·     Graduation Day 3/11/80

Life Sentence 12/7/81

Returned Dundee – Sept ‘81

Mum Died at Christmas sometime in 1983

Call for the Razor 18/12/98

If you love me 18/10/98

Gone 24/10/03

Shingle Beach 17/12/03

Waking the Dead 8/1/04

He does not deserve you 22/1/04

Graduation Day

Sadness drops its crazed rain

To beat me down again.

Your trophied voice is caressed

In memory

And graduates

Into poetry

Still falls the rain

As I leave your thoughts

Shuffled recollections,

Hoping to turn up the ace

As the rain mingles with the joker’s tear


When night compels your solitude

And you meet yourself once more

The loaded hand of love

Will beckon come closer

And risk another look

Perhaps when night compels my discourse

And I meet the King once more

The cards will reshuffle

And the hand of order

Will dry the tears

That the rain beats out.



Life Sentence

And when the time came to speak

The automatic voice continued

While inside the angered screams grew louder,

Pitifully confused by their silence,

Shedding their knuckle-bruised cry

Around prison walls

And when the time came to stop

I was saddened to ignore you

Through my self-perpetuated dishonesty,

knowing your unconscious disapproval -

Should the truth be known –

Of being outside the walls.

And come the time to leave,

Should death have stood with me

It would have found comfort

Within this condemned cell,

Where words can no longer be withheld

And distance now makes truth tell

That I love you.




Back again…

To the raised voices

And tear-laden laughs,

High-rise engines

With spinning-wheel screams

Self-sexed dimensions

And punch-drunk city dreams.

Back again…

To the searching for riches

Beyond the flesh-bared touch,

Beyond the masquerade

Of lepered hand in silken glove

To the nail-torn life remade

In the decadence of Your love.

Dundee – Sept ‘81


Mum Died at Christmas

And as the tinselled world

Celebrated its Christ in lavish ignorance –

We walked together to that cliff-edge

Where lovers depart in silence.

The life-cord of mother and child,

Stretched for its second parting

Carried your remote eyes

Back to the pains of birth.

And silence, brutalised in this contortion of events

Asked my hand to take yours

Until the edge was reached

When you walked on

Then death at Christmas

Returned the pains of birth

That tinsel insulted

And death alone brought meaning

sometime in 1983


Call for the razor

Call for the razor, the scalpel, the knife

The sharpest of tools that can cut through my life

And carve out your soul from my overblown heart

Until I find what is mine

Until I see who you are

Until I trace how we fare when taken apart

Call for the pastor, the poet, the priest

The wisest of women, the learned deceased

To sever my dreaming from your true delight

Until I find what is mine

Until I see who you are

Until I know why the two of us fail to unite

Call for the moment, the month and the year

The distance of time that can stifle my tears

And banish your ghost from this spiralling dance

Until I find what is mine

Until I see who you are

Until I know what is real in this spell of romance

Call for the reaper, the father of time

And come put an end of this fierce dream of mine

By snuffing you out of this lingering flame

Return what is mine

From the want of who you are

And let me discover the light that remains



If you love me

If you love me

I must wait

And see what gifts

You choose to bring to my door

Because I have spent

Too long

Giving to others

Only to discredit their gifts to me

As reciprocal obligations

And I must bear the silence

Without assumption

And allow the pregnancy of love

Chance to grow its offspring

And if you don’t love me

I must wait

And let the absence of gifts

Not represent my lovelessness

Or your distance

But that love is rare

And precious

And I am still valuable

Without your love


I don’t know who I will be

Either way round

Because I am so lost

In my abandon to you

And so lost

In the silence of these circumstances

That I ache with the yearning

And I grieve with the waiting

And I die with the fearing.

So dear love,

Save me.

Because I don’t want to save


From this tragic journey

That must be better

Than the boredom

Of my current





This empty page

Stands fuller than my heart

More complete than the shredded sinews

Left by your stolen life

Lock every hope away

Hold every breath of life

Quieten the eager birds of fancy

That fly when attachment is gone

Sit close now the ache of loss,

The protracted absence that

Turns its shock into the constant pummel

Of the helpless heart

My love is gone

The world is dead

But I live on.



Shingle Beach

Strange, coarse sand-dunes

Where grey sea strikes lunar gravel-scape,

Here we come to scream at God

In the span of water and thrash of the tide

On harsh stones,

Ground to insignificance by the merciless

Force of generations

We stand to fight,

But collapse in the futility

Of our useless screams,

Beaten dreams


The battered shores of our short lives

Search for a plausible horizon

But hear only of death lightened

By the power to resist despair

Strange, short life-span

Ground down in the flowering hopes of spring

And driven into winter's fierce tides

All gone, all gone

All drained into the shingle of this bastard beach

All dried of promise

All crushed




And now

Washed up on a new landscape

I stand with these pictures -

Without you




Waking the Dead

That moment…

When you say their name

Over and over

Pulsing hands on pulseless skin…

Not daring to accept

The obvious -

They are gone.

Months later

Heart still bent on

Waking the dead

Head still dead from

Waking alone.

No point now in

Wanting the waking

Only the waking of

The living

Borne on the trail they leave:

The waking they brought

In you

The gift of life

Now yours

To live



More fully alive

Where they awakened the dead

In you.




He does not deserve you

He does not deserve you -

Accept nothing less than being



I came to her in the long grass

When summer bronze was all our memory

And skin grew more tender by day

For lazing in that pasture

And whispers' echoed motion

Teased our love to boldness

'Til touch and heart found union

And sun flamed in our open veins...

Does he so deserve you?

Accept nothing less than being



I held you as you awoke

Roused from love's enduring dream

When bodies vanish, float and burn

Then wake entranced in love's return

And more than awake but awakened we sat

With this gift, our gifted new being -

Then I gave you back to the green earth

Forever grown and gone

No more in need of my love song

Does he, does he deserve you?

Accept nothing less than being



And release nothing less than

Your own


Cherishing -

So find the


That kisses your future

With freedom.