty room
And look down as your heart sinks;
To walk across, as your mind wanders
Through thoughts like wisps of smoke
From the cigarette, burning;
To sit on the bed and logically think,
Then hold a pen and grasp some words
Suspended in the haze around you.
To move black over white
Like a stick in the snow
To describe wondering plight -
Where have you been?
Where'll you go? 
A hard fact in the cold
As the clock ticks aloud -
On your own you are bold,
But afraid in the crowd;
To wait and to smile
As you walk through the door
And look down at the child
Dropping ash on the floor;
To worry, wonder, laugh and cry,
To understand without knowing why,
To have and to hold
But never grow old;
To give, to try,
To live, to die,
To know that you know that
Is to love.


14 February 1971 First written and now published again on Valentine's Day. Something special, this one.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

In The Eyes Of A Girl

Do I?
Yes ...
"Hello -"
"Hello -"
You're beautiful.
And you ...
I wish ...
So do I ...
But ...
But ...
Quite ...
I'd like ..,
I could love ...
No ...
I'm sorry...
So am I.
"Pity... "
"Oh, sorry, just talking to myself..."

15 February 1972

Friday, 11 February 2011

If I could

If I could only read your mind,
I'd know;
If I could only hear your heart,
I'd listen;
If I could only see your thoughts,
I'd look;
If I could only touch your love
I'd hold
You in my arms
And tell you in silence 
And be a light in your darkness -
But I do -
So perhaps I can.

15 February 1972 Presumably a Gordon Lightfoot track inspired the start. 

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Grey-tiled rooftops,
Dirty brick walls,
Smoke-blackened panes.
Drizzle of rain
From meaningless sky
In a dusty yellow frame.

That's the picture
On my wall.

15 February 1972  I think this was the view from my top story rented room in Morningside Edinburgh

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tomorrow Perhaps

Wandering aimlessly in what next land,
Stumbling noisily over pound signs,
Counting pocket's pocket money,
Wishing it were countless.

Trying not to think,
Dying for a drink,
Standing on the brink
Of sit down and wait land.

Feeling almost but not quite happy
Then knowing out of luck sad,
Wanting to sleep until it's all over,
Closing wide open eyes.

Running away,
Forgetting to pay,
Remembering to say
"I'm sorry, it'll be all right soon."

Impatiently rushing at the sun,
Desperately clucthing at clouds,
Touching them slip through my fingers,
Falling down once again.

Tomorrow I know I must win.

20 January 1972



I walk through my mind
On a path called Why
That leads to a place called Where.
I eventually arrive
At a time named When
And I speak to a person
Called Who.

"Whyever do I wonder?
 Wherever do I go?
 Whenever do I get there?
 Whoever is there?" I ask.

Whoever it is that plays
Tricks with my eyes
That I can see
What I don't want to know;

Whoever it is that replies
Without words:
"Wherever you are, I am there,
 Whenever you are, I am then,
 Whyever you are,
 I'm the reason you are,
 Whoever you are
 I am you." 

18 January 1972 One of my favourites! I was definitely improving by then, if still a bit bizarre.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Young Love

map on the wall
directs me to the door
into darkness
where bespectacled pillows
sleep soundly
beneath flowering carpets
and undone shoes
whose feet scream
for peace 

picture on the wall
shows me the window
through a mountain
of whiteness
over a sea of tears
and foxglove seeds
whose hands reach
for eternity

letter on the table
takes me through time
into eternity
where i'm a mere pen
in your hand
writing down laughter
where the lines on your face
should be


18 January 1972 apparently 'unfinished'. Goodness knows where my mind was heading. Uncertainty and a fellow St Andrew's student Jim Robson influenced this, one of the first in a new style I began then.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Silent March

A thousand feet march a million miles,
Their orders an unwritten law.
Above their heads, forcing their smiles,
Flies the blood red banner of war.

From hamlets of life dead cities arise,
Amid newborn strife laughter's child dies,
Love's churches fall in rough shallow graves,
Deafeated saints crawl, condemned to be slaves

By an unspoken word from an unknown mind
In a land of anyone where no-one is kind, 
And seas of sorrow wash shores of sadness,
Where hate makes dark any glimmer of gladness.

