Backwards and forwards learning

Backwards and forwards learning contributes to who I am.

Neither the microscope nor the telescope quite help me in the focus with which I wish to see.

Backwards and forwards learning contributes to who I am.

We live between the microscope and telescope.




If only I could soar like an eagle
to see the world as I cannot.

I am a magpie in black and white,
in flight through clouds,
seeking colour.

I am nosy, restless, noisy, bothered by life.
I pick up the pieces.



Beat the drum, Fly the night, Catch a star

Frost hit Tillybin and froze the night.
Bitingly cold and startlingly clear.
A night that stirred the soul
A night of Spectacle Sight.

Midnight came rhythmically
Andrew beating his drum:
Sian said ‘time to go!’

The windscreen iced over in anticipant celebration
hands that felt no cold rubbed hurriedly
a telescope to the soul.

The car coughed to life
The farm track bumped and hurdled
– as if urging.

Count the gaps: count the rhythm –
Faster: No time to waste!
Fly the pot-holes
Peer the telescope!

Gosh – what’s that? A jewel. A wonder. A spectacle sight.
Hale-bopp: such Brightness.

Beat the drum, fly the night, catch a star

and Hale-Bopp reigns its brightest!

Peter and Sian
Now ‘mum & dad’

Fingers that could not dial
Lips that could not speak
‘we have a boy… a lovely boy’
Beat the drum, Fly the night, Catch a star!



Beyont Mizzerment!
Speeshal folk – Deeside loons
The like weel nae see agin
Hunners of years auld, hunners.
Aye speeshal loons – beyont mizzerment!

The ancient Dallyfour lived
a hunner and twenty-sax year –
wud ye believe it?
An berit in Glenmuick
Wi the dates 1596 tae 1722 on his stane:

Betwixt his cradle an his grave
John Mitchell of Dallyfour
behelt saiven monarchs and twa kings
an the union o’ the Croons.

The ancient Dubrach lived
a hunner and ten year –
aye wud ye believe it?
He carrit Dumfoonert’s name – Peter;
And Granted Auchindryne.



Chipped Tooth

The administrator now the

Pulse-oximeter sirens a frenzied fear,
friendly faces pace in busyness managing
checklists to the unknown.

Man-made epilepsy in-a-box.

Temples numbing – signify it is done.
Tooth is chipped.



Din-raisin wi’ Donald.

Tarbrax by the high road tae Forfar
Donald Mcpherson far fae Bovagli’s hamely braes.
Black bothies left ahind, aiver speerited in saicret. Aye!
Girnoc garrons twinty each – wi’ ankers twa abreast:
the toonkeeper wimmen left oot.
Speerits heich (tcaach ….fit a tirravee!)
Loshtie aye, dwam fou!

The-gaither, time-servin’ smugglers:
Donald Mcpherson – oor seerious scoondrel;
James Gordon – aiver richteous;
an’ John Gall – oonprencipilt mebbe,
yet surely mair of a dweem than a dwam:
loshtie aye!

Donald Mcpherson befuskert high on baith chaffs,
aye rugged cheekit – bricht red oondernaith.
Jorum at the ready the-gaither wi the Gordons: James an’ Peter
…. an nae doot, yit mair of that inextricable tribe!
Aye nae doot!

James Gordon an Abergeeldie loon – of sorts!!
Gamekeeper to David Gordon, Esquire of Abergeeldie.
Friend of genteelity maybe but
naiver to be mizzered in mainners:
Loshtie nae!

John Gall grand-maister o’ the bothies,
brither tae the Girnoc.

Sundoon at his Tarbrax sheilin –
a saicret tryst oonder yonder roddin-tree.
Feckless wi’ a fleerish:
Loshtie aye!

Twa gaugers biding their time,
hodden in-by the Tarbrex Tollbar:
Mr Tawse an’ Mr Rose, aiver-sae wullin in the law.
1824: Excisemen noo wi’ clout!
Aye Parliament had seen to that!

Dragoon guards hauled-in at the ready:
At the ready –oh loshtie aye!

Anither Gordon caa’d Peter, a Camlet loon,
rode auld ‘yella,’ sae many hans in hicht –
a strappin horse speeshal tae the Girnoc:
wi braith snortin’ ready,
yet his maister, Peter wis grippet wi’ doot.
Aye grippet.

