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New Writing - Volume 02 Issue 03

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Volume II Issue O3
June 2007.
Cutting Teeth summer issue 2007
This sadly is the last issue of Cutting Teeth.
Since 1994 there has been 27 issues of Cutting Teeth produced featuring work by hundreds of writers: some in the early stages of their writing career, some
established and well known.
We hope that by sticking to an open submissions policy and publishing a wide selection of work Cutting Teeth encouraged and contributed in some way to
the development of poetry and story writing in Scotland.
Thanks to the Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City Council for there invaluable support over the years. I would like to think that financial support that was
so kindly awarded to us will now go towards new, exciting projects which will support and promote new writing and writers.
But of course the biggest thanks has to go to all the writers and artists who have contributed their work to Cutting Teeth since the beginning.
Editor
Lynne Mackenzie
Editorial Board
Mamie Lang
Jim Craig
Krista MacIver
Jasper Hamill
Les Quinn
With special thanks to Dia Mouratidou
Magazine design: Blakeston & Maclean
Contact: info@monkeygonetoheaven.co.uk

Additional Art Work:


Erlend Tait - Inside cover, pp.
Jamie Maclean - pp.
Pamela Tait - pp.
Cutting Teeth is funded by The Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City
Council.
With thanks to OpenInk for their support and generosity.
No part of this publication can be reproduced without consent from the
writer and publisher.
Copyright belongs to the creator.
info@cuttingteeth.co.uk

ISSN 1357-132X

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stories of lives
Artists in Exile, Glasgow in collaboration with Glasgow Print Studio
Eight visual artists and writers from the Artists in Exile Group Glasgow worked with Fine Artist and Master Printmaker,
Jacqueline Moon sharing stories and images to produce a collaborative limited edition book. The book was produced using
wide range of printmaking techniques to illustrate the poems and stories written by the artists.
Throughout this issue of Cutting Teeth you will find extracts from the Stories of Lives.
Artists involved in the Stories of Lives project:
Ayad Alhaiatly, Born in Syria
Ghazi Hussein, Born in Syria
Shahin Memishi, Born in Kosovo
Valentine Petrov, Born in North Bulgaria
Simon Pondelet, Born in The Congo
Pavel V. Romanov, Born in Russia
Alessandro Valenzisi, Born in Italy
If you would like further information on this project or the book itself please contact Pamela Robertson, Education Officer,
Glasgow Print Studio 0141 552 0704.

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008
008 .......................................................................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................................................................Mad
MadCow
Cow
.....................................................................................................................................................................Resolution
Resolution
012
012 .....................................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................................Exile
Exile
016
016 .............................................................................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................And
AndI IHave
HaveAnother
AnotherFriend
Friend
018
018 .................................................................................................................................................
...........................................................................................................................................................That
ThatOld
OldChestnut
Chestnut
022
022 ...........................................................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................................Thules
ThulesUltima
Ultima
024
024 .................................................................................................................................................................
...........................................................................................................................................................................Bereft
Bereft
026
026 ...........................................................................................................................................................................
.........................................................................................................................................................Cathy
CathyArrives
ArrivesHome
Home
028
028 .........................................................................................................................................................
..........................................................Apostate
Apostate......
......On
OnThe
TheWaterfront
Waterfront......
......Highland
HighlandFashion
Fashion......
......Icarus
Icarus......
......Battle
BattleOf
OfThe
TheScales
Scales
030
030 ..........................................................

032
032 .......................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................Fidder
Fidder......
......Nivie-nick-nack
Nivie-nick-nack......
......Kever
Kever......
......Zeenty-teenty
Zeenty-teenty
..........................................................................................................................................................The
TheTeam
TeamOf
OfTeams
Teams
034
034 ..........................................................................................................................................................
..................................................................................................................................................In
InSunshine
SunshineOr
OrIn
InShadow
Shadow
036
036 ..................................................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................................................Text
TextMassage
Massage
042
042 ...................................................................................................................................................................

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Low
LowTide
Tide......
......Thumbs
Thumbs......
......Emeth
Emeth......
......Meth
Meth.........................................................................................................................................................
.........................................................................................................................................................

044
044

As
AsDawn
DawnBreaks
BreaksIICatch
CatchThe
TheNight
NightBus
BusHome
Home............................................................................................................................................................
............................................................................................................................................................

048
048

Winter
WinterBlues
Blues......
......Mediterranean
MediterraneanDiet
Diet......
......Broken
BrokenDoll
Doll......
......Arrhythmia
Arrhythmia......
......Nailed
Nailed.....................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................

050
050

Goodbye
GoodbyeStarsky
StarskyAnd
AndHutch
Hutch......
......Mad
MadCow
Cow..............................................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................................

052
052

On
OnThe
TheCanal
Canal......
......Supermarketing
Supermarketing........................................................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................................

054
054

How
HowTo
ToRead
ReadThe
TheClouds
Clouds..................................................................................................................................................................................
..................................................................................................................................................................................

056
056

The
TheElephant
ElephantAnd
AndThe
TheHen
HenIn
InGods
GodsCourt
Court..........................................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................................

058
058

Macanimal
Macanimal Farm
Farm .............................................................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

060
060

The
TheWoman
Woman......
......The
TheHorses
Horses......
......The
TheMaps
Maps.........................................................................................................................................................
.........................................................................................................................................................

062
062

Russian
Russian Dolls
Dolls .................................................................................................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................................................................

064
064

Intimate
IntimateTwilight
Twilight.............................................................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

066
066

Ledger
Ledger......
......Marooned
Marooned.....................................................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................................................

068
068

Old
Oldman
manon
onaaswing
swing.........................................................................................................................................................................................
.........................................................................................................................................................................................

070
070

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MAD COW
Alessandro Valenzisi

Translation in collaboration with Author


by Wilma G. Stark

89

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I have to be honest with you. At first I


was pleased about it really really
pleased. And I suppose you could say
it was a good thing. As a result of it all,
Im being hunted down, but you
know what? I dont give a shit, cos
Ive done it spread it the Disease!
In my previous existence when I was
still just a wild beast I used to love it
on those dark early mornings when he
turned up to milk me with those calloused hands of his, gentle certainly,
but thieving just the same.
Ive always been a mild-mannered cow
laid-back you could say! Id hear him
getting set for the day, watching the
golden rays of the sunrise stream
through the little window of my stall,
knowing that at any moment he would
be there to squeeze and drain my distended, aching udder. My nipples
would swell up at the sound of his
heavy dragging footsteps. This happened every day for oh I dont know
how long ever since the time theyd
brought The Bull to me, I think.
One day and maybe it wasnt for the
first time while Farmer Jones was
milking me, I began to feel a something I dont really know how to
describe it like an exquisite erotic
feeling flowing through every fibre of
my body. Not that being milked was
ever unpleasant but that particular
morning, that was the first thing that
got me going and mmm ooo it

was just like that time theyd got me


serviced by the Big Bull from up at
Meadowside! Jones was doing the
business with my teats as usual; squeeze,
squeeze! Spurt, spurt! The bucket was
filling up with my warm white milk;
everything going along, as usual;
squeeze! Spurt! Squeeze! Spurt!
Mmm mmm ooo ooo building up to that ultimate orgasmic
moment when Jones broke off!!!
I kid you not! STOPPED!!! Finito!!!
No more squeeze! No more spurt!!!
Just like that bloody Bull!!! Not even
Jones, not even He of- the- wonderful- hands!!!
Oh, look, I admit it I over- reacted!
It was instinctive, beastly, you could
say well, after all I was one, a BEAST
that is! And it was that very reaction
that brought about everything else
the things Im going to tell you about!
I swung round so that I could bellow
right into his face MMMMM
mucous-brained PRICK!!!! KEEP
GOING, DONT YOU DARE STOP
NOW!!! Well its terrible, I know, I
dont deny it was a bit clumsy, but sent
from heaven? my head goes down
and somehow I just inadvertently stick
one of my horns into his stomach.
Jones, little old man that he was, lets
rip with such a scream! His eyes bulging out of their sockets, he goes limp,
impaled on my head! I lay him down
on the ground, poor Jonesy, Im really
sorry, considering how his death
affected the rest of my life, - the only
human being in the whole world who
will ever matter, and hes dead.

I HAD KILLED FARMER JONES! I


was still an animal, non-cerebral you
might say, still who knows why? but
I felt a slight twinge of compassion! I
began to lick his bleeding wound, just
like a pet dog. LICK! LICK!!!
Mmmmmooo that sweet new taste
began to appeal and I got down to
sucking, sucking harder and harder
till Id sucked him bone-dry!!! When
I eventually lifted my head relishing
the last sweet drops on my lips, it was
at that exact moment, I believe I
acquired my very own consciousness. I
KNEW WHO I WAS! I KNEW WHAT
I WANTED!!!
I swaggered out my stall. Daylight had
well and truly arrived a beautiful
spring morning with a warm fresh feel
to the air and the juicy grass and
the juicy grass the juicy grass it
suddenly occurred to me that I would
rather have blood, I wanted
blood. I went on my way along the
dusty track. I arrived at Farmer
Browns that bastard would be over
the moon to see me he had once
tried to steal me, and when Jones
spied him, Brown said that he had just
been passing on his way home, when
he saw me making my getaway, and
that he was simply leading me back to
Jones who believed him and thanked
him!
Well, sure enough, as soon as he
clapped eyes on me, he started rubbing his greasy hands with glee, and
with several sanctimonious slaps, he
led me into the stall belonging to his
stupid grey ass, and wasted no time in

getting to grips with my mammaries!


