February 11, 2020

Our men and boys who left us

left their fields, their shops, their trades

left their families and loved ones

left this village, left England

Went as if taken in a trance

their staring eyes

leading them to recruiting stations

and from there to France

They knew suffering and pai...

January 7, 2020

On YouTube a 60’s newsreel.

A black and white Dunoon.

A smartly dressed Ban the Bomber

waves a To Hell with Polaris placard

reminding us that H stands for Hiroshima

as well as Holy Loch.

A lone folkie strums as he marches.

 Ban Polaris Hallelujah,

… and send the Yankees home!


November 27, 2019

Their late blooming spears spill from my beds  

 reliable as the poppy pinned to your coat

well into November

leave ointment pink medals

like skin grafts on fallen leaves

the lapsing ghosts of stems, and I think

they are taking back their dead

sentries for a season

and th...

October 29, 2019

Rectangle of grey-green grass and memory

Holding 273 years of myth between its fingertips

Its air calling to us:

Lingering war-cries mix with June rain

And fuel ghost-stories at family dinners

Culloden lets people cross the bridge

From contemporary Scotland to 1746,

To a time...

September 23, 2019

Mohammed scrunches his eyes

to gaze at the forever blue of the sky

above the razor wire fence

he can feel his quickening breath, moisten

the black and white Kaffiyeh he uses to hide

his head and face.

At nineteen he has no prospect of a job

and in the living space he shares


January 24, 2019

From 'Quines,' published by Luath Press in 2018.

Born Glasgow 1877, died Dunoon, 1954; political activist, suffragette, and Red Clydesider; one of the founders of the Women’s Peace Crusade; also founded the Glasgow branch of the Women’s International League for Peace an...

September 5, 2018

Be careful what you pack’      
my daughter warned
her voice the colour of bruised damsons 


a battered suitcase yawned on the bed 

gulping items hastily placed there 
dreams not yet spent      wrapped 
in a sock     sweet stories of life’s le...

July 24, 2018


Since the revolution 

flowers have expanded.

Goats have invaded and continue to advance. The wild birds sing to the tamed trees:

How long will these roofs oppress you?


Five minutes from Tahrir Square we sit in a bar to watch 
Tahrir Square on a wide-screen...

June 3, 2018


Grey over the Vistula the mist came 
in, Spring still struggling to show some colour.
Yet we could see how, in colour, Krakow
would glow and shine like the best of places.

That dim morning when we managed to find
Schindler’s factory being turned into
a museum, we...

March 27, 2018

We came out of the crematorium crying. Lamees and I, heavily dragging our feet with the lost look on our faces drowning in sorrow telling the whole story.  That was our first time ever at a funeral or even at a cemetery despite having lived for years in a seventh floor...

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February 11, 2020

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