A thousand hearts cry a million tears,
Their desire a mere open-mouthed stare.
But nobody, nobody, nobody hears -
There's nobody, nobody there. 


17 January 1972

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Where you live

Elephants fly in the sky
Where you live
And crocodile's friends drink tea,

And hippos always keep dry
Where you live
Where the moles can easily see.

Giraffes they go for walks
Where you live
Holding hands with the mice in the air

And the wise owl eternally talks 
Where you live
Whilst badger paints his lair.

I could pack my whole world in a case
Where you live, 
Including a sky blue and fair,

And I've got a smile on my face
Where you live.
Just wish that I could be there.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Dear Santa

For Christmas I'd like a racing car
Like Jimmy got last year
And a soldier and guns and army things
Like Jimmy got last year
And a plane that flies on its own
And a lorry that tips up
And a cowboy hat with tassles
And a gun that shoots real bullets
'Cos I wanna shoot Jimmy
'Cos I don't like Jimmy
'Cos he got lots of things
Last year
And I didn't
And I'm not speaking to Jimmy
And anyway 
Jimmy's bigger than me
And it's not fair.
So you've gotta help me Santa,
'Cos daddy won't.


December 1971 For some reason I really like this one. Has to be read faster and faster up to the last two lines. 

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Further Adventures of Unwin and Arthur

When Unwin and Arthur got home that night
They sat down to curry and beans.
They lit a candle and turned out the light
Then witnessed incredible scenes -
Natanielle came in and jumped on a plate
and started to dance all around,
Whilst the pair were amazed - how could she create
Such delicate steps with no sound?
"Must be dreaming," said Unwin to Arthur the bear,
"Or I've drunk just too much of your booze."
So assuring each other it wasn't her there,
They ate their fill and sat back for a snooze.

6 December 1971 Unwin was a furry pink elephant, Arthur a white teddy with a blue bow and I invented Natanielle (in my mind she was a tiny elephant dancer).

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A Child In Autumn

Leaves tumble gently to the mossy floor,
Softening his footsteps,
Easing his breathless hurry to the sun.

Wind whispers crisply through the sparsely-clad branches,
Caressing his heart,
Cooling the sweat on his worried brow.

Light flickers down on to welcoming late flowers,
Opening their eyes,
Brightening the path to a land they'll not ever see.

Like a watery world of wonder
A tear drops,
Falling with a leaf, landing lost on the ground.

Then another tear falls from the silhouette sky,
Pitying his sorrow,
Crying out for Mother to comfort, to care. 

Ferns softly stroke his little body,
Searching his mind,
Feeling for his hand to guide him home.

Tall trees slowly sway in their world above,
Beckoning him on,
Reaching up through the clouds for another hand.

As light fades the paths seem the same in the grey -
Turn back, turn around, turn again -

Now flowers close with his eyes,
Dew mingles with his tears,
Night falls with his hopes of home.

Perhaps come morning
The late sun will rise
Once more
And a dying world 
Will make one last attempt
To take him through the forest of time -
And make good his escape
From the coming clutches of winter -
So that they may all
May finally sleep
Until Spring.


16 November 1971  

That She Loves Me

Arthur and Unwin went for a walk along the sands on the shore.
They had just had tea at Panda's place and were feeling pleasantly sore.
Arthur lay flat on his back on a dune and stared at the Moon above 
Whilst Unwin tried hard to tie knots in his tail
To remind him in case he forgot.

Panda had told them "Don't be late 'cos I'm tired,
And feeling incredibly dizzy -
'Twas the tiger, I swear, tying knots in his hair,
To remind him in case he forgot."

Then Arthur leapt up. "I'm asleep." he did cry.
"Rubbish!" said Unwin, "You're not!"
And promptly proceeded to knot Arthur's bow
To remind him in case he forgot.

The night was still young and nowhere a cloud
So the two of them started to talk.
"Don't you agree, my dear Unwin," said Arthur quite loud,
"That the air smells distinctly of pork?"
"No, it's ham or roast lamb," the elephant replied,
"With maybe a touch of plum jam."
"As you please," said the bear, who was combing his hair,
Whilst Unwin swayed with the breeze.

"Anyway, it's time to go home," they both said together,
As they romped through the sand on all fours -
Across the grass, tying knots in the stars -
To remind them in case they forgot,
Of course.


25 October 1971