Hmm that could have turned me on,
if it werent for the fact that Brown
wasnt half the man that Jones was!
Brown was more used to milking sheep,
and to tell you the truth, he got on my
tits so much that I just stuck the horn
in him there and then, after all thats
why I was there! With one kick, I sent
him flying against the wall, and stuck a
horn right into his chest, which, once
I pulled my head back out, spurted
like a fountain I didnt even have to
suck this time. I just rolled the sides
of my tongue into a spoon and swallowed mmm ooo delicious
This fresh fodder wasnt quenching
my thirst at all, and a new craving for
gore overtook me so suddenly that I
bit into Browns thigh. But I couldnt
sink my teeth in, nor tear off any flesh
with my herbivorous teeth I stamped a
hoof into his pelvis, stuck my teeth
right into his thigh up near the joint,
and ripped it off! The ass didnt bat
an eyelid and I walked about in the
middle of the sheep, gorging away at
Browns thigh.
While I was wandering the countryside
like this, I got to thinking about how
much time I had wasted, having my
tits guzzled by Jones; entire days
munching and shitting, pissing and
munching in a stinking stall or a
fenced-in field. And that wanker
Jones, who had only brought the Bull
to me the once!!! But prick that he
was, he was good with his hands That
new thought whetted my appetite and
I decided to head for Meadowside

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10 11

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before the next horn-job; meantime I


could carry on sucking on the evershrivelling thigh.
The air was now warmed by the sun, I
was feeling better, and it was really
strange to trample on all that lush
green grass, those beautiful yellow
buttercups, without having any desire
to munch on them. That never-changing world was now looking completely
new. It was a fantastic feeling, I was
changing and everything around me
was changing in front of my very eyes.
Lost in these new thoughts was paradoxically thoughtless, I know. You
cant just go around sucking on a
ripped-off chunk of thigh but
sooner or later the bodies of Jones
and Brown were going to be discovered. Thinking about it now, that stupid barking bitch must have set alarm
bells ringing where there were dogs,
there were sure to be men, I know that
now, but then I was too hyped up from
seeing it off. Imagine a cow scaring
a dog!!! That was something to be
proud of, one of those first little
delectable moments of my new way of
life.
A little further on, I came across
Miller, who, after an anxious moment,
started shouting like a madman, and
then ran off. Oh no you dont!!! I
wasnt going to let him spoil my jubilation now that I was on my way to the
Bull for what I hoped would be the
ride of my life. I was going to have to
kill him. I spat out the thigh, and
chased him down through the field
and all the way into the vineyard. I tell

you, he ran fast, did Miller, in and


out of the scarcely-budded foliage,
every now and then jumping nimbly
from one row to another, and I, so as
not to lose him was sweeping aside
anything that stood in the way of me
and my quarry. It was great fun, I
could smell the metallic smell of the
blood from the scratches on his arms
and ankles, and it was arousing me,
until finally Miller stumbled and fell
face-down in the mud, he barely had
time to turn himself over and in a
great cloud of dust, I was there, rearing over him and goring right down
into him (I was getting good at it) and
a huge spurt gushed every which way
before I had even pulled the horn back
out! Ah warm sweet ecstasy! I felt
better, even stronger, mentally I mean.
I knew how to have all I wanted, and I
was doing it, nothing could be better
and I was on my way to get myself
shagged!!!
I got to Meadowside, where they were all
just munching, beasts that they were.
Only The Bull was aware of me right
away, he got wind of my pheromones
and before you could say Hot Rod he
was on me. Oh God, Id waited so long!!!
Better than anything I ever had with
Jones.
We were lying stretched out on the field,
chewing the cud; he was absolutely
amazed; he told me he had never seen a
cow like me and, without boasting, he
had serviced more than a few in his
time so he said I had something
special. I told him that was to be expected
because other cows were satisfied with

their munching; getting milked didnt


mean that much to them and they didnt
really enjoy being serviced all that
much.
Its always better to be sucked than
slaughtered, is it not? he quipped.
WHAT?!? Slaughtered??? I didnt
know about that??? No, I didnt know,
how could I know, I who had only ever
been with Jones, who in any one year
only ever killed a few hens and a handful
of rabbits!!! Here was the answer to why
these humans were so smart, they had
understood before I did how blood gave
you that something extra and it was
like a drug.
But now Im addicted too and will never
be free of it all this was finally bringing some sense and meaning to what was
happening to me. I said to The Bull that
this whole thing was driving me crazy,
that I had done something and he suddenly started laughing. Why are you
laughing? Ignoramus!!! So I told him
the whole story and oh shit!!! It was only
then he noticed the blood drying around
my mouth and chin, and plastered all
over my dappled skin. His initial reaction was one of horror, he looked down
at his todger with dismay, and I looked
at him and wondered if maybe I had
contaminated him who knows?
Maybe??? He asked me if I was kidding.
No, it was all true.
In fact you are the only cow Ive ever
spoken to in my whole life and without
bragging, Ive serviced a fair few in my
time and you are the only cow whose
only pastime is NOT munching, there
must be some connection.

Shee it!!! Youre our First Lady, we


should spread the word around the herd,
well follow your lead and while The
Bull was saying this, we spied a group of
armed men coming up the hill. I should
have fled, I should have gone into hiding, but I said to The Bull to stay where
he was, I would be back as soon as I could,
better still to start talking with the other
cows and even better, shag them
Its been three years now, this new life of
mine, theyre catching up with me, I feel
it, theyre catching up with me, I feel
them breathing down my neck, and I
want their blood, because of this theyre
catching up with me, I know this. But
its fair enough, Ive done what I had to
do and then if you keep thinking, you
would keep going ad infinitum and its
only right that sooner or later it comes
to an end, it certainly wont be just me
wholl save all the cows in the world. The
priority has been to sew the seed, implant
the germ, and voil! Something, however tiny, is set in motion. Not up at
Meadowside, oh no, up there theyre a
lost cause, those oh-so-stupid cows and
that bloody brainless Bull. Nah, but
down there in the valley, down in the
grand hacienda its a different story,
there they just cant take any more. And
they dont even know what a real hand
feels like because they get sucked dry by
machine. There its on the move and
there are already signs bellowing like
banshees, legs like rubber going in all
directions, forward-kicks, side-kicks,
but thats not enough, its only the
beginning we want more, much
more we want BLOOD.

14/11/07 05:39:15

Resolution
Ayad Alhaiatly

What ever happens,


we will remain defiant, steadfast.
The invaders will never pass
as long as a drop of blood is left in our veins.
Here will we remain
consoling the birds that chose not to leave
wiping tears away from lavender flowers
lighting torches on the heights of heaven
returning to the soil
those who loved it best
in tribute to our fortress .... Palestine.
Here we will remain
amazed by the magic of mirrors
drawn to the sweet perfume of lasses
their winking tugging at our hearts
sweeping us with wishes
we yearn for the promised moment.
Here we will remain
reciting poems to the sun
creating from our blood a new horizon for our dreams
and when the nights become pitch dark
the dawn will be ours
mothers healing our ancient wounds with their
eyelashes
affirming the victory of life over the myth of death.
Here we will remain
Loyal to the adoration ...the whispers ..and the songs
Ever so;
faithful to the meaning of life
and to all that honest eyes reveal.
Here we will remain
loving and striving
infusing the soil with blood
letting it blossom with;
almonds...
bullets...
fighters...
and passion.
Here we will remain
loving and striving
having resolved to mock rationality
and worship the madness to the very end;
So ...
Either to be
Or .......to be.

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www.monkeygonetoheaven.co.uk
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Exile
Ayad Alhaiatly
Translated by Omar Najjar & Beth Junor
Ours are the truest of friends,
without them life is emptiness,
their presence turns ebb into flow,
together we face the chill of exile,
venturing with poetry gates of the impossible,
undefeated we pass through, no limits to our gains.
On silken arms sweethearts lull us into dreams,
adorning life with enchanting touch,
filling nights with love and things unspoken,
coming to in the slowness of mornings flavoured with coffee,
sleeping and waking to the humming of bairns,
scooping determination from their optimistic looks,
soaring with them to unearthly lightness.
For sure next round shall be ours.
The keys to hold it are in our hands,
ahead nothing remains but to arrive.

16 17

Ours are pregnant clouds,


enlivening parched flowers with hope,
spraying the breast of the fields with pearls,
giving life to roses newly sprung,
inviting bees to meals of nectar.
Ours are the songs of the spring.
Love buds bloom by the sleepy burns,
catching tender feelings in minded moments.
Ours are the daisies, tulips and jasmine.
Ours are the ears of wheat,
casting sustenance to the needy
distancing the guillotine of hunger
paving the way for those with hope
creating future for the poorest.

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Ours are the mothers, who remain
with burning tears bidding us goodbye
begging us not to be long.
With Sweet tears welcoming our return
begging us not to depart again.
Tempting us to stay wih delicious food,
tempting us to stay with ancestral stories
Warming dreich days with prayers
protecting us from times harm
hoping innocence never betrays us
that rashness may never affect us.

Ours are..... loving mothers

sweethearts

true friends

doves

seagulls

memories

yesterday

today

tomorrow

eternal promises

the brightness of all colours

the universe

a homeland in all countries.

Ours is......... the mercy of the Creator
when nothing else remains.
Yet we are alone

eyes brimming with tears

hands teeming with nothingness.

14/11/07 05:39:18

And I Have
Another Friend
Ghazi Hussain

When I was young, I used to like history


and the most important thing for me
were the pictures in the books. My only
wish was to see my photo among those
photographs which such books refered to
and discussed. And the strange thing
about these photographs were they all
belonged to men, pop eyed with big
moustaches.
Now this is my wish no longer, after I
found out the truth which is that history
is written by pens with two faces, by people trying to ignore the past as they ignore
the present, as they ignore the facts. They
call defeat, heroism, and they call treason,
a kind of struggle.
Anyway, I am not here to review that history, nor do I wish for the past or to be
one of its heroes. I am very sure if my
photo was in such a book it will escape to
a childrens story book because fiction
will be more realistic than a fake history
full of lies. But, until this day, I would
still like to see my photo gracing a book
that is useful and will serve all coming
generations well. To make this dream
come true I said to myself that I had to do
something. But how to bring my dream
alive when I was still so persecuted,
oppressed and hunted.
I decide to leave Syria, the place where I
was a refugee, the place of humiliation,
and go back to my homeland, Palestine.

CT-PROOFED.indd 22-23

Though it is still under Israeli occupation


perhaps there I would find my freedom. I
collected together my most important
possessions, packed them into my shoulder bag, and began flight to my homeland.
At that moment, I remembered what my
father had told me, to find a friend before
I find my way. I started to think about
which friend would have the courage to
take such a risk. But I knew for sure that
all my friends were too frightened to
speak out and anyway most of them were
in prison..... those who had not been
killed. So I decided to leave alone.
I used to have a different kind of friend. I
liked him and respected him. I used to
hide in his place, talk to him and tell him
all the latest news. I called him my teacher
because I learnt from him the value of
silence and how to be patient. My friend
was a donkey. I decided to go to see him
to say goodbye, because he was my only
friend still free and alive.
My donkey friend was very clever when he
saw me. Before I could move my lips he
said, Dont speak to me. I dont like your
ideas. I dont like your writing because it
is dangerous and leads to hell fire.
You dont have to share my ideas or my
writing with me, I replied. I came for a
different reason.
Alright, he said. So tell me then.
I have decided to leave this country and
because you are the only friend I have
who is still alive and out of prison, I
thought I should come and say goodbye
to you. Thats why I am here, I told him.
The donkey was smiling. Whats wrong?
What happened? he asked. This is the
first time I have seen you thinking in the
right way. I like the idea of leaving and
would love to accompany you on your
journey.
You must be joking!
Have you ever seen me joke? I like to hear
jokes but I have no jokes of my own to tell.
By the way, I dont mind where we travel
too, he said.
So if I understand you correctly you
would like to leave this country too? I
asked, attempting to clarify the position.
Yes, he answered. We leave together. I
am the friend for this journey.
Let us make a promise, to continue this

journey all the way to the end.