The others,
‘to the number of nine or mair’
shared that nervishness –
but plied theirsels’ wi’ ther ain coontraband:
aye, fou an fleein’ tae loosen that fear!
Bit not oor Donald, fa he wis high-heedit,
an seemingly baithered by nout –
not aiven a fearsom rainstorm risen michty faist
wid brak his smugglers course!

Michty me he wis blin tae danger –
Michty aye!

Through the spleeter of weet,
an jist ootside the Tollbar,
Tawse an’ Rose, officers aff the Excise,
wi’ their troop aff ‘Dragoon Guards’
withoot warning, made tae apprehend –
but in-turn were veeshusly attacked themsels.
Veeshusly aye!

Donald McPherson ‘threatened tae
‘blow ther brains oot if they laid violent hands upon them’
an to run auld Tawse-the-Excise
‘throo the body wi’ a pitch fork’
by noo Donald wis joined by the Gordons who a’ the-gaither
started to throw ‘large stanes’
at roon-shoodert an’ wrunkelt Rose.

Aye nae sympathy wis extended
tae the hunchie-bacit an’ fastidious Rose

All this wis witnessed by a young loon
James Gordon age 6 years
His faither Peter, picked him up
an in a flash young James escaped on ‘yella’
back to the Gordons – bit not tae the Girnoc
fa’ that wisnae safe.

Michty No.

Sorrafu’ an wi’ ther tails atween ther legs,
brocht them tae Kincardine o’ Neil –
in the stable Inn –
‘130 gallons of illicit distilled spirits’ wir stacked up high
an horses wer’ at the ready for a second pairty ….
ye can imagine can’t ye – loshtie aye:
for they ‘were at the time takin’ refreshment.’
Takin refreshment – michty aye.
fit a stramash!

ye stramash an’ styterin fou!

An noo The Excise stepped fore:
an all were caught din-raisin.

Shamed Donald McPherson tak flit tae Angus
he never returned tae the Girnoc.

Soon aifter the Girnoc emptied like a quaich!
Ye see ther wis no choice in changin times.
Fitprints aff shame,

an the end of a way of life. Aye.

Din-raisin wi’ Donald.
Loshtie Aye!!



“I’d Buy you that!”

Too many days have past,
from the days of
the burningly bright eyes of our
innocent and wondrous boy.

As simple as the loss of money!
Not the important stuff.

Andrew, if it were so simple!
I’d buy you no money.
at any price.



Kitty Rankin’s hairt beat

Aye Deeside fowk wir feart o’ Kate
she had that weasel way
an she was thocht tae be a witch.

Wan day Kate tak coonsel of Abergeeldy
the Laird wis cavorting or so
she saw – a weasel way ah richt!

Kate cast oot her spell, stirrin’ the soup,
an the Laird
wis droont.
Fowk kent a’ too weel it
wis Kate.

Fit a weasel way. Aye fit!

Poor Kate she was chained
in the ‘Geeldy cellar
– her hairt beat faster
an brocht oot intae the licht
she cooered doon.

Craig nam Ban stood afore her
and the stake a tap.

Her hairt beat faster
– in a ‘weasel way’.

Marched up the hill
her hairt beat faster.
Until the flames a’ licked her.

Aye Deeside fowk wir feart o Kate!



Melt the Bear.

Castellated gallery of white
iron-cast pavilions – one atop another,
shine bright on a Scottish spring afternoon.

Clocks, rockets, asteroids,
mummies and totem poles;
fish circle the children, pennies circle the pool.

Whale bones suspended disbelieving
– no dinosaur stolen here!

Buttons to press; costumes to dress;
the Antonine Guard recruits a boy!

Peter could peer all from his board
secret in the attic of Chamber Street.

The polar Bear silent and sad. So sad.
he had saved the girl – us all.

Alive only in the mind.



Ode to Narrative.

Born backwards;
could sleep standing-up,
lived in a world upside-down.
silent as light.
grafted like a Scott;
found and loved Cimbrone.
Stars that shine now.
The doctor (under)standing on his head.



