This is a poem which has been around for a while.
It was previously uploaded as ‘The Displaced Mouse’, now deleted.
This version allows the reader to view both Robert Burns’ original, ‘To a Mouse’, which is one of my favourite poems.
Here you can also read my response, ‘Frae a Moosie’.
I do hope that Burns’ aficionados will forgive me.
At our Kelvin Choir last year (2014) we performed “The Armed Man- a Mass for Peace”, to mark 100 Years since the start of WW1.
And yet we still have wars!
I was honoured to be asked to read aloud a poem, a war poem. This poem was written in the trenches, and to my mind tended to glorify the Great Sacrifice.
This prompted me to write this piece, in memory of my Grandfather, William Bonthron.
Obviously he returned, thankfully almost physically unscathed.
Grandpa Wullie Bonthron was a quiet, ordinary man with only a basic education, like most working-class men of his time. But he could read and write and in the aftermath of WW1 he became, like many who had suffered and survived, an extreme Socialist, perhaps a Communist.
His experience made him determined never to allow any of his children to fight in another war.
In WW2 aged 18, my father was conscripted, to the Submarine Service. Dad survived, but he was damaged, suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, a problem which dogged him all of his long life.
I hope both of them would agree with the sentiments of this poem.
Donald and I stood side by side at ‘Health and Well-being through Song’ at Strathclyde University.
Then we were still strangers.
We discovered that we live less than a mile from each other.
And share many friends in common. Not so unusual, really.
Donald is a musician and a very accomplished singer.
“Give me a word, I’ll write you a story!” I burbled.
I duly delivered this open prose poem.
A few weeks later he handed me a CD with music inspired by this poem.
What a nice man!
This is a tale which always brings a lump to my throat.
It is about a man who mistreats his best friend, only to lose him.
(317 words, about 2 minutes, have a box of tissues to hand!)
It is an open prose poem.
I have categorised it both as an Ode, and under Serious.
This piece is in Italian.
It tells the story of the elderly Assunta, who is left alone when her husband dies.
Her husband was her best friend. He was outgoing, talkative.
Assunta is shy with everyone, prefers to stay indoors, and is becoming reclusive.
Francesca is her only relative. Francesca and her family visit from Scotland, where they live.
Assunta is alone again, overcome with grief and loneliness, tearful.
One day her doorbell rings. The white van speeds away.
There is a present on her doorstep.
It is from Francesca, all the way from Scotland.
(262 words, about two minutes, if you read Italian!)
I have categorised it as an open prose poem.
This poem is one I still enjoy.
It seemed to write itself.
Our friend Rita’s garden is where the pine tree stands, where our Lover still sings his song.
The most remarkable thing for me, was that he was doing so in the pitch blackness of a cold wintry morning, on the 7th January.
Now that was true love! Or was it lust?
This open prose poem was written in response to seeing a jet black mink foraging systematically along the banks of Craigallion Loch while I was fishing.
As many will know, mink farming was carried out in many locations in Scotland and as a result there is a small but viable population in many locations.
I understand that mink are good swimmers but I have not seen this personally.
But I did see an otter at Craigallian. Then three days later at the Black Loch near Newton Mearns, I saw another. Bliss.
At Craigallian Loch I fly-fish for trout, brown, rainbow and blue. Part of the joy is to be alone in the boat and watch the wildlife.
This poem wrote itself in less than fifteen minutes, my first ever real poem.
The protagonist here is the Grey Heron, certainly a much better fisher that I will ever be.