I promise you, replied the donkey friend,
but I have one condition.
Name it.
You must promise me, he continued,
that we are not going to talk about politics,
and that you will treat me justly. Remember just as you have rights so too do I have
rights.
This I will promise you, I answered.
Then he asked me, So what makes you
decide to leave now?
As you know, everyone has a dream, and
for me that dream is to take one step
across the border of this country, a country which has nothing apart from humiliation and hunger. And as you know I am
wanted by the security forces dead or
alive.
Yes I know, said the donkey. Before I
knew this, I used to think you were stupid,
or that something must be killing you, to
persuade you to sleep in my place, a filthy
place that stinks. And I still believe that
prison would have been a cleaner alternative. At least you would be with people
instead of a donkey.
You have no idea how prison is, nor how
the jailers are! I retorted. But now we
must go because we dont have much
time.
Yes. he agreed. Lets go.
We started walking together in the direction of the Dead Sea, talking about everything, but not politics. Remembering
everything and laughing. Before we
arrived at its shores, I started to feel
tired.
Would you permit me to ride you, my
friend, I asked the donkey.
Why?
I feel so tired.
Ha, ha, ha, he laughed. Ill tell you what
we can do.
What?
How about, he proposed, I let you ride
me halfway and then I ride you the other
half?
How? I said shocked. Are you crazy?
Remember what my condition was, that
you treat me justly. Just as you have rights,
so do I have rights. Just as humans get
tired, so do animals. How am I going to
believe in our partnership if we cant help

each other? he asked.


Okay, okay, I dont like your ideas either.
I said. Forget about my proposal. Lets
just walk. I am not going to ride you and I
dont want you to ride me.
Fair enough, said my donkey friend, and
we continued walking. My thoughts
started to drift, until finally the donkey
quickened his pace, then turned to face
me, blocking my path.
We are not moving from here, until you
tell me whats wrong with you, he
demanded. Why are you so silent and
not speaking to me? Are you angry?
Whats the matter with you? I cant believe
it!
By now he was shouting. You were looking for a friend to ride not a friend to
share your journey with. A friend to look
after your needs while you forgot about
their needs, he shouted angrily.
Listen Most Honourable Donkey, I
retorted, I am not angry. I am silent
because I thinking. I am not as selfish as
you think. From the beginning you have
said that you dont like my ideas, so I am
thinking by myself, to myself. And now I
am telling you I dont like your philosophy. Do your philosophy by yourself, to
yourself....if thats alright with you!
Fair enough, agreed the donkey.
We began to walk again, without speaking.
Suddenly the donkey stopped again.
Whats wrong with you donkey? I asked.
Hurry up! We are late!
My God! he exclaimed. So much water!
Look! What is that!
You havent seen this before, have you? I
said.
I swear to my God, I have never seen as
much water as this in my life. Does the
water belong to anyone?
No, I answered. This water is for
nobody. This is the sea. They call it the
Dead Sea.
The donkey started to jump up and down.
Is it dead?! Who killed it? How did this
death happen? We should take revenge!
he shouted.
Not so fast, I urged him. Nobody killed
it. And when I decided to leave I left
revenge behind me.
So tell me, he insisted. Did the sea die
on its own, from illness or suicide?

14/11/07 05:39:19

Neither one nor the other, I replied.


The people gave it this name.
Such a name. Thats unfair. Couldnt
they find a better name than that? he
asked.
I think this is the only name the people
could give this sea to do it justice.
I cannot understand this, said the donkey.
No, you cannot.....they call it the Dead
Sea because there is no life in it, I told
him.
Can I drink some of its water? he asked.
Yes you can.....but you might not like it,
I advised him.
Whats not to like if its clean? It looks
much cleaner than the water I am used to
having.
Yes, very clean, but very salty. Thats why
there is no life in it.
Who put the salt in? asked the donkey.
No one, its just like that, I told him.
Have some. Try it, you may like it.
The donkey drank some of the sea water,
felt the saltiness in his mouth and
promptly started vomitting. With a husky
voice he croaked, Now I understand. I
am going to die, just like the sea.
Nonsense, dont worry, you are not going
to die, I reassured him.
Oh thats good, thank you, he said gratefully. Have we arrived yet? Is this the
place where we are going to live?
No, not yet, but our fleeing starts from
here, I told him.
Oh my God! We have walked all this way,
right through to the sea, and we still
havent arrived. I cannot continue. I cannot go any further. I was thinking that
donkeys are more patient than humans,
but now I find you are even more patient
than a donkey, he said.
I learnt that from you my friend. But listen, we are now in a dangerous place.
This is the most important moment in
our lives and we have to make a difficult
decision as quickly as we can, I told him.
What do you mean? said the donkey anxiously.
The sea is in front of us and the security
forces are behind us, I replied. We only
have two options - to flee or be killed.
We have to flee, decided the donkey.
Do you know which route we should take,

CT-PROOFED.indd 24-25

which would be the safer one? I asked


Of course. We should go back.
To where?
To the security forces, came his answer,
because I dont want to die in the Dead
Sea.
But they will kill us.
They are going to kill you, not me, said
the donkey. They wont kill me because
they need me. Donkeys are more useful
to them than humans. They never kill
donkeys; they want them. They wish all
human beings would become donkeys, so
they can use them to satisfy their needs.
You can be sure - they only kill humans.
Do you wish for yourself to be transformed into a donkey so you can be as
safe as a donkey? he asked me.
No, I said. I dont wish for that because
I dont want their wish to come true. But
if I understood what you have just said
correctly than that means you will break
the promise we made to each other. Is
that friendship in your view? I asked
Yes, from my point off view this is friendship, he answered. If the matter in
question becomes a matter of life or
death, then I dont want to die. Do you
understand?
You are a disloyal, a cheat, just like them!
I told him.
The donkey smiled. This is the second
time I saw his smile. Listen my dear, he
said. Firstly it is one million times easier
for me to hear you call me a cheat than it
is for me to die. I am not the first to cheat
you, nor will I be the last. Secondly, what
is between us is not that much. Finally we
promised to walk together, not to die
together. I am going to give you a simple
example, and I hope that it will help you
to understand my position and to forgive
me. Look at all the Palestinians, surrounded by the Arabs, a shared blood,
religion, language, culture, history and
more. But when it became a matter of life
or death, the Arabs deserted the Palestinians to face their death alone. What is
between us is even less than that. Now the
only solution is in front of you. Just think
of yourself as if you were one of the Palestinians and then, as you know, I am one
of the Arabs donkeys. Take your fate as it
comes.

You are just like the Arab leaders, I said


face every day. Death is the one thing we
angrily You have no sense of honour at
have full knowledge of, I told him.
all. You take Palestinians as an example, So! this is the end between us, he
so because I am a Palestinian you have
exclaimed. You have broken your promdecided to leave me alone to my fate?
ise! You promised me you would not talk
about politics and now you have. For sure,
The donkey was very surprised. Are you
politics is the only thing which always
a Palestinian? I cant believe it! he
comes between friends and turns them
exclaimed. I like Palestinian people and
into enemies. Because of this you can flee
my only wish is to find any way to help
on your own. I am going back, said the
them.
donkey.
So here I am....in front of you....one of Thats me! I can never find a friend who
them. Satisfy your desire and help me, I
will stay with me right to the end, I said.
said.
I moved towards the donkey, to apologise
I meant the Palestinians who are still in
and say goodbye, but before it could hapPalestine, not those who are out of it, like
pen the security forces arrived and started
you, came his reply.
shooting everywhere. The donkey took
What is the difference between those who
fright and ran away. I surrendered. The
are inside Palestine and those who are
donkey having no choice crossed the boroutside? They all suffer subjugation and
der without recognising it for what it was.
death wherever they are.
He arrived in my homeland, to my place
Those who are inside are oppressed by
of birth, to the place of my enemies, to
their enemies, the donkey replied, but
live free. My Arab brothers arrested me
those who are outside are oppressed by
and made me a prisoner in their filthy
their Arab brothers, I am not to blame
jails. The donkey got into Palestine.....
if I am being oppressed by my Arab broth- and I got into prison. My name and
ers, I said.
phtotgraph were not in the fake history
Nor is it my fault, he answered. I am
book. Instead they were in something that
between you and them, serving all of you
has even more lies than the history booksequally, not differentiating between the
the newspaper.
persecuted and their oppressers. Donkeys
are persecuted just as much as Palestin- Now I can say I have a friend in Palesians.
tine....., and I miss him.....,and I wish I
So there is a common denominator
could go to visit him.
between us.
Yes, he said, but one important difference, you are human beings and we are
animals. All the donkeys in this world
have one wish. Do you know what it is?
No, what is it?
We all wish that all human beings would
turn into donkeys and we would all turn
into human beings, and treat them just as
they have treated us. Not for too long,
just one day, to make them feel how much
we suffer because of them, how much we
hate them, said the donkey.
All the Palestinians also have one wish.
Do you know what it is? I asked.
I have no idea, replied the donkey.
We wish everyone in the world would try
one day of our lives and it would be sufficient to move them to do something, to
break their silence in face of the death we

14/11/07 05:39:20

the

Fall

(for Misha)

of

Communism

i would not tempt the wrecking ball


to set you on a pedestal
lest the Politburo fall,
& demolitionists by night,
horsepower & dynamite
(after a sharp swing to the Right

That Old Chestnut

opinion polls could not foresee)


cordon off the street
& bring you crashing to your knees;

A C Bevan
for fear the proletariat
& politically correct
take an ice-pick to your likenesses;

God does not play dice with the universe


Albert Einstein
meteorites are Gods conkers,
on plinths outside observatories
with astronomical numbers,

or else the nation builders / city


planners / Party functionaries
denounce you as an enemy

the shatter-cone of some earthgrazer


beneath the shedding chestnut trees,
meteorites are Gods conkers

of the people & the State,


& purge from every civic space,
statue park or hall of fame,

found by schoolboys & amateurs


in Great Cluster in Hercules
in astronomical numbers,

the Revolution of your name

baked in the fireball primordial, soaked in vinegar seas,


meteorites are Gods conkers,
laced & knotted with superstring & unification theories
of astronomical numbers,
still kernelling dreams of Jupiter
outside Engineering Faculties,
meteorites are Gods conkers
His astronomical none-ers

Fatwa










a single strand of dna


contains my polygenic traits,
the blueprint
of: my fingerprint,
metabolism,
body weight,
my eye-colour,
my blood-type,
height,
my pathogens,
my virtue, vice;

in double helix nuclei,


in letter strings
that written out
in their entirety
wd fill the medical
dictionaries
with the kismet*
& minutiae
of why
& wherefore i
shall die

CT-PROOFED.indd 26-27

(Endnotes)
* literally: the will of Allah

14/11/07 05:39:20

THULES ULTIMA

Why do I tell you this? Why do you listen?


