1991 – 1995


there dawned a day

when I became

so weary of this whole affair

too tired to talk or explain

too tired even to complain

too tired to care

we played pool

late night revellers

all night boozers

thugs with drugs

and racetrack losers

spliffs were rolled

some did the rounds

several drunks

were rudely bounced

while we played pool we flirted

moral snookers deftly skirted

in the mayhem beyond midnight

strangers wept, friends did fight

but the game was all that mattered

amid the din and the clatter

we played pool while we flirted

moral snookers deftly skirted

taking cues from one another

strokes advancing ever further

till the last ball was potted

both of us besotted

with the parry and the thrust

of our underlying lust

we played pool while we flirted

moral snookers deftly skirted

while we played pool we flirted

while we flirted we played pool

William (for William Stewart)

I went to the woods today

after hearing prayers said over you

by one who did not know you

I went to the woods


there, among the bracken and the fallen leaves

I thought of all those long gone days

you and I went walking, talking across the braes

o’er Fenwick Moor or up to Busby and back

through Netherton woods, down by the river Cart

when you were a handsome, wide-eyed boy

with dimpled cheeks and golden curls

a striking youth with tender ways

so much at home in that quieter world

of wooded glen and windswept hill


yet the coffin today consumed by flame

carried a broken, twisted frame

battered by needles, booze and violent men


in the woods, in the November rain

I mourned a life so filled with pain

and wept for you, William, my long lost friend

two poems for a lover

today my body

aches all over

my breasts, my lips

my thighs, my hips

such sweet sensation

this aching for you


I wish that I were with you now

if only for a few hours or days

to ease the tension, take the strain

and see you smile for me again

to hold you close

the novice

he came to her

eyes full of questions

tongue probing for answers

teach me, he begged

with all his being

she gave the lesson

the points were mastered

they both rejoiced


he concieved

his body grew large

as he nurtured the foetus

with his blood

he suffered agonies

bringing forth new life

he breastfed the baby

with his milk


I am he

one of mankind

minus male



all men are equal

I am woman

late night walking

walking the streets

of my dreams

childhood memories

and silent screams

I recognise

recurring themes

of the city I fled

at seventeen

only to find

all cities are mean

and mine no worse than any


we’ve moved on yet

much remains the same

double standards still

dictate the game

as women cling

to their good name

to circumspect

to feart or tame

to walk the wire

touch the flame

or sample the horn of plenty


knowing the nature

of the beast

no less angry but

much more at ease

I chance my arm

shoot the breeze

break all the rules

offend Wee Frees

and uncover jewels

among the sleaze

whose lustre outshines many

leap in the dark

searching for proof

that meet I might

in the glint of dawn

or the dead of night

one who has left fear

far enough behind

to follow the curve

of body and mind

with gentle care

and loving touch

will reach for the moon

not ask too much

share simple pleasures

know mutual trust

then part in friendship

when part we must

without the debris

of shattered dreams

just honest memory

of what has been


in the shadows

I find

you watching me



if I might be

willing to catch

your own bright spark

and take another

leap in the dark


why such elaborate lies

uncalled for

incomprehensible lies

cowardly, misleading

merely revealing

your insubstantial self?


you lied repeatedly

when  I needed only

good faith, why?

to what avail?



tumbling down from distant ages

the words of philosophers, poets

and ancient sages ring in my ear

echoing still and ever clear

despite the clamour of chaos

the confusion of centuries

kept alive by a few

enlightened contemporaries

they illuminate the darkness

they keep me sane


a mere mortal

the life of a mere mortal is

a volatile mixture of joy and sorrow

a fragile beauty of which

I’ve drunk my fill

having known such happiness

such ecstasy and deep delight

I cannot, will not complain

still, of late, I find

my resistance to pain

being eroded

enduring dark, dread filled nights

when grief hangs heavy

and hope takes flight

I know that death alone

will bring relief

all my life I have lived with death

not feared but respected death

sometimes longed for

or expected death

to greet myself, among others

my father, my brothers

when he knocks at my door

I will open it wide

and welcome him in

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