Finding Cimbrone

Junior doctors in love –
Peter smitten by eyes deep.
A faltering heart surged as you passed
in white-coat, green mini-skirt and in your pocket
the love-note secretly placed by Peter the night before.

A spoonful of sugar and
the Medicine was in Aberdeen.
Seaton Park gently traversed in a restful peace
– flowering the past, present and future.

Here Peter had his first magical kiss.
Striding on towards the dungeon. The Marischal.
Awaiting Dr Skene – bearded and sinister
punching one-fingered results with palpable sneer!

Indeed this was not yesterday, as Rachel would come to remind us:
Rosemount with cats and fur balls: curtains and croissants.
And ink scribed carefree the Jellicoe way
metamorphosing the romantic in Shute.

And the Autumn brought to us in rich arboreal watercolour:
Getting back to nature: ‘like the primitive man’.

Now is the time of the flowers:
Sentinels of Cimbrone stand tall
graceful in poise, reaching out:
touching the sky.
as newly weds.

And somehow carried back in the scent
through Drumdruills gate and its clipped box path:
leading to the sweetest of peas.

We found Cimbrone in each other.

At Inverewe the Rhoddies were rampant in care-free abandon
And Sissinghurst so alight in Euphorbic lime, but
not (for us) undone by the brilliance of the dazzling White Garden.

Back home, and northern-skied days:
buzzards danced overhead
and we trekked across the fields of Tillybin
down the oak-lined dyke, wandering with the snow-drops and aconites.
And later in the year
towards the castle –
where the philadelphus left us heady and the castle no more than body!

Tae Humbie we went:
Peter’s creative core had tugged.
and marvellously you held on.Wedding bells would chime and gold rings instantly lost
foretold that we would be together whatever.
love is far more than any symbol or precious gold



The Aultdrachty Rauchle.

Naebody mynds Aultdrachty noo,
though lood it rattles still.

Yet Aultdrachty’s watter wis’nae awas clear,
an it hods a muckle saicret.

Sae hearken, an hear the feech
o’ the packman, shepherd an the whisky smugglers.
An beyont the reevin win’
the toon-folk, michty-me,
brought forth their ceevil brolly –
Fit mare eesless cud there be!

Stapit foo’ wi dram he wis,
oor Packman on’t fairst erran –
oor hapless loon had’nae heed Aultdrachty’s rowt
on such a fearfu’ nicht.

The snaa it came ower the Moonth, a bin-drift,
like nane afore.
Poor loon, asleep aside Aultdrachty,
his lum still a reekin’ was berit.

Linvaig, wis the hame of McAndrew: anither mither’s loon –
lured by Aultdrachty’s cackle.
then risen fae a halla, a sleekit naisty beast,
seelenced by Aultdrachty it pounced.
Aye Aultdrachty saa it’ fearsome.

Aultdrachty’s rauchle had a’ thirst that widnae slack.
Half a’ doozen smugglers naixt tae the slauchter,
theer bellies reed-het wi’ watter distillate,
jeelous Aultdrachty cud’nae hae that!

Aye the watter wis nae awas clear.

An then Aultdrachty reeled its maist keerious,
the hapless, stupit toon-folk,
the umberella makkers:
fit an’ earth tak them tae Aultdrachty, nane will ken,
nane but Aultdrachty.

Fit a spleeter o’ weet,
A shooer like nane
eesless brollies, blan in-bye-oot,
sae they huddled by Aultdrachty.

The watter it fell oot fae the heeven fur days, an nichts,
an fullt the quaich o’ Aultdrachty welt beyont the brim,
Ceevil folk, wi brollies, had nae chance.

That’s how lood wis Aultdrachty’s rattle
an sae its keerious tae think
the glen it ken’t has lang since ceased to roar.



The Dumfoonert Loon

There’s Naebody noo in the glen – lang since dwine’t awa.
Dwine’t awa an deid.

Littlins lachter, sing-sang, chirm and diddle
As sailent noo as the shuttered plaid o’ Bovagli’.
An the reevin win nae langer cairit the waxin’ lyrical
o’ Camlet’s auld Minaister.