You dont need to know.
You are not my keeper,
any more than I am yours.

A Young Street Beggar Speaks


David Betteridge,

Any change to spare?


Fuck off, then. Have a hellish day.
Theres too much money in this town
in the wrong hands, not mine.
Whats coming now? Heres posh!
The dress shes scarcely wearing must have cost a bomb.
It could have kept me
through last winters cold.

24 25

Any change to spare?


Please, Im going spare. No?
You stingy cow, you stingy, ugly, plastic cow!
And you, you with your staring eyes,
what are you doing, selling or buying?
Either way, no deal.
If you must stand there, stand to the side,
block out the breeze,
and let the sun shine warm on me.
(Im a woman who likes her warm.)
But, better, go.

Now heres a mob of strutters strutting by.


Who do they think they are?
Who cares?
Change? Any change?
Not a bean.
Given half their wealth, Id be as good and grand.
But nothings ever given,
only the smallest of small change.
If we want fair shares, we have to take.
Asking is a mugs game.
Mugging: now theres a healthier line.
Its more direct.
Theres less dishonour there.
What, still staring with your staring eyes,
judging me, and sentencing?
Yes, guilty, as Ive always been,
ever since the day that I was fool enough
to let myself be born.
Guilty of poor choices:
dead-end place and time of birth...
dodgy parents... schooling... the company I kept...
the things I do... the things I do not do...
Wrong, all wrong!

What do you see, then, when you look at me?


Nothing, that is what:
an empty nought.
No, worse:
I am a nought thats full to the brim
with emptiness
and the aching hell it brings.
If its pity that you feel, then dont.
And dont police me with those questions
that I know you have in mind.
Just listen! Its time that I was heard.
Why? - thats what I want an answer to.
Why must I suffer as I do,
scrap at the bottom of the worlds pile,
eking out my days in spaces
others leave?
And whats the view I have from here?
Wars upon wars, dog eating dog,
each against all and that is all.
The wounded deer leaps highest.
Did you ever hear that saying?
Cock, pure cock!
The wounded deer is a meal-in-waiting,
to be predated on;
like me, for all my life, predated on.
No, I havent had a life, existence only.
Its time it was my time, my turn,
to be a person and to be on top.
Let someone else be me.

The worm turns, and the cornered pig;


the deer kicks shit out of the wolf or lynx.
Ive made a start.
He groaned the once, and sighed.
Theres a lot of blood in a man, you know.
It spreads quite far.
For every stone, a pint I read that in a book somewhere.
He asked for it; I gave it him.
When a mans lust is up, his guard is down,
since his intelligence goes slack.
(Half the world knows this.)
That made it easy, really.
It was self-defence. Im sure he meant me harm.
Victim no more, I thought.
As usual I was wrong.
Change? Any change to spare?
Thank you, sir, and have a lovely day.
I was in luck.
That fat bastard gave me 20p.
Victim no more - no chance, no way!
Im victim now of fear - theres people after me and homelessness...
(No Fixed Abode: thats what my records say.
No-one, of No Fixed Abode,
owner of nothing, good for nothing: me!)
And sick, sick right through...
See how my hands shake.
The cure-all that I need is killing me.
(God, I could use some now!)
And poor... and lacking hope...
These - all these - close in on me.
I feel I am a hunted fox, or rat at least.
But my wounds are deeper than dogs teeth can go;
deeper than a surgeons lancet ever heals;
deeper that this hell Im sinking in.
Change?

CT-PROOFED.indd 28-29

14/11/07 05:39:20

Bereft
Norman Bissett

or
ct, ef
r
d,
Fo ars lke ere nd b
a
ye e w and o be
sh oud g t hair
n
pr usi ite
f wh .
e
r r
g
he ncin
a
d

CT-PROOFED.indd 30-31

e
th

d,

o
ho

p.

te
rs

he
g, ow
in
do wid
e
r
n
d
ti
Fo ars lke utio
ot ng
r
d
,
.
a
Fo ars lke l sc er lo
ye e w esol day er
wn ail,
a fu h
o
e
r
o
h
h
w
g
r
y e
s th
t
tt w
ith
g
,f
sh r fa hou
wi t no I sa ssin red
g
e
e
u
e
u
h ro l
B day dr ild
th oya
To her bew
d.
.
l
,
in
a um
in reft g
w
n
h
c
be ndi the
be fore
be
n

wi

14/11/07 05:39:20

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Donna Campbell
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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They lay like animals,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
her head by the side of his soft,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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doughlike cock.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Sperm dried cheek,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
made her skin tight, annoying.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She felt sick,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
wanted to spit gob from mouth,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
but couldnt
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
for fear of wakening him, one more time.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Staccato sirens
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Punctured
room,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
They stapled her to bed.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
He moved, made between legs
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
in a halfhearted sleepy gesture.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
He coughed, phlegm was choking his lungs
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
from a thousand cigarettes,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
he was sat amongst stinkin sheets,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
he was choking, choking, breathe
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
28 29 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Are you still fuckin here
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She picks notes from floor,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
looks grateful, was grateful,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
as she shuts the door quietly,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
so as not to disturb neighbours
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
with her comings and goings
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
to the same old trek, same solution,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
the replaying sequence chain of events
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
that has become her life.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She wonders if shell make her 16th birthday.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
As she stumbles onto streets,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
mingles with early morning shoppers,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
feels eyes follow like quiet detectives,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
she pulls skirt to hide thighs,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
while sticky wetness,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
rolls obtrusively,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
from her still sore hole.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She wished it would rain,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
she could use her brolly,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
to walk stooped,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
unseen,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
straight home,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
to the repetitious cry
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
of her bastard baby,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
8 weeks old and still alive.

Cathy Arrives Home

CT-PROOFED.indd 32-33

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She wonders of cot death,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
how some could be so lucky
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
no more slimyshitfillednappies,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
groping
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
in the dark, wrecked,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
to
the screaminggaping mouth
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
at the other side of her bed.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Cathy arrives home.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Cathy arrives home, into
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
a house of dim regret
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
some would call squalor,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
she throws keys, knackered,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
wants
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
release from the bats in the belfry.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She hopes the child wont wake,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
that
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
the Mother wont wake,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
from a coma of abuse and longing
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
where
alcoholism takessssssssssssssss
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She stands crab infested in a cockroach house and wonders why
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She thinks about the reaper,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
a short story at school.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
misses school,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
in a funny sort of way.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
That fuckin weans been crying awe night
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
37,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
no teeth in head, her Mother stood.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Hiv you got any money
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
She thinks of T.V. families,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Persil White in Fairy Soft
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
and desperate for an undreamed dream,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
she starts,
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
she starts the day.
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For my Aunt Rita and Cousin Janet who died way too young due to alcoholism.

14/11/07 05:39:20

Apostate

Icarus

Norman Bissett

Norman Bissett

A C of S Minister from Crieff


was renowned for his lack of belief.
Since his faith was elastic
and iconoclastic
hes now running a chip shop in Leith.

An intrepid young chappie from Tain


loved to soar in a microlight plane.
Well, last Wednesday, he
soared above the North Sea
and hell never see Dornoch again.

On The Waterfront
Norman Bissett
A six foot six dropout from Hawick,
a complete agricultural oick,
has quadrupled his pay
in the US of A
as a longshoreman based in Noo Yoik.

CT-PROOFED.indd 34-35

Highland Fashion

Battle Of The Scales

Norman Bissett

Norman Bissett

A Glaswegian who went to Toulouse


sporting form-hugging, tartan-striped trews,
said, Ahm no really built
tae appear in a kilt
except when emboldened by booze.

Fat Freddie who hailed from Dumfries


was concerned about looking obese.
Umpteen trips to the gym
made scant difference to him
till he drowned in a puddle of grease.

14/11/07 05:39:21

Zeenty-teenty
J.L. Williams
Zeenty-teenty, n. a childrens counting-out game.
CDEFGAB
Come boy and cease your dour weeping.
Not all the apples in the forest are poisoned.
Ill cut you one the half way that makes arsenic a flower.

Nivie-nick-nack
J.L. Williams
Nivie-nick-nack, n. a game of choice, played with an article in
one of the closed fists.

CDEFGAB

Kever

Dear Romily learned a happy song. Shell sing to us


so the women wont know what happened here
and while their way through the rows of corn.
CDEFGAB

J.L. Williams
Ten boys stood in a circle in the alley.
Leeries harsh orange light round the far away corner
made the ladies stepping in and out of the club
resemble fair folk, fireflies in their hair.

Fidder
J.L. Williams
Fidder, v. to move like a hawk when it wishes to remain stationary over a place, or like a bird in the nest over her young.
If only, just once, she could have stayed still.
The constancy of this nag and scutter!
The dishes, the shopping, the care of the kids.
The back steps, the taxes, the cost of the meals.
Forty years of this hummingbird hen.
This isnt love. Its barely surviving.
She took in the unremarkable view,
chittering, waving her scrawny arms. I pushed.
Then, for once, she hung in the air.
Silent, calm, still.

CT-PROOFED.indd 36-37

In the centre of the circle stood one boy alone.


