Saturday, 23 June 2012

This place

This blog is a new home for a lot of my older poems (it's easier to manage than a website...). On here you will find some poems that have already been published elsewhere by someone else, some poems that have been published in my book "More about the song" and some poems that no-one will probably ever want to publish anywhere. As on the old website the posts are arranged, roughly, by subject/theme/content/size. Click on the links below to move more quickly to a particular group of poems... or just move about at your own pace. Email me if there's anything you like and/or want to use. Newer poems are on my up-to-date blog and scattered about elsewhere online and on paper.

Circle of Life Poems

Distress and Recovery Poems

Little Poems

Love Poems

Modern World Poems

Nightclub Poems

Poems for Occasions

Poems about People

Scottish Interest Poems

Seeing and Believing Poems

Song poems

Poems about Writing

Song poems

Poems that are about songs or like songs or that have been made into songs at some point.

A fairly old poem of mine, 'Significant other deceased', is now a song on the new album by Scottish musician Kim Edgar 'Untold Stories' (2016). That poem is still available on a postcard too.

First, a poem of mine 'Michael Marra's Visit to the Links Hotel' that became a song by Montrose singer/songwriter Gary Anderson:

Gary also took my 'Angus Adoption Song' and gave it a tune (as well as 'Auchmithie Road' but no video for that):

Some other bits and pieces... a song of mine...

Toon (audio here)


I live in a little town,
It picks me up
And it slows me down.
I stay in a little town,
Aye, I stay…

Watch tides, at the waterside,
Sea sure for its share,
River fights, its course to keep,
Gulls float, going nowhere.


Flat lands, green against the blue,
Long days, long beaches,
Hearts wake, for a golden day,
What that might teach us.


Bide, close, can you hear the words?
Poets past, modelled faces,
Tall street singing high above,
These are our places.


And some old poems/lyrics... some have been songs previously but are currently... resting.

A dream is a song of hope


'Live the dream', that's what they say
Then they go on living anyway
That's not a dream, that's just a plan
To have the house, the car, the man
A dream can hold so much, much more
Than a posh haircut and a 4 by 4

So much to fix, so much to try
And time so quickly washing by
We have to save the world, it's true
That leaves us quite a lot to do
So we have to train ourselves once more
To dream of things worth hoping for

Let's dream of kindness every day
Let's not give up, let's lead the way
Let's be naïve, let's dream awake
Let's live our lives for all our sake
Let's give those dreams a cracking song
And sing it loud and keep it strong







If religion's rejoicing
We can use rock'n'roll
If prayer's deep and heartfelt
For that we have soul

If gathering together
Is one purpose of faith
Now we have Glastonbury
How much togetherness can you take?

You want contemplation
Try acoustic auteurs
You need revelation
Pop has the poseurs

You want vocal leaders
They're thick on the ground
Bono and Geldof
The preachers abound

We have our religion
It comes on CD
Or turn on the radio
And worship for free








It's still blowing, Bob


How many roads must they build around here before they run out of land?
How many seas must we empty of life before we begin to understand?
How many times will we regret what we've done before we can make better plans?

The trampolines, round here, are blowing in the wind
The trampolines are blowing in the wind

How many years can a child save their tears before they are drowned in the sea?
How many years can we try and buy love before we shut about me?
And how many times can we get it all wrong before we learn life's ABC?


How many songs must there be in this world before we hear what they say?
How many words will we throw all around before we clear some away?
And how many Bobs do we see nowadays and how many more on their way?






Just the one song


I don't long to live forever
No desire to be a star
No ambitions like Madonna's
To stretch myself way, way too far

I don't sweat with channel fever
Or plan to launch a fragrant scent
Keep away the range of handbags
Keep your money well unspent

I would have instead one good song
One to sing when it's my turn
I would study, keep it ready
I would watch and wait and learn

Time would pass, I'd get my chances
One would be just right, just right
I would make the one-off debut
Have a starry, starry night

There might be a little clapping
A kiss, a 'hey', a 'look at you'
I might like the feel of smiling
It might warm me through and through

Then I'd sit and it's all over
On to someone else's sound
If we all take just one moment
There'll be enough to go around