Aye noo the furtive brow belongs tae this dumfoonert loon:
raikin roond folk gan ah so lang –
an caa’d a’ the same as ane anither!

Noo wi’ Camlet ane cud dibber-dabber faireveer:
Aibergeeldie nae that’s fa sure – but fit loon?

Peter wis it yir namsak?
Ah, cud you be sure – I doot that!
Aye I doot that – they were inextricable – did ye nae oonerstan!
Surely no!!

Cud bleeter a’ day – jist like the Camlet folk a the’ day
Til the Sma stills smacked afrontit
an Girnoc touns drapped an rouped til a’ but scaitered rickles.
Left salient; but fa the wheeblin an fusperin of the hameward win!
Aye hameward.

The hieland Clearance ah richt –
Still Girnoc’s stamack wis wachty lang afore.
Dooble liveliheids: fairmers not jist.
Sleekit lums tae dodge the gauger:
An smuggle the naftie ooer the Mounth.

Pairliment’s Act. An Act oot-by anaither warld.
A deidly haimmer. Deidly.

A yellow horse – a gowden jewel shimmrin gainst Lochnagar
Wis the laird’s very own ye ken.
Then unexpectit the laird wis gan – jist drappit deid:
an tae The Camlet cam his shimmrin Stallion.
Fit chancy; nae but surely heeven pre-ordainit:
on the back of yellow, young James Gordon, a loon jist nine,
galloped awa fae the ragin’ gauger.

Anaither faimily had flit the Girnoc: fairever –

No time tae greet: the family.
The family of The Dumfoonert Loon.
The Gordons, aince inextricable, were gan.

A’ but ‘Red Donald’ – prodeegious o’ Bovaglie.
He fairmed wethers in the hunners & thoosands (an mair!)
Jist for the killin, an Balmoral
Cairtit doon the ‘Butcher’s Walk’ tae the Royal hoosehold:
fit they cad ‘The Mutton Larder.’

Nae wonder ‘Red Donald’ wis the Queen’s very ane flumgummer!

Donald’s drooth (it has been said) wis no for the watter:
Tummlers o’ the stonger stuff wis his stoorum!

Aye his fancy wis for a dram or two (an mair!) –
Donald used to tak his horse and cairt doon glen tae ‘The Inver.’
Aifter a guid nicht, stocious an greetin foo,
Donald wud shaky-doon in his cairt.
Aye his horse had seen it a’ afore!
Even blind-foldit, Donal’s horse cud tak him hame:
tae the sheltered plaid o Bovagli.

Wan day, twa loons wi noshun fa mischief –
unhitched Donal’s cairt wi auld prodeegious still in it –
aye sleepit foo’
an then hitched it back togaither – but not afore
first passing the shafts of the cairt throw the spars o’ Bovaglick’s gate!
The mischeevous anes hod in-by the plaid
An laughit seek, fan Donal deleerious, hootit:
“I doobt the diel himsel has been at work here the day!

Cameron The Factor – wis a sleekit man ah richt
oonder the coonsel aff Balmoral.

Aifter all, Girnoc had nae mair tae promise.
Folk had nae seengle penny atween them:
Days of dreeving beast gan –
Naftie outlawed –
An noo the Royal takover!
Fit an earth naixt!!

Aye, The Camlet – the hairt o’ the glen,
wis heavin it’s last sorrowfu’ beat.

Naisty deeds, or wis it mercy?
Anyhoo lang-heidit Cameron wis tae be
the Meesenger o daith tae a way of life:

Nae mair chirm
Nae mair diddle,
Nae mair Sing-sang,
Nae mair Littlins’ lachter.

There’s Naebody noo in the glen. Naebody.
Naebody but the dumfoonert loon.

At Bovagli’s door he sits aside an auld currant tree,
son-afore-the father.
Heevenly scent – speeritool yet waesome
Heid foo, an greet-hertit, o’ days gan by.

Aye Bovagli, oh so buitifool – lochnagar’s saicret jewel:
strikes melancohly an’ wonder in equal measure.

Beyont the shuttered sailience within
A stained enamel baith as ready to pour
as it surely wis on Donal’s last nicht.

Weavin in an oot the wuid – noo the preeserve of the deer:
yet aince that of the Gordon bairns.
Bitten aff by Bovaglick’s cald win
wi’ smallpox – such a loss of littlins.