His pious eyes sought out the tempting gold light.
Where they stood, a miasma of coal dust murk
blurred the edge of trustworthy perception.
His arms were outstretched on either side.
Each one ended in a tightly clasped fist.
With their caps on their heads
the boys of the circle seemed much older men.
As if from a distance, yet all around,
came the pied pipe of the rag and bone man.
Balloons for the boys. Balloons for the girls.
At this signal, the first fight began.
In the smudged confusion of dawns attempt,
the rag and bone man made out the boy
face down in the alley with two closed fists.
Balloons for the boys. Balloons for the girls.
Humming, he pried the left one open,
in it found a tiny gold cross.
Humming, he pried the right one open,
in it found nothing at all.

Kever, n. a gentle breeze, causing a slight motion of the water.


From Haymarket, a five minute train ride

to Edinburgh Park.
Odd choice for a picnic but new Scots business
architecture required investigation.
The spurious build quality came as
little surprise.
Two impressed with their considerate attention

to glass.
On a Saturday afternoon, no people, no shops,

a utilitarian gym.
Levered through the centre of the art-pocked complex,

a well-manicured canal.
One massive swan guarded his
familial flock,
his two metre wingspan
blocking the road.

Even lampposts learn to love their rust;


its evolution like blushing salmon
to dress for love before leaving.
CDEFGAB
Funny how I knew your fathers shoes
before his face when he returned.
The same shoes after all those years.
CDEFGAB
Go play with the children now. Teach them
what you know that makes the worlds spin.
Warm your young limbs in light rays of sun.
CDEFGAB
All my mother said before selling me off,
her wisdom etched in the ising of my heart
with the shards of her own broken glass:
CDEFGAB

A gentle breeze ruffled down


on his goslings grey heads
as a lorry screeched to a halt,
carrying necessary goods,
nearly drowning out the swans
brave trumpet of warning.

Beware the erotic sadness Ramis calls the Weeping Mode,


or shall we say an overt dependency upon it
for the sake of drowning ones old troubles in anothers pool.
CDEFGAB

14/11/07 05:39:21

The Team of Teams


Whit a team thon wiz.
In goal, the handsome, flamboyant
KIRKINTILLOCH ROB ROY

Then there wiz the redoubtable full-back partnership.


The pacy tenacity o

the stuffy determination o

A RT H U R L I E

BEN BURB
complemented by

An who could forget thon hauf-back line.

Centre-hauf
At right-hauf

And at left-hauf
and captain courageous,

the uncompromising

the silky, cultured

34 35

Braveheart himsel
Human Dynamo

nonchalance o
RUTHERGLEN GLENCAIRN

A U C H E N L E C K TA L B O T

KILBIRNIE LADESIDE

The forward-line wiz legendary.


At inside-right,

At inside-left

the man who made them tick,

the Clown Prince

the Auld Fox

o opportunists

LUGAR BOSWELL

ABERDEEN SUNNYBANK

Oan the right-wing

An oot oan the left,

the darting

the bonniest flooer


Centre-forward,

directness o,

o thaim aw
the Goalies Nemesis

JEANFIELD SWIFT

ORMISTON PRIMROSE
SHOTTS BON ACCORD

William Gault Bonar

CT-PROOFED.indd 38-39

14/11/07 05:39:21

In sunshine or
in shadow
Paul Cuddihy

36 37

CT-PROOFED.indd 40-41

Every day, as Brendan walked


the short distance from his
house to Kavs, he passed
the shrine which has emerged
in the days after Danny died.
It started with a bouquet of
flowers. Then another. And
another. People left football
scarves, a Tricolour with
Youll Never Walk Alone,
Danny written in black ink
on the white section. Brendan tied his Celtic top to the
railing with tears in his eyes.
He stood and stared at it as
the rain fell on his bare
head.
He remembered the first
time theyd gone to a game
on their own. Him, Danny
and Kav. Getting the bus
into town and then walking
through the Gallowgate, past
Bairds Bar, the Barras, the
pub with its green and white
hooped walls. People wearing scarves and strips, all
heading in the same direction. And then, as they got
nearer, the massive structure
that stood out in the East
End skyline. Celtic Park.
That had only been two years
ago and it made Brendan cry
every time he thought about
the fact it would never happen again.
The elements had battered
the flowers into submission
but the football memorabilia still retained a defiant
presence. Someone had even
left a Rangers scarf.
Who the fuck did that? Kav
snapped when he saw it.
Its just a scarf, said Brendan.
Im going to take it down.
Just leave it, Kav.
But its a Hun scarf. What
would Danny say?
Brendan looked at his friend
and shook his head. Danny
would have told Kav not to

be so stupid, but Brendan


decided it was best not to say
anything.
Some days he wished the
shrine would be dismantled.
He would always look on the
spot with a sense of dread
and dismay regardless of
whether there were any visible signs of its significance.
Other times, he was glad of
its continued presence. It
meant that Danny hadnt
been forgotten.
At first Brendan couldnt
imagine how that could be
possible. He would always
remember Danny. Theyd
been friends since the first
day at St. Angelas Primary,
and though Kav came along
in primary six to join them,
it was still always Brendan
and Danny first. He suspected Kav knew this, even
though it was never mentioned.
But there had been times
recently, a minute or maybe
even an hour when Danny
wasnt in his thoughts. A
wave of guilt washed over
him as if a car had driven
through a puddle as he
walked past, drenching him
and leaving him angry, and
guilty. He should have seen
it coming. It was then that
he was glad of the shrine.
He knew Dannys family
were too. Once or twice he
had seen Mrs OConnor
standing in front of it with
Dannys sister. They didnt
seem aware of their surroundings, of the cars and
the people flashing by them,
and Brendan put his head
down and scurried past, anxious to avoid any awkward
meeting.
He couldnt avoid the phonecall, however. He recognised
Mrs. OConnors voice

straight away, as familiar as


his own mums. It didnt
sound any different and he
was disappointed. There was
no quiver, no faltering
words or tears punctuating
sentences.
Were having a little service
in the house for Daniel,
she said. Its his months
mind and Father Donnelly is
going to say some prayers.
Id like you and Mark to be
there.
What could he say?
Of course, Mrs OConnor.
Thanks.
As soon as she hung up, he
phoned Kav, hoping to hear
the dismay in his voice that
Brendan had tried to keep
hidden from Dannys mum.
Neither of them went to
Mass any more. The last time
theyd been at the chapel was
Dannys funeral and before
that was when it was forced
upon them at school.
Brendans mum would occasionally nag him, but it was
only out of a sense of duty.
His dad didnt go, and neither did his two older sisters,
so she didnt have any moral
or physical support for her
argument. She thought it
was nice that Mrs. OConnor
had invited them, and Brendan resisted the temptation
to tell her it was just a prayer
service and it wasnt going to
save his soul.
Thanks for coming, boys,
Mrs OConnor said, ushering the two friends inside as
she held open the front
door. Brendan could hear
the murmur of conversation
from the living room and
wished he could have turned
round and fled back to the
sanctuary of his own house,
but he felt Dannys mums
hand pressing into his back

and found himself being


inexorably propelled towards
the sound of the crowd.
Its Mark and Brendan, Mrs
OConnor announced and
every head turned as they
appeared at the door. It was
as if they were the guests of
honour at some macabre
ceremony. Bodies parted
and they were led to the
couch where two spaces had
been left. Reluctantly, the
two of them sat down. Brendan didnt look at Kav but
he suspected his friends face
would be burning just as
brightly as his own.
Hello, boys, Father Donnelly said. He stood in front
of the television. Brendan
could see Danny peeking at
them from behind the priest,
framed forever as a smiling
teenager in his back garden.
Brendan looked away.
Hello, Father, they both
muttered.
And hows your dad doing,
Brendan? Father Donnelly
asked.
Fine.
I havent seen him for a
while. Is he still working
with the council?
Yes.
Good, good. Well, tell him I
was asking for him.
Brendan nodded, though he
knew he wouldnt say anything to his dad. Father
Donnelly would have been as
well announcing to all and
sundry that Brendans dad
was a lost sheep, a bad example to his own children,
inviting everyone to look
down at Brendan with a mixture of pity and dismay.
What did he care? Let the
priest start talking about
Gods will and Dannys
death, fuckin hypocrite.
After another couple of

14/11/07 05:39:23

minutes, with Brendan and


ished speaking and one of
Kav bobbing awkwardly in
Dannys uncles was being
this sea of sympathy, Father
invited to sing. Brendan
Donnelly received a nod
knew what song it would be
from Dannys mum and he
and wished he could escape
began the prayers. Brendan
to the bathroom but it
followed
automatically, would look rude if he sudblessing himself when he
denly fled. Dannys Uncle
had to, muttering responses
Joe, a tall skinny man with
when required and mum- greasy black hair that clung
bling the words to the Hail
to his skull, had sung as the
Mary and Our Father that
coffin was being carried out
hed learnt on his mums
the chapel.
knee.
He has the voice of an angel,
At the point when the priest
whispered Brendans mum
began talking about Danny, and he couldnt disagree,
offering up the same mean- even though hed never
ingless platitudes he had at
heard an angel sing.
the
funeral,
Brendan
Uncle Joes voice filled the
switched off.
living room and Brendan
He thought about the last
closed his eyes, though a
time hed seen Danny. couple of rogue tears still
Theyd been at his house on
managed to escape and flee
the PlayStation when Danny
down his cheek. He heard
got a text to go home.
the sniffles and sobs of
You can stay here for your
females and the awkward
dinner if you want, Bren- coughs of the men and he
dans mum had offered.
loved and hated Danny Boy
Thanks, Mrs Reilly, but I
in equal measure.
need to get home. My grans
It was over an hour later
coming over so my mum
before the two boys manwants me back.
aged to escape. Dannys
There was no real goodbye. mum thanked them for
Just a nod and a grunt and
coming but their presence
an acknowledgement that
was both comforting and
they would see each other
painful for her, and Brenthe following day. It was
dan could see her eyes fillmince and tatties with beans
ing up with tears every time
that night. It used to be
she started speaking. He
Brendans favourite but he
had been a regular visitor to
didnt think he would ever
the house, just as Danny
be able to eat it again. It
had often been in his, but
reminded him of Danny.
Brendan knew he was never
He couldnt really get his
coming back. As he stepped
head around it. If Danny
out into the dark, the wind
had stayed for dinner, if his
suddenly creeping up round
gran hadnt been visiting, the side of the house and
then he wouldnt have been
slapping him hard on the
in the street when the car
face, he turned and mutsped round the corner and
tered
Goodbye,
Mrs
ploughed straight into him. OConnor.
It was as fragile as that. Hed never see the inside of
Mince and tatties or death.
the house again, the holy
Father Donnelly had fin- water font in the hallway or

