just a random bunch of fellas

holding a run

seems to be just that

just a random bunch of fellas

clattering down the road

hogging the lines

more noise than impetus

no understanding of any organisation

the road captain laying out a route

plotting stops for gas

food & replenishment of supplies

friendly faces for emergencies

accidents or worse

the sergeant at arms weeks leading up

ensuring everybody’s bikes

are fit to ride

the riders are fit to go

the treasurer has made sure

there are enough funds for bail

breakdowns beer & emergencies

& each rider has cleared their days

of work old ladies responsibilities

hangovers

made sure they have enough

of whatever it is they need to get there

get back & enjoy the days to be

just a random bunch of fellas

clattering down the road

something to live by

we stripped away

with the enthusiasm

only youth has

the fat

the excesses of traditions

that weighed us down

pulling away to rubble

the edifices of age that bound us tight

savaging shibboleths

raging into the night

time was on our side

picking at monoliths

demolishing because we were right

to only have to rebuild

over time & the ages

picking up the pieces

jigsawing what we could

to create something

eventually

anything

for something to live by

& for

the top of Scotland

between the toons

more villages really

an old crumbling pier

where the steam puffer

once brought everything

needed in & out

the puffers are long gone

as are the people now

we’d scour the shoreline

for flotsam jetsam

finding dolphin skulls

shark pods & teeth

a rusted through ancient plough

I was with you there

before you told me

your secret Scottish middle name

before the time we said goodbye

though I still have the picture

you took of me diving

into the freezing clear water loch

naked blue white & thin

for your eyes only

scaring people

emotions are heady stuff

scaring people

I have scared people

not just with the anger

but more with the loving

open heart open hands

these things they prefer

not to understand

sighing together talking of love

are the stranger things

being more comfortable of

red hot anger strangled shouts

rather than the muted

displays of wanting needing

softness desperate love

with every breath

there were words said

that I meant

with every breath

each inch of my being

that now

if opportunity

could create an opening

if I found myself

dreaming in the street

to bump into you

would you hold to them still?

would i?

is it ever possible

to wipe a slate clean

start over

or will we need reincarnation

death & rebirth

to begin again?

self pity sunday

she wants to come see me

when I’m buggy & low

& definitely not at my best

it’d great to see her

through the red eyes

& snotty nose

even though my head aches

trying to produce words

to fit the occasion

& it’s a relief when she goes

not that I don’t love her

but right now

all I can hang on to

is me

& that in itself

seems to be a bit of a struggle

two steps behind

the bully is not the big fella

says no you can’t come in

but the little girl

two steps behind you

pulling apart your clothes

how you spoke with the man

& given chance she’d rag

on your education music taste

anything

just to elevate herself over you

& you can look at this dispassionately

she is persecuting from a victim position

knows no better way to be

but right now with the low snickers

from her friends the glower of the big man

all you get to do is walk away

accept

this game is not yours to play

asking the questions

when you have the need

you are the one who suffers

there was a succession of shack jobs

lasting generally about two years

& either they got fed up with me

not wanting to do the big day scene

or I would just wear them out

a restless mind will do that to love

looking out searching round for more

asking the questions of is this it?

some were not at all subtle

about what they thought came next

& there would be tears recriminations

fight scenes worthy of our emotions

anything less would not have seemed fit

then silence for a while as the sky turned

to begin again hope blazing fresh & new

to one where I walked away left nothing

but a short note on the shelf goodbye

flash packing my few things to run

out into the blue wheeling sky

hoping for more next time than the same

could’a been me Charlie

I found her listening

some cat warbling soft tunes

y’like this guy eh?

oh yes been to his shows

I like what he writes

makes me happy inside

& I soft mumble couple of lines

is it the poetry?

oh yes he writes like home

& I look her in a new way

this is the one

threw my poetry books away

derided me as a soft boy

for playing with the poesy

I remember with red face shame

her reading my first attempts

out loud to giggling friends

the laughter pointing fingers

time would never end

& I sigh walk away

leaving her listening to the artiste

she can love no fuss

a clever boy with words

she can singalong to with her friends

was later later later

all she heard

was later later later

while I was making my case

knowing this poverty

the struggle would end some day

I was doing the right things

we would be in a better place

& all she heard

was later later later

went off to find better

leaving me knee deep

not yet drowning

but close to deep mess

she left bitter

I have no way of knowing

if she found better

but the later later later

the poverty

this struggle did end

& all I can guess

she was a trotting pony

needed a faster pace

firmer ground

than mine