14 entries in this archive

Snow Ghosts (5 minutes, or less)

This is a little poem written for our grandson Ethan.

He was two years old on Halloween last year (2015).

This is the first winter he has been fully aware of snow.

He was mystified when his snowmen melted.

I hope this catches the moment, after a fashion.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Dermot the Pig (200 words, 5 minutes)

This was written originally for our grandson Matthew, modified to be suitable for both Matthew and Ethan.

It was written in Keswick, in 2011, when we were on holiday, in our caravan.

It seems we must have come across some pigs.

I do really love pigs. They are so smart, so energetic, when they are not sleeping.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

From a Wheelbarrow

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!

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

High Stepping Boy

This ode was penned after a telephone conversation with our daughter-in-law Gillian (Oxford).

As we spoke on the phone, Matthew saw the opportunity to defeat the child gate and take to the stairs. He was around a year old.

Recently we have been Ethan-minding, now fifteen months.

Over the last few weeks Ethan has mastered the art of climbing stairs, both up and down.

Clever, clever boys!

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.


Ah, shopping! There be danger there, lads! Especially for older lads.

This is a ode, written as an exercise for a Creative Writing class.

What this short poem encapsulates is actually true.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Maid in Scotland

This is an ode, penned to mark a birthday of our Swiss friend Pia.

She was born on a farm in Baar, near Zurich. She is an exceptional lady!

(If you are cast up on a desert island, hope that Pia was on your life-raft!)

Pia and Stef lived in Scotland in the 1970s and have many Scottish friends.

(Stef holds two degrees from Strathclyde University.)

They are frequent visitors and almost every second year we holiday together.

Like us, they especially love our West Coast and our Islands.

This poem refers in particular holiday together, our Hebredian Tour, May, 2008.

Barra was a previously undiscovered jewel.

Primroses -million, upon million, upon million.

And white sand beaches to ourselves, apart from nosy sheep and cavorting cows.

And our own personal Collie Dog Guide, who accompanied us for the whole day!

Never to be forgotten.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Il nuovo migliore amico (The new best friend)

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.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

The Lady Awaiting

This Ode has a checkered history. I shudder to think of the hours that have been spent on it!

Through many iterations it has arrived at the cheery version you may wish to try.

Under these circumstances I am pleased to assign the responsibility for this drivel to my good friend, John B. Moronigal.

However the version you read is but a partial record of what occurred.

Earlier versions include a reference to a sadness that imbued The Lady, who, she revealed, had longed in vain for children and now would never enjoy grandchildren.

But she did look bizarre, standing there on Hyndland Station, busy with homeward bound commuters on a Friday evening, a middle-class lady of mature years, expensively dressed, yet wearing Lemon-Yellow ballet shoes.

My own situation was also odd.

I was hefting a heavy two metre long rug, which, in emergency circumstances, I had been ‘requested’ to collect from the South of Glasgow, by my son Stuart.

This rug was destined for “Laggwood Cottage” on Arran, and at the very moment of my encounter with The Lady Awaiting, Stuart and a friend were hurtling up the M74 from Oxford, heading to our house in Bearsden to collect it.

Normally I would have made this collection by car, but in this ‘last minute emergency’, I was obliged by circumstances to travel with my rug companion by train.

So there we were, side by side on the platform, both drawing odd stares from our fellow travellers, she in “Those Shoes!”, and me with “Aladdin’s Flying Carpet” at my side.

And so, we chatted, shared, and shut out the rest of the World for a few minutes.

Is it not amazing what we reveal to perfect strangers, when we think we are otherwise anonymous?

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

The Primark Nightie

This is an poem written in the wake of a car crash.

Our friend Mana was returning home from dropping off her son David.

David had just received his results, winning not one but two prizes from his University.

It was late, nearly midnight.

The other car drove out of a side street and crashed into Mana’s car, wrecking it.

It happened at slow speed and no one was hurt.

Mana phoned her friend Anne.

Anne, on her way to bed, came at once.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Clathic Chorister

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?

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

  Back to Top