CT-PROOFED.indd 42-43

the family picture in the


living room above the telly.
He felt strangely relieved.
Thank fuck thats over,
Kav said as they started
walking aimlessly along the
road. Brendan grunted in
agreement.
And that tea. What was all
that about? Disgusting. I
hate tea without sugar but I
didnt want to ask.
You should have given it up
for Lent like the rest of us,
Brendan suggested and Kav
laughed.
Without realising, they had
gravitated towards Dannys
shrine. As they approached,
Brendan could see the malnourished bouquets, the
football scarves, the giant
flag, and
Theres someone there,
Kav suddenly blurted out.
A small, shadowy figure was
standing at the shrine. He
was tugging at something
tied to the railings, frantically trying to loosen it.
HEY! WHAT THE FUCK
ARE YOU DOING? Kav
shouted but the wind gathered up his words, tossing
them around until they
were a mere whisper when
they reached the shrine.
The figure didnt look
round. Kav broke into a
run and Brendan followed
behind, jogging reluctantly
to the spot where Danny was
thrown by the car and where,
oblivious to the screams and
shouts of those who had
witnessed it, he died, his
blood spreading out across
the pavement, creating a
ghoulish cordon round his
body.
Kav was only a few steps
from the shrine when the
figure noticed him, and
immediately sprinted in the

opposite direction with Kav


in
pursuit.
Brendan
stopped when he reached
the
railings,
noticing
straight away that the Celtic
top was gone. It had been
the centre-piece of the
tributes and the gap left in
its wake was obvious.
Brendan crouched down,
looking at the sorry state of
the flowers. What could you
expect, with the weather
attacking it on a daily basis?
He plucked a card from one
of the bouquets and strained
his eyes in the dark to read
it To Danny, God has been
given another angel tonight,
Lots of love, Uncle Denis
and Aunt Jean.
He dropped it on the
ground and stood up.
Danny as an angel. It was
almost enough to make him
laugh. Almost.
He could hear Kavs heavy
breathing as he walked back
towards the railing.
The wee bastard got away,
he panted, bending over
and trying to regain his
breath.
The Celtic strips gone,
Brendan said.
Youre joking. Fuckin grave
robber. Whod do a thing
like that?
I dont know.
See if I catch him, hes
dead.
Come on, lets go, Brendan
said to Kav who shook his
head angrily as he stared at
the gap where the football
top had been but still began
walking. Brendan knew he
wasnt coming back to the
shrine either. Scabby flowers and rain-soaked scarves
were no way to remember
his friend. There would be
no more tears because Danny
wasnt there, he did not die.

14/11/07 05:39:25

David Betteridge, a teacher and teacher-trainer, has lived and worked in Glasgow, on and off, since before the era of the wrecking

last year I had an exhibition of my poetry with a Glasgow painter at the Botanical Gardens for a week. Stuart Robert Macdonald was

ball, the high-rise, stone-cleaning, and the marketing of the city for tourism and style. Out of the hundred poems or so that he has

born and brought up in south-west Scotland. He currently lives in Edinburgh with his wife and children where he works as a data

written, he has published fewer than twenty, all in the last five years, in Cencrastus, Acumen, Anon, Pulsar and other magazines.

librarian. Hes been published widely in numerous magazines and anthologies and featured in Glasgows 2004 Block Architectural

Matt McGinn, George Friel, and Archie Hind were early influences, then Alasdair Gray, Alex Hamilton, Alan Spence, Liz Lochhead,

Festival. Niall Macdonald is a Glasgow based artist who writes short, semi-abstract texts as part of a wider sculptural practice. His

and Edwin Morgan, to name just a few. A C Bevan is the author of one pamphlet collection (Of Sea-Graves & Sand Shrines, Arc 2001).

work approaches the fragile nature of certainty, the anxiety surrounding human interaction and, in a broad sense, the relationship

His first full collection will be published by Salmon in 2007. Norman Bissett, who lives in Edinburgh, has been writing snce he retired

between ethics and aesthetics. Stewart Alister Mackay: I was born in 1971 and raised in Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland.

ten years ago and is widely published in the small press. He has also published four collections of his poetry. William Gault Bonar I

I left home at sixteen to join the army, serving in West Germany, Canada, North Africa, Northern Ireland, then in the Gulf War 1991,

write poetry in both contemporary Scots and English and have been previously published in newspapers and magazines. I grew up

and have traveled to places in America, again in Germany and the Republic of Ireland since. I have been a community outreach

in Port Glasgow in the metaphoric shadow of the shipyards. My pamphlet, Frostburn Steel (Dreadful Night Press, 2004) is available

worker in the Highlands developing programmes to meet the needs of teenagers, have studied full time in the social sciences, in

from dreadfulnight1@aol.com or from the National Library of Scotland poetry pamphlet website. I enrolled on the Glasgow University

anthropology and am currently about to enter my final year of a second degree in theology as part of my training for ministry in the

Creative Writing masters course in September 2006. Donna Campbell Been writing on and off (more off than on due to 3 teenagers

Church of Scotland. Ciara MacLaverty was born in Belfast but has lived in Scotland most of her life. She has had ME from the age

kicking about the house; a litter tray in use by 2 cats that constantly needs cleaned out; various bits of work coming in and being in a

of 18. She writes stories, articles and poems. Her website is www.ciaramaclaverty.co.uk Tom McCulloch from the Highlands and

perpetual state of arousal when thoughts, as often as not, stray toward a certain Mr Sweeny) for about 10 years. Jim Carruth works

now resident in the Far South, Tom has been widely published. Landscape and identity are preoccupations, the interconnections of

in Govan and is a widely published poet and coordinates St Mungos Mirrorball - a network of Glasgow poets. His second poetry

shifting place, time and memory. Jim Steel: I review books for Interzone and magazines for The Fix and have had stories published

collection High Auchensale is due out in November. Paul Cuddihy was born in 1966 and lives in Glasgow with his wife and three

in The Third Alternative, Drabble II, Albedo One, Territories, Whispers Of Wickedness and other places, with another due to be

children. He is a short story writer and the editor of the Celtic View , the weekly magazine of Celtic Football Club. He was one of the six

published in Premonitions. Ive just finished a novel and am currently torturing agents with it. I also have plans for a traveling

winners of the 2004 Scotsman/Orange Short Story Award. His story, Let It Be was published in North, a collection of the twenty best

puppet show that will dramatize the works of Sven Hassel. Hopefully this will make me rich and I will be able to retire from writing.

stories submitted for that competition. Graham Fulton was born 1959 and lives in Scotland and has been writing and performing poetry

Kenneth Stevens eighth collection of poems, Columba, appeared in 2005. he was recently awarded an arts council bursary and will

for twenty years. His poems have been published in numerous magazines e.g. Edinburgh Review, Ambit, The North and Cencrastus.

be working on new creative material in Perthshire. JL Williams was born in New Jersey and studied at Wellesley College with the

His previously published collections include: Humouring the Iron Bar Man, Knights of the Lower Floors (both Polygon) and Ritual

poet Frank Bidart. She has performed her poetry at a number of venues both in America and in the United Kingdom and been published

Soup and other liquids (Mariscat). Graham Hardie: I am 34 years old and am a graduate of Glasgow University. I have been writing

internationally in journals such as Coal City Review, Aesthetica and The New Writer. John Wilman. As for myself, I am 49 years old,

poetry for about seven years and have been published in The David Jones Journal, Markings, Nomad, Weyfarers, Time Haiku and

and have been writing mainly poetry and short stories for the last five years. I have edited and published two collections of poetry,

Harlequin and other poetry magazines. In 2003 I was accepted for the MLitt in Creative Writing at St. Andrews University. In July of

mostly by other people, in connection with a University writing group Soitiz and a poetry group Windlestraw which is now disbanded.

CT-PROOFED.indd 44-45

14/11/07 05:39:26

Text Massage
London
Graham Fulton
Love is . . .
standing to the right of the escalator
as a Reggae busker Redemption Song
echoes along the Circle Line galleries at midnight
because the art of communication
has improved in leaps and bounds
in this expanding balloonuniverse
of genomes and clones and cutting and pasting
to make us feel better for a while
as we find ourselves once more
on a comfortably cushioned underground train
as it whooshes with thrilling punctuality
between Temple and Blackfriars

or any
twisty-turny colour-coded route of your choice
as you read the adverts for linked investments
and mobile phones and insurance schemes and sexy cars
and internet casino and cheap flights and pregnancy tablets
and Shaftesbury Avenue theatricalextravaganzas
with all your favourite digitally-enhanced
Shakespearean sitcom widescreen stars
or send text messages into the ether
to make us feel delightful for a while
somewhere between asleep and awake
somewhere between Baker Street and Moorgate
as you let it shoogle you anywhere

on any
colour Einstein would have approved of
between Mile End and Whitechapel
with spaghettified wires and cables
and charcoal dark machinery outside the roaring window
with your many-reflected distorted faces
staring back between Turnham Green and Wapping
because Love is . . . letting people off first
as a mechanical-yet-caring voice says MIND THE GAP
to make us feel special for a while
as courting couples cuddle with umbilical headphones
and we sprinkle sugar on our cappuccinos
and people with no pasts walk the careering carriages
with polystyrene cups and asking for change
because were all alone after all between All Saints
and Mudchute and have every reason to feel afraid.

CT-PROOFED.indd 46-47

14/11/07 05:39:28

Low Tide

Thumbs

EMETH

METH

Niall Macdonald

Niall Macdonald

Niall Macdonald

Niall Macdonald

The barge was a relic of the Second World War. A rusty, barnacle-covered lump of armour plating, bolts and propellers.
Half-boat half-tank, it sat heavily on the sand and could be
reached only at low tide. We jumped onto the landing platform,
slid across the seaweed-steel and tried to rip its oily sheets apart.
Loose panels were levered off and cogs and pistons wrenched
out. Buoyancy aids snapped over denim jeans and were thrown
overboard.
We were drawing the tide line with uneven lumps of black foam
and metal. But this machine was too strong and its structure
too solid. Realising that it could neither be destroyed nor
rebuilt, we left it, frustrated - a point of crisis between the
shoreline and the sea.

1. Can democracy be described by the image of a young man


gnawing off his thumbs and hiding them inside his handkerchief? What does he do when the stumps begin to bleed and
what happens when the appendages begin to rot?
Looking down at the red mess crawling across his palms, he
fails to grasp the significance of choice and vows never to choose
again.

