Showing posts from November, 2011

The Sunday Post.

The Spell Chequer.

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh. As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It's rare lea ever wrong. Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
It's letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
Martha Snow.

Dear Santa......

Dear Santa,

Are you the good guy we think you are?

 Sure, Christmas is great and all that - but are you really the benevolent character we all take you for? You certainly have some incredible housebreaking skills and all this do-goodery is a great cover story for some good old-fashioned burglary or a multitude of other nefarious activities. Your P.R. skills are also certainly up there with the best considering we spend so much time and effort these days telling our children to avoid strangers except in safe environments like school. Heck we’ve even turned our schools into virtual mini-prisons to keep out unsafe adults – an example of creating anxiety in our kids where there is almost no risk - yet we happily tell them that you will come into their bedrooms at night and leave them presents – if they’ve been good. We even tell them not to be afraid if they wake up hearing someone in their room and that they should just pretend to be asleep and not to look at you { that’ll work very heav…

A Fair and Balanced View.

An essential fair and balanced view
I'm becoming more than a little unhappy with the BBC. It seems more and more obvious lately that the powers that be within what is supposedly an independent, objective news organisation are aligning themselves more and more closely to the established government line, to the detriment of fair and balanced reporting.

For several months I have been annoyed by the political discussion show "Question Time" chaired by David Dimbleby. The panels are increasingly weighted on the side of government argument with one Cabinet minister, one Tory MP, one LibDem MP and as often as not a celebrity supporter of Conservative policy with a token Labour voice or independent panellist. On top of that I feel that Mr Dimbleby's chairing leaves much to be desired when it comes to objectivity and the ability to provide a fair and open discussion. Often he will question the antiestablishment voice on the panel again and again in supposed "clarificati…

The Sunday Post

Cockburnspath, Scottish Borders

I'm waiting for the moment when the train crosses the border and home creeps closer at seventy miles an hour.
I dismissed the last four days
and their friendly strangers
into the past
that grows bigger every minute.

The train sounds urgent as I am,
it says home and home and home.
I light a cigarette
and sit smiling in the corner.

Scotland, I rush towards you
into my future that,
every minute,
grows smaller and smaller.

 Norman MacCaig.January 1989.

Remembrance Day - A Poem for the Boys

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - an Excellent Film

A poem for Remembrance Day.


Lie in the dark and listen,
It's clear tonight so they're flying high
Hundreds of them, thousands perhaps,
Riding the icy, moonlight sky.
Men, materials, bombs and maps
Altimeters and guns and charts
Coffee, sandwiches, fleece-lined boots
Bones and muscles and minds and hearts
English saplings with English roots
Deep in the earth they've left below
Lie in the dark and let them go
Lie in the dark and listen.
Lie in the dark and listen

They're going over in waves and waves
High above villages, hills and streams
Country churches and little graves
And little citizen's worried dreams.
Very soon they'll have reached the sea
And far below them will lie the bays
And coves and sands where they used to be
Taken for summer holidays.
Lie in the dark and let them go
Lie in the dark and listen.

Lie in the dark and listen

Old Dogs. New Tricks

Having worked for a company for 32 years I was made redundant in 2009. Hurt and angry at the time I proved they failed to fairly apply company selection procedures during the process and won damages from them. At the time I was confident about the future. We had good insurance cover to protect us financially and I had many years of experience working for one of the UK's most respected companies in an area which was both high pressured and had many transferable applications for the skills I used. Things were getting tough in the job market but I was convinced I would be back in a job in a fairly short time. I had bags of experience, bags of drive and lots of technical skills. I wanted to work. I wasn't one of those workshy wasters who would live off benefits. The next few months carefully removed all of my conceits. Not only didn't I get a job, I didn't get any interviews either despite applying for hundreds of jobs. 

The introduction to benefits through jobseekers all…

The Sunday Post.

Wanting to go,
all the leaves want to go though they have achieved their kingly robes.

Weary of colours,
they think of black earth,
they think of
white snow.

 Stealthily, delicately as a safe breaker
they unlock themselves
from branches.

And from their Royal Towers
they sift silently down
to become part of
the proletariat of mud.

Norman MacCaig.
September 1982

photo: Alet Les Baines, Languedoc, France by Alistair.