Love song without a tune


There’s a hole in my hearth
Where the fire should be
My guitar’s short a string
Is it G, D or E?
My music’s too lonely
It sings a sad song
And sad can be tiresome
When it goes on this long

There’s a gap in my life
There’s no lace in my shoe
Cos I’ve plenty of stuff
But I can’t find a you

I’ve no warmth in my bed
It’s a double for one
No surprise in my cornflakes
The food without fun
There’s a huge gaping hole
Where my loved one should be
I’ve a big full hot teapot
But no two for tea


I’m not a bad person
I have love to share
But I can’t find a taker
And I’ve looked everywhere
So the hearth remains cold
And the bed just the same
I’d find you much quicker
If I just knew your name





Musical chores


Robert Plant helped with the ironing today
Kate Rusby gave a hand with the cleaning
A little bit of Bjork did the trick up till tea
And some Eels gave the dishes more meaning

Nina Simone is a wonder in the home
Any chore's less a bore with our Nina
And when June Tabor sings, why my dishcloth has wings
No, I never shall be wanting a cleaner





Not tonight, Radiohead


Please, my love, perhaps not Radiohead tonight
Right on the pulse of our lives it may be
But it's dark, so dark, and I need to feel light

I work all day to keep up the fight
To smile in the face of that creep misery
So please, my love, perhaps not Radiohead tonight

Now I know that light can be taken for trite
(Or something much worse which also rhymes tight)
But sight can play tricks and you might never see
How in darkest of dark, you can so need light

And we may love truth with all our might
But at times less pain can set us free
So please, my love, perhaps not Radiohead tonight

Instead joyous sounds, so hot they ignite
Disco or banjo or sweet harmony
When it gets this dark, it's not wrong to need light

I don't want a fake promise, it'll be alright
I'm not stupid, you know, just a little weary
So please, my love, perhaps not Radiohead tonight
In the dark, cruel dark, give me light, warm light







School gates, no mates


What do you call a group of mums
A cluster, a natter, a curse?
Primary ones think their life's tough
But being a mum can be worse

Here we are now stood at the gates
Hovering round about three
Some have a gang, some have a clan
Others bob loose, lost at sea

Group ones are just really local
Group twos are older and rich
Group threes are sort of related
Group fours are here for the bitch

Group five - childminders and aunties
Group six - predominantly grans
Dads are around, blanking it out
Oh, what a freedom is man's

The children are anxious about all sorts
Sliding and numbers and clowns
But here at the gates there are pressures
The smiles only just cover frowns

Who has the fanciest audi?
Who has the best behaved kid?
Who has the record for housepoints?
Who knows what so-and-so did?

Who is invited to this do?
And look now who's pregnant today?
Who is that wearing full make-up?
Some people, I ask you, I say

Oh, to be local or family
Oh, to be somewhere but here
Oh, but I'm not, I'm just waiting
Can't wait for the end of the year





Second to nun


Clothes out of curtains and warbling nuns
Big dreamy moons and sleepy old suns
Seeing a lighthouse from high on a swing
These are a few of my favourite things

Chocolate fingers and friendly bus drivers
Finally calmer rave era survivors
Hearing the radio starting to sing
These are a few of my favourite things

Big umbrellas and good working plumbing
A real surprise you didn't see coming
Lemon and tonic and ice cubes and gin
These are a few of my favourite things

When the bills come
When life's no fun
When I'm feeling done
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don't feel so glum





Sing when you're nervous


Say up in a plane
And you're having a panic
You're looking at exits
And feeling quite manic
There's one thing to do
And it won't please the rest
Just fill up your lungs
Give your larynx a test

Yes, sing when you're nervous
It covers the quiet
It brightens the terror
Why don't you just try it?
Sing any song
To channel emotion
Sing it with soul
With hope and devotion

Outside the dentist
And hit by that smell
Inside's so scary
A vision of hell
You so want to run
But your teeth need to stay
Close your eyes tight
Let your song lead the way


Lost in the shops
Swamped in a crowd
Feel so like screaming
Or howling out loud
Instead sing a chorus
And aim for a tune
Harness some energy
Fly to that moon




The sisters said it best


I've always been
Lost in music
It's never felt
Like a trap

It's always felt
Just the right place
To wander loose
Off the track

Here I go now
Lost in music
I'm not sure if
I'll be back