Both Frankensteins monster and the clay Golem were manmade creatures of political order; they came into being as
authority comes into question, gradually and forcefully. In
each case however, the revolt that they represent turns brutal, and in the end it is the author who controls morality.

With misspelled words scratched into my forehead, I stagger


round the streets, trying not to strike up conversation.

CT-PROOFED.indd 48-49

2. In everything, I see you my love.

14/11/07 05:39:28

www.monkeygonetoheaven.co.uk
CT-PROOFED.indd 50-51

14/11/07 05:39:33

As dawn breaks I catch the night bus home

emoh sub thgin eht hctac I skaerb nwad sA

Stuart Robert MacDonald

dlanoDcaM treboR trautS

As dawn breaks I catch the night bus home

emoh sub thgin eht hctac I skaerb nwad sA

When old people are safe in their beds,


midnight anvils chime their dozen
and bat-blind drunks clop home,
just another Saturday night.

,sdeb rieht ni efas era elpoep dlo nehW


nezod rieht emihc slivna thgindim
,emoh polc sknurd dnilb-tab dna
.thgin yadrutaS rehtona tsuj

Salt and sauce lassoes my nostrils,


I trudge through the crossword
of differences were trying to work out,
vinegar answers on our tongue tips.

48 49

,slirtson ym seossal ecuas dna tlaS


drowssorc eht hguorht egdurt I
,tuo krow ot gniyrt erew secnereffid fo
.spit eugnot ruo no srewsna rageniv

Past the last parties drifting toward the cold sun tree
that grows in the dewy garden
my sober eye blinks tears of gin
as I mole my bleary way back to unwanted bliss.

eert nus dloc eht drawot gnitfird seitrap tsal eht tsaP
nedrag ywed eht ni sworg taht
nig fo sraet sknilb eye rebos ym
.ssilb detnawnu ot kcab yaw yraelb ym elom I sa

A black cab turns on a sixpence


and a couple climb into the mobile space
laughing at the end of a night
that belongs in their real life.

ecnepxis a no snrut bac kcalb A


ecaps elibom eht otni bmilc elpuoc a dna
thgin a fo dne eht ta gnihgual
.efil laer rieht ni sgnoleb taht

So I wind towards you


past closed shops and pubs stale snores,
lost in circles of care
further from the things were not saying.
But another drama,
nailed to the wooden electrics of my heart,
unfolds under marmalade streetlight,
a blushing dawn breaks..
and I catch the night bus
back to a place where belonging is easy.

CT-PROOFED.indd 52-53

uoy sdrawot dnew I oS


,serons elats sbup dna spohs desolc tsap
erac fo selcric ni tsol
.gniyas ton erew sgniht eht morf rehtruf
,amard rehtona tuB
,traeh ym fo scirtcele nedoow eht ot delian
,thgilteerts edalamram rednu sdlofnu
..skaerb nwad gnihsulb a
sub thgin eht hctac I dna
.ysae si gnignoleb erehw ecalp a ot kcab

14/11/07 05:39:34

Winter Blues
Graham Hardie
She stood silently by the bus stop;
parading and sensitive.
I looked out my frosty window
And the scene was still.
Caught by a fleeting memory
And stiffened by my resolve:
Now is the time to act or let go.

Mediterranean Diet
Norman Bissett
For lunch today,
I shall have
seeds, nuts, grain
and a carrot,
lightly drizzled in
virgin olive oil.
No meat products.
I confidently expect
to become immortal.

Broken Doll
Stewart Alister Mackay
Putrid after taste hung in her mouth
Like a stubborn bitch of a smell
Wishing for cleansing agent
The broken doll peers
Into the bathroom mirror
Given it away
Given it away
Like, easy come, easy go
Now, vodka and coke
Expound her fear
Of the twisted fabric
In her belly
Of the broken doll
Like, easy come
Easy go
The poor, broken doll
Has given it away

CT-PROOFED.indd 54-55

Arrhythmia
Stuart Robert MacDonald
silence rhymes with violence
but doesnt rhyme with suffer
suffer rhymes with tougher
but doesnt rhyme with fight
fight rhymes with might
but doesnt rhyme with fist
fist rhymes with pissed
but doesnt rhyme with blame
blame rhymes with shame
but doesnt rhyme with domestic
domestic rhymes with majestic
but doesnt rhyme with bliss
bliss rhymes with kiss
but doesnt rhyme with smacker
smacker rhymes with attacker
but doesnt rhyme with heart
heart rhymes with apart
but doesnt rhyme with far
far rhymes with star
but doesnt rhyme with shining
shining rhymes with pining
but doesnt rhyme with lonesome
lonesome rhymes with lose some
and almost rhymes with winsome.

Nailed
C. MacLaverty
Madonnas toenails were for sale on e-bay:
A slither of her gene code for the right bid.
Mine skit into the empty bath
as I nudge the nail clippers
from smallest to big toe,
marvelling at renewal,
wishing that illness
could be so easily
splintered
and
clipped
but these off-white, keratin apostrophes
will always define whats mine.
And yet, there are days when I do not mind.

14/11/07 05:39:34

Goodbye Starsky and Hutch


C. MacLaverty
Over two decades on, brother,
and I still cant understand the force
that caused me to rejoice
when you crashed
your Starsky and Hutch car
into the River Thames.
On our family holiday
you drove it on every available
formica topped table;
letting it fly over turn-styles on the tube;
your young cheeks puffed out with sound effects.
Taut on tip toes, chin skywards,
you chase a circumference too far,
and plastic wheels skid,
with the thinnest of clatters
from the concrete edge
of Westminster bridge
Your cry rises like a siren your mouth slung open
with slevered grief.
Oh the easiest of triumphs!
White stripe on red
tumbling in silent slow motion
to the muddy riverbed.
Your tears render you oblivious
but a single glance is
all my sister and I need exchange
to know she feels the same.

Mad Cow
C. MacLaverty
Helena Henderson had man-sized feet
and in her grey school uniform, she stood
tall as her mum, who taught History,
pensive as her dad, the Deputy Head.
She chewed her lip,
tugged at her ginger fringe
and no one bothered to call her names
but we liked to shake our heads
at her incomprehensible
vegetarianism
and laugh when polo mints were declined
because they contained bovine glycerine.
Only she and I took German:
once she came to my house
and tapped her tug boat shoes
to my home-taped cassette
of Nenas Neun und neunzig Luftballon.
She got a C and I got a B.
If we were ever to meet again
I suspect wed tread carefully
then maybe laugh and agree
that she was never the mad cow
she was made out to be.

Well buy you another one, son. Another one.


Our mother soothes and coos around you.
Sniffing, you wipe your blotchy eyes
and breathe deep from your skinny torso,
comforted and calmed.
Not another one. Dont buy him another one.

CT-PROOFED.indd 56-57

14/11/07 05:39:34

Supermarketing
C. MacLaverty

Free out of town parking:


an added bonus
for those of you
with cars.
Come,
glide in-store
on a raft of
bread-scented,
warm air.

on the canal
Tom McCulloch
on the line of grey horizon
a man walks
and is followed by others,
like a scene from Bergman
our boat creates no wash
it seems,
and there are no footprints
on water
just dissolving waves
lamented by the
call of the coot,
the honk of the moorhen

54 55

the scale that measures


water is light,
it starts the cold engine,
ties the tow-path moorings
in this limbo
I cannot believe war,
cannot see death in the reeds,
do not even feel guilt
to be a boat with no wash,
to have eyes that
only see rain
patter chocolate water
maybe at this speed
there is more sense,
more detail,
maybe I am one delusion more
the canal is a route
to the impossible past,
with that I understand
with that I close my eyes.

CT-PROOFED.indd 58-59

Weve got it all3 for 2


2 for 1
Multi-save, Mega-save,
Buy 1 Get 1 free.
12 battery eggs for the price of 6!
(just dont tell the hens,
they might cry foul and peck off
their own feet).
All our meat is
BSE and E-coli Free.
Our farmyard friends
have kindly agreed
to mega dose anti-biotics
in their feed.
(Read the small printWe provide no full guarantee.)
Here to Serve,
Happy to Help;
Our pineapples, mangos and blue berries
have added, invisible pesticides.
Our Fungicides are free!
(No proven health risks allegedly)
Aisles of sweets and crisps and caked-up treats;
Sugar free with added sweetener,
Flavourings, colourings,
Hydrogenated vegetable fats,
Mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated.
Weve got what it takes to saturate you.
(See token: 10 % off
if you spend 100 or more
on your next visit).
Come back soon
to our recently opened Mega Store
Where you know the Price is Always Right.
Its just the cost we wont mention.
(24 hour opening for your convenience).

14/11/07 05:39:34

CT-PROOFED.indd 60-61

all nonsense of course,


the clouds tumble into laughter,
a parody of conceit

snow puff
billowing with my jokes,
purple cirrus my frown

read

perhaps myself
writ large,
the space trails my tales

who is forming who,


the clouds me,
or me them?

to

my eyes move from


white brilliance
to the quiver of a dandelion

gulls wheel,
like black motes in a vast
blue petri-dish

beyond the power lines


clouds shift

Tom McCulloch

how

the
clouds

14/11/07 05:39:35

The

Elephant

and

the

Hen

in

Gods

Court

Simon Pondelet
Very early one day, the Elephant came to visit God.
He was visibly angry, so God asked him:
Elephant, what is your problem?
The Elephant answered:
It is the Hen. You are not a just God. Why should the Hen be able to have ten to fifteen chickens at one time when I have only one
after twenty- two months. I think that you will agree with me, that is not just!!
God agreed to examine the complaint of the Elephant on a Saturday in court.
In order to give the Elephant and the Hen enough time to prepare for the court on Saturday, they had to accept seperate sleeping
places given to them on the previous Friday evening by God.
The Elephant was offered a large banana plantation while the Hen had to accept a small room with a small quantity of rice in it.
When the court was convened on Saturday morning with all witnesses gathered, God took them to the place where the Elephant
had slept the night before. They were all astonished to see that the Elephant had eaten up everything. In the room where the Hen
had passed the night, the witnesses found that only a small quantity of the rice had been eaten up by the Hen.
In His judgement God said that because the Elephant can eat in such large quantity, that is why she must wait as long as twenty- two
months to have a baby. While the Hen gets her chickens in shorter intervals because she eats so little at a time and the Hen is also
food for human consumption.
SO ONE CAN SAY: GOD IS JUST

CT-PROOFED.indd 62-63

14/11/07 05:39:35

MacAnimal
Farm
Jim Steel

Boxer came clattering


around the corner and
skidded to a breathless
halt on the cobblestones in front of the
only other animal that
happened to be in the
farmyard at this time
of day. It was his friend,
the donkey.
Crivens! said Benjamin. Whits up wi
you?
Its the pigs, said
Boxer, puffing heavily.
Theyve gone and sold
us to Mr Pilkington!
Calm doon, lad. What
dye mean, Sold us?
asked Benjamin.
Us! shouted Boxer,
stamping a hoof on
the ground for emphasis. Us! The land, the
buildings, the animals,
everything! The two
farms are to be amalgamated!
Thats the end o us,
then, said Benjamin.
His ears seemed to
droop down even further than normal
The two friends stared
gloomily in silence at
the hills beyond the
barn for a while.
Ach, well, said Benjamin, Thats that,
then. Fancy a dram?
Aye, why not? replied
Boxer.
END

CT-PROOFED.indd 64-65

14/11/07 05:39:36

The Woman
Kenneth Steven
He throw the television out of the window because he didnt like the weather forecast. It was strange to see the tall, thin woman still
pointing out thunderstorms and floods as she fell inside her box from the fourth floor to the third. It was strange she was so
relaxed about that long journey to the ground, when the boom came and she splintered into millions of bits of glass.

