Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hate Crime

The opposite of brave = hate crime

It’s the land of the free
If you look like me,
If you talk like me,
If you think like me.
It’s the land of the free
If you ride like me,
All the way to the bank, guys.

And it’s just as well
I believe in hell,
That’s where I’m going,
All this hate I’m sowing.
It’s just as well
I believe in hell,
Down, down to the bank, guys.

And don’t you wish your country was free like mine?
Well, don’t cha? Don’t cha?
Terrifying kids and feeling fine?
All the way to the bank, yeah.

RF 2016

Sunday, 13 November 2016



Cry today for our choices that are so poor.
Kill or be killed,
Starve yourself, or others.
What choice is that?

Cry today for our view that is crooked.
Hate because you’re told to,
Because you want to,
Because it feels good.

Cry because your god is bitter.
Love thy inconvenient neighbour,
Not just your family,
Or love is mean.

And cry today because you can,
Because you still care,
And remember what good can be;
It is a choice.

RF 2016

Photo taken from Caterthuns, Angus, yesterday.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Entry number 2

So in the last post I offered my first entry for the Great Trump Inauguration Poetry Competition. Maybe it was a little angry. Maybe it could be misread (largely I was using his voice, or one of his voice's anyway...). Still, I'm going to try and come up with a few alternatives because I really want to win this competition! And like Trump I will say just about anything to secure my win. If I was a hashtag person I suppose I might try and start #Great Trump Inauguration Poetry Competition... maybe someone else will do that. There will be a positive, life-affirming, all come together entry yet to come (I am sure!) but it might take a few weeks. People keep crying on the news, beloved artists keep dying... it's all very inconsiderate.

At least in part my second entry was influenced by this article. And possibly the fact that I keep seeing mention of some shop's TV Xmas ad. (because that's news, obviously...).

The Great Inauguration Poem Competition – take two.

We expect a lot of politicians,
Too much perhaps.
They are only human after all,
If we’re lucky.

We want them to fix everything,
Be plumber, joiner, carer, nurse.
We give them the keys to our castles,
And our cells.

We write them letters,
‘Dear Santa, please outlaw abortion’.
We have our own focus,
And they have theirs.

RF 2016

Photo from 2013, Pennan, Aberdeenshire.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Hot off the...

In which the party machine writes the greatest inauguration poem of all time
(rough draft for January 2017)

Good morning Vietnam, I mean America.
How y’all doin’? Are you having a good time?
Have you been on all the rides yet?
My personal favourite is the one that makes
Your hair stick right out, so you look like a mad man,
A person no-one would ever trust to run a country.
Am I right?
Am I freaking right?

I mean it worked for Ronald McReagan.
Who’d vote for an actor, they said,
Who’d want a cowboy turning D.C. into Dodge?
And he did OK, didn’t he? A-OK.
The president’s brain is missing, my ass.
Whoever said the president needs a brain in the first place?
He needs a solid team of speechwriters,
A wife, a total disregard for the environment,
A few good suits and a baseball cap.
Can I get a ‘hell yeah!’?
The world needs ‘hell, yeah’s.

So let’s get this celebratory poem thing rolling along…
Superbowl, Super Tuesday, Supersize shrink…
Greatest country in the world!
Greatest country in the world!
Jeez, even I feel uncomfortable saying some of this crap.
Did I say ‘greatest country in the world’ yet?
Shall I say it again?
How about Normandy?
Does anyone remember Normandy?

Basically, the hard truth is
You losers sent a woman to do a man’s job.
But I won’t say that out loud.
This time.
Maybe on twitter.
Women are wives and others,
Keep ‘em looking in mirrors, that’s what I say,
Or maybe do some more yoga, honey.
The farmer wants a wife.

And now here I stand, Donny champion of the world.
I have smashed corruption
(Or something)
With my big, hard head,
And as I walk the halls
Of my new white palace
I can’t quite believe it.
Well, really, can you?

RF 2016

Photo taken this morning. The poppy was already there.

Monday, 7 November 2016

More about waiting


The news comes fast,
Unless it’s slow,
A heart that hopes
Has far to go.

And news seems bad,
Until it’s worse,
The heart contents
Itself with verse.

RF 2016

I put this on facebook just now... so those readers who know me there may have seen it already. I don't often put poems straight onto FB but the small ones fit on there quite neatly and I'm sometimes tempted. I have yet to tweet. In any sense. 

Anyway, see you on the other side.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

In which I have written a poem about 'Desert Island Discs'...


There are so many islands,
Crammed into small spaces.
Which are you, my friend?
Do you know, can you say?

Are you long-term sick,
Are you lonely rock,
Are you waiting, waiting,
For something, someone?

On our sofas, or chairs,
Our beds, or whatever,
We need signs of life
And lights from afar.

We need warm voices,
Tales of survival.
Without them we harden.
Set. Crack.

We turn to the sound
Of our desert’s guide.
Her voice has a glow.
How can that be?

She hangs with the great,
The funny, the strange.
She asks them questions,
What’s more gets answers.

We can sing along too,
Down but not drowned,
A little more encouraged,
A lot less lost.

Why this week alone,
I had brunch with Barry Manilow,
Cooked crumble with Jackie Kay,
It’s a world away.

RF 2016

I started this poem a couple of weeks ago but it wouldn't come out right... today it seems to have found its shape (or a shape anyway...). For those of you beyond our shores it is about listening to the BBC radio programme 'Desert Island Discs' - currently enjoying a golden age with its best ever presenter, Scots marvel Kirsty Young. She gets the tone just right, I think, and gets great interviews as a result. All episodes of the show (with Young and all the previous presenters) are available on the website in the castaway archive section. Whatever you think of the BBC in general (and it certainly has its critics up here in Scotland these days) this bank of shows is still an amazing resource. 

Thursday, 20 October 2016


Long night (1991)

We're in a car,
It's daylight,
But nothing like morning.

Is someone driving?
They must be,
How else would we be moving?

The streets are almost empty
And we are somewhere lonely,
In London, England,
It seems kind of unlikely.

Somebody says something
About us being in the east
And there still being miles and miles to go.

The car rolls on and on and on.
When we get where we're going
We drink tea, call it home.

RF 2009 (I think)

The photo is not connected to the poem (photo is a Montrose morning, September 2016). The poem is an old one... I find that as I review poems past some grow on me with age and this is one of those. It might make it into the small pamphlet type thing I am considering getting together as a 50th birthday present to myself (that's only half a joke). The nightclub years are quite a distant memory now and mostly that memory is pretty vague and blurred but this night and its sensation has stayed with me, largely because of the poem I suppose. Maybe we should write all our memories into poems and then we won't forget anything. Only (half) joking.

Anyway, I did a lot of staying up far too late in the 1980s and '90s but one of the definite pluses was the whole 'being around when hardly anyone else is' business. For me you can't beat an empty city (unless it's a real war zone of course...) and I guess that's why so many of us love the zombie apocalypse fantasy genre so much. But I've had a cold this week... and I'm rambling...