When I was smaller and growing,
In the suburbs of old Aberdeen,
Each bairn from our neighbourhood had,
Turns out, their own trampoline.
Above the back garden fences,
Excitement accelerates skyward.
Tri-umphant arms waved in the air,
While leaping as high as they could.
Intrigue provoked as I stared,
Grappling the whole mystery.
And how those high jumpers appeared,
Only marginally older than me.
“They ur booncin’ oan trampolines mah son!”
Shared auld Daddy during a chat.
Before I could ask, he fast followed up,
“Yoo’ll nae be messin’ aroond wi’ that!”
Fiona Lewis – who’d handmade me a Valentine’s card
Thomas – now an architect
Fiona Brown – whereabouts unknown
Marcus – who’d kissed me the year before in a filmic manner
We sit on the concrete bridge to watch
as each in turn we try not to botch
our attempts to walk the ledge
running along the brook edge
A metre and a half high
up above the water
the further one progressed
the more the ledge got smaller
the angle more acute
your whole body
flattened against the supporting wall
and that’s not all …
Right near the end
but still too far to jump
it felt like the soles
of one’s school plimsolls
could easily lose their grip
Sending us tumbling into the shallow waters
into the weeds
creating billowing clouds of mud
and scattering all of the minnow fish
We played this many times
and the challenge
never once diminished
Every snowflake is unique
They say –
Those People who say such things
Who am I to doubt?
And The People who hear such things
Those People say “Wow!”
“As is every yam”
A dear friend said to me
“No two yams are exactly the same”
And yet, The People who hear such things
Those People seem less than impressed
By this particular information
And The People who say such things about snowflakes
Those People, they ignore yams almost completely
What’s that about, then?
Last time I came here it was the high end of summer.
Farm vehicles were working in the fields
and paired Red Kites circled above the trees.
Now, the tracks have filled with clay-coloured puddles.
Not one day without rain, has passed in October this year.
Not until today.
And the leaves on the trees, there’s less of them.
Yet the scene as a whole appears adequately filled out,
with the addition of reds and yellows.
The hidden forest animals have beaten me
to all the pine cones and acorns
and the birds have taken away the berries.
Mushrooms edge the dampened pathways,
They remain, changing colour
underneath this rare autumn sunshine.
Found in the morning, a day after Valentine’s,
Fast asleep underneath, a tree near my work.
Kneeling beside you, I felt for vital signs,
Carefully checking, making sure you were’nt hurt.
Beautiful fluffy big brown teddy bear,
Abandoned and dumped, after some lovers’ fight.
Gently I carried you, inside to a chair,
Wheeled to the front window, bathed in sunlight.
I thought you’d be claimed, given some time,
Weekdays I drove you, between office and abode.
Over weekends you stayed and together we’d dine,
A page slowly turned, to a new episode.
Our first proper date, recalls my friends’ wedding.
Banned from the church, we made the reception.
Shy and unsure, it was something you were dreading,
Yet all heads turned, without any exception.
Later same night, we escaped to the park.
Came to a bandstand, stared up at the stars.
Kept ourselves warm, huddled-up in the dark,
Listened to nature and the buzzing of cars.
Since then, we’ve been inseparable.
This is where I leave you, worry stone.
I’ll be rubbing your concave no more.
This is where we separate,
Where we take different paths alone.
Some scientists now say
This pale blue dot
Has had it’s day.
The scientists say,
Today this pale blue dot,
Is more a dirty grey.
Over centuries of spewing out pollution,
Beyond Earth, the Solar System.
Our rubbish has now conversed,
With the outer Universe.
And the scientists are now saying,
The possibilities are weighing,
Toward catastrophic Divine Retribution,
The end point for all Evolution.
But bring it all back,
Bring it all right back,
To just me and you.
Zoom right in,
because right now,
It’s important what we do.
What do we do,
To avert the crisis?
To ensure Life on Earth
I know the answer,
But I’m not sharing.
Coz the answer,
Might be wrong.
Canteen cafeteria, holds one hundred people or more,
As fifty conversations, bounce off the walls and floor.
Suddenly altogether, complete silence did ensue.
Had a famous person (I thought), entered into view?
I wondered was it Winston, Churchill of wartime fame?
His ghost materialising, grey image just the same
as the history books record him, fat cigar and v-sign hand,
Craggy looking smile, hunched over where he stands.
What history cannot tell you is… I piddled on his grave.
Don’t judge me too unkindly, an adolescent knave.
A boy uncertain of his place, with nothing much to lose,
Behaviour lacking scruples… and drunk, on stolen booze.
Before you boo and hiss, see a boy twelve at the time,
Although knew well of Churchill, peeing seemed no crime.
Before you boo and hiss, there’s a poignant question of scale,
I didn’t order city-obliteration, death, suffering, and misery, wholesale.
So, I’m sat in a group, meditating,
The guy next to me yawns.
He squeaks around in his wooden chair,
Pulls his sleeves up,
Rubs his arm,
More chair squeaks.
And again, a yawn –
But clearly audible,
Like through headphones,
Air rushing into those two lungs.
His stomach rumbles.
Then, another yawn.
These yawns are coming,
With mere seconds elapsed in between.
“Karlos,” I think out loudly, “you’re body is telling you something.
If you placed a pen in your hand and gave it free range,
It would write ‘Hey – Karlos! Go home, fall into our over-sized settee,
Or go all the way,
Straight up to bed,
Listen to yourself,
I’m lacking in compassion,
He climbed the stairs to the cafe,
Struggled free from an overcoat,
Scraped chair legs across the wood floor,
Ugly sounds emerged from his throat.
Long-suffering spouse soon followed,
Dejected, rejected, despaired.
Obliged to sit opposite him,
While he’d never shown if he cared.
The waitress approached and did ask,
Of their morning shopping in town.
Three words she got “He’s been awful.”
Despatched with a deep furrowed frown.
“I came to buy a new sun dress,
All he’s done is whine and complain.
Perhaps you can poison his tea?
Please save me from going insane.”