The Horses
Kenneth Steven
In the maroon nights of early June in Paris he remembered hearing the bell from the abattoir. Two oclock in the morning. He
got used to waiting for it, went over to the window and looked out at the backs of the horses as they flowed down the lane in one
single river of manes, their hooves striking fire sometimes on the cobbles. He could smell them; the hot, dark thickness of their
backs that was almost sweet and full of sweat. Sometimes someone else leaned out of a window on the other side a black silhouette
against the lemon coloured light of a bedroom and he wondered who it might be. He would lie awake all night thinking who it
was and wondering if they could speak to each other, speak across the street for they shared the same horses.

The Maps
Kenneth Steven
In the old city that smelled if pigeons and dank wood and rain, at the bottom of a narrow lane that never seemed sunlit, was a shop
that sold nothing but maps. The man who owned it sold maps to the tourists who passed that way, for the city was a tumble of
alleyways and bridges and secret basements. He painted the maps by hand on cloth, meticulously, and no two of them were ever
the same. Each one of them was different.

CT-PROOFED.indd 66-67

14/11/07 05:39:36

Russian Dolls
John Wilman

The man they called Dopey


(though not to his face) was a
complex character. Although
he took pride in his work and
believed in it passionately, he
kept his home life separate
what his wife and children
didnt know couldnt harm
them. That was one of the
rules: family were sacrosanct.
Da, can you help me with my
homework?
I will do that thing for you, if
you help me here in the
kitchen your ma is at her
yoga class tonight.
What are we having?
Good Irish stew. You can
chop the carrots; theyre
already washed. Tops and tails
go on the compost heap, so
put them in that old over
there. Now, whats this homework that youre struggling
with? Mathematics? Religion?
Naw, history. Were doing the
collapse of Communist Russia.
And they call that history!
Current affairs more like.
History should be ancient
stuff, with the participants all
dead and buried. Still, what
can I be doing for you?
Well, apparently Churchill
described Russia as enigma

CT-PROOFED.indd 68-69

wrapped in a mystery. Something like that anyway.


Your man should know. After
the Great War, World War One
to you, he tried to invade it, to
crush the revolutionary government. He backed the White
Army, the old aristos and the
tartans and the mercenaries.
But he failed, just as Napoleon
and Hitler failed it was the
Red Army who one that one. If
history teaches us anything, it is
that invading Russia is a bad
idea.
And your Mr Churchill, he was
out of power and office for a
long time after that. He called
it his wilderness years.
The teacher, she told us to
think about those Russian dolls
the ones that nest inside each
other, but all look the same.
Not always. Your Ma has a set,
you know, away up in the attic,
all of different saints. Have a
good look at them sometime.
Are you done with those carrots? Put them in the pan with
salted water. Now look at this
onion I am peeling and slicing.
What would happen if I carried
on and on peeling it, because I
didnt like the look if the outside?
That would be silly. Youd end
up throwing the whole thing

on the compost heap. And


One day, when youre grown
youd have nothing but tears
up, Ill maybe tell you what I
for your trouble.
did in the war our war.
Very well put Suzanna, well
But would he ever tell her?
make a poet out of you yet. The
Three kills to his credit, all of
Russians are great poets, you
them clean. And now the provknow, just like the Irish. And
ince was at peace, supposedly,
they are drinkers of vodka and
and he retired. Had it all been
players of chess, but we put that
worth it? Had he even been on
down to the long Russian win- the right side? Not that he had
ters. Your Grandad went to
ever had any choice in the matMoscow once, not long before
ter. You were born Catholic;
he died, to see Spassky play
you died Catholic. If the IRA
Petrosian for the world Cham- came calling in the seventies,
pionship, in the Hall of Col- you did as they said or you died
umns. Petrosian was actually
before your time.
from Armenia, which is an
independent country now. How is that stew coming on?
Peasant folk they mainly are, Ive sealed the mutton youll
though good Christians. find the stock in the fridge.
Spassky was the younger man
Back to your wee exercise book
and a fearful attacker in those
now, and take it off the table.
days he won the match, any- Your Ma will be in soon. And
way.
remember, no talking politics
So, was my grandfather a Rus- over tea. Your uncle Grumpy is
sian? Do I have the Russian
some kind of Bolshevik, if you
soul?
ask me.
He was half Russian. Your
Suzanna gave him an old-fashgrannys mother was a Scottish
ioned look.
lassie from Ullapool who wed a Hes called Ben, Da, and hes a
Russian sailor during the last
charmer. Why do you call him
war. He was on the Artic con- Grumpy?
voys dangerous and difficult
Calum shrugged. There had
work.
been seven of them, before
But this is real history Da your
Doc stopped an army bullet in
making it interesting.
the Falls Road.
Were all part of history, Suzy. Somebody had to be Grumpy.

14/11/07 05:39:36

Marooned
Jim Carruth
In the other corner of the bar
Captain Jack has a berth
Sporting his matted beard
Eye patch and blue chunky knit

He recounts tales of sea voyages


If its your round, which it always is,
Circumnavigating the world
With you as a passenger
From his first as a stowaway
On a liner out of Greenock
Visiting the South Sea islands
The Great Barrier Reef

denooraM
hturraC miJ
rab eht fo renroc rehto eht nI
htreb a sah kcaJ niatpaC
draeb dettam sih gnitropS
tink yknuhc eulb dna hctap eyE

segayov aes fo selat stnuocer eH


,si syawla ti hcihw ,dnuor ruoy sti fI
dlrow eht gnitagivanmucriC
regnessap a sa uoy htiW
yawawots a sa tsrfi sih morF
kconeerG fo tuo renil a nO
sdnalsi aeS htuoS eht gnitisiV
feeR reirraB taerG ehT

66 67
Bombay, Bali and Madagascar
New lands described in a skin colour

racsagadaM dna ilaB ,yabmoB


ruoloc niks a ni debircsed sdnal weN

And a local dish which will roast your arse.


Shore leave a succession of bar room brawls

.esra ruoy tsaor lliw hcihw hsid lacol a dnA


slwarb moor rab fo noisseccus a evael erohS

Quay side whores and gangster pimps


In those days penicillin was my first mate
If you let him name his poison one more time
He will move on to talk of mutinies and pirates

Though rum gives him heart burn


For in truth he is a red biddy man
His closed eye a welders spark from the yards
His Cal Mac sweater a gift from a cousin
His trademark sea shanty sway
The gait of a high rise dweller.

CT-PROOFED.indd 70-71

spmip retsgnag dna serohw edis yauQ


etam tsrfi ym saw nillicinep syad esoht nI
emit erom eno nosiop sih eman mih tel uoy fI
setarip dna seinitum fo klat ot no evom lliw eH

nrub traeh mih sevig mur hguohT


nam yddib der a si eh hturt ni roF
sdray eht morf kraps sredlew a eye desolc siH
nisuoc a morf tfig a retaews caM laC siH
yaws ytnahs aes kramedart siH
.rellewd esir hgih a fo tiag ehT

14/11/07 05:39:37

Intimate Twilight
Graham Fultion
By the island
We stop and stare.
Water glazing
In the sunlight;
a transparent orange.
A fish
Leaps through
And passed the rocks.
We hold hands
And make a smile:
God made this moment.
I have few words
For you, but everything
I feel is embedded
In this tranquil place.

Ledger
William Gault Bonar
If a ledger is someone
who lives on a ledge,
most of us are ledgers.
Bickering, competing
like nesting seabirds
for our bit of space
or someone elses,
straining to reach ever higher
so we can shite
on those below,
we are shite-hawks
vomiting fish stink
soaring on democratic
wind
aiming from safe heights
at our line drawn in the sand
defying high tide.

CT-PROOFED.indd 72-73

A fishing boat
Hides behind
The harbour wall,
And dolphins parade
Along the seashore.
If I loved you,
I would tell you now.
The tide slowly sinks
Into the tethered mist
And I wish
For my life as it was.
Waves slip and glide
As fresh as the wind
Coating our faces.
Restoration is complete
And I find solace
In your heartbeat.
We leave, touching
The intimate twilight.

14/11/07 05:39:38

Old man on a swing


Jim Carruth
Each day he comes to the park
dressed like a child
in wellingtons, scarf and hat
happy to escape the home
for half an hour.

CT-PROOFED.indd 74-75

On the bench
beyond the roundabout
his carer lights up,
flicks ash at passing children
circling like doves.

He wants movement
but will not ask
to be pushed by her:
he is not crazy, not deaf,
his memories are not vacant stares.

He struggles to relive:
wind rush in ears and lungs;
rib cage ache and scream;
the youth that flew
above the trees.

Though his worn mittens


grasp the hanging links
and his stiff legs lift from the ground
he coaxes only a gentle rock,
a lullaby of rusted whine.

Closing his eyes,


he feels his journeys progress,
chants: a little higher, a little higher;
dreams of planting his feet
once more in the sky.

14/11/07 05:39:38

fin

CT-PROOFED.indd 76-77

14/11/07 05:39:39