Heeven scent o’ the bonniest quines.
Currant blossom.
An a loon dumfoonert.

Linvaig hame of the cherry blossom.
Wis tae be Girnoc’s very last tae flit.
Aince it wis fairmed by twa brothers Gordon – sons o’ The Camlet.

At Linvaig, look oot aboot ye, fae imaiginashun can easy conjur
Wolf McAndrew:
A mither’s loon lost tae the wild an raised by the pack.
At Aultdrachty, in the Muick, he cam back.
Aye he cam back!

Cud you believe it: at Linvaig lodged a huddle o’ umberella makkers
Fit in the Girnoc: Ceevil folk wi brollies!?
Fit mair eesless cud there be!!
Not even the dumfoonert loon
wid tak, a brolly, tae the Girnoc!

Mair keerious still:
Centuries of doodles writ upon an auld wooden Linvaig Flesher:
Doon tae the ditties signed by the twa Gordon brothers:
an remynders o’ bills;
sheep coontit –
An then this:

“Lost last night, Emma Gordon,
last seen going down the road with Fred Duncan’s clothes on.
A’body givin information on her whur-aboots will be rewarded.”

The dumfoonert loon has tae tip his cap to Emma.
An wi’ a guid smirk,
she tips him back wi Fred’s!

The Cosh – the halla an gate tae the Girnoc:
The Miller there wis auld Joseph: Joseph ‘the frugal.’
Anither Gordon, an anither son o’ Camlet!
Aye inextricable ah richt, fae Joseph, wud yae believit,
marrit his mither’s sister!

Auld Joseph wis a prood man, in an ancient year,
yet still trekked ooer the mounth tae Brechin ta visit his grandbairns.
In plaid, kilt and bunnet and wi twa staffs he set aff:
A striking auld man.
Takin his laist journey.

Auld Joseph started up the moontain track all alane
But some of his faimily followed him.
Aye Joseph wis proud, bit he wis auld and guy weak,
an they were feartit for him.
The way wis steep, an soon the snaa gaithered deep.
Joseph tak aff his ill fittin shoes to try an mak the gayin mair aisy,
an tied the shoes tae his staff.

Faimily followit auld Joseph aiver-mair closely
an cud see that he wis vairy tired an oonwell.
Aifter lodging in the snaa, his staff (tied wi his shoes)
he laid doon tae rest.
Ainly tae rise again an stagger on an on,
but fa shorter and shorter.
An shorter.

Nae ‘frugal’, that cannae be richt.
Joseph’s epitaph shud reflect the man on his laist journey.
Joseph: Joseph the cooragious. Joseph the thraan.

At Camlet, the dumfoonert loon drifts in ban oot:
Camlets bairns had such mixt fortunes ye ken.
Some remarkable an so warldly wise;
Cortachy Castle an Airlie too
Burnside, Springfield an even Priory!
Whilst aithers lost affrontit at the gaugers will,
or shamit, jist mebbe, thro a clandesteen birth
in the grounds of Abergeeldie.



The Great Conker Hunt!

Another year! Another year!
Excitement rises for those

The giant’s gentle green fingers clasp.
for Kinfaun’s spectacular
rival tae Walnut’s grove.

Boxes laden. Hands held,
feet skip,
purposefully collecting
for some mental feat or other.

Shiny inside pumpkins!



The Three Moustache Tree

At the head of Keir it sits
facing clockwork gyrations
of cars: numbers untold.

It beams a hidden sentinel
our custodian of mans’
faceless technology.

It stands tall as a cavalry officer saluting;
or as absurd as an upside-down clown on parade.
or Perhaps a classic screen Idol:
svelte, glossy and trimmed.

Its moustached face has ups, downs and in-betweens:
and a third of no soul.

No chlorophyll.
Yet it is strangely alive in the green
and beckons Doune and Dunblane.
home to an odd reassurance.



This is not yesterday

Indeed young Rachel, ‘this is not yesterday.’

And oh yes, and for that matter ‘It’s not the meantime now!’
For this is our moment.

Hale Bopp had brought the brightest gift to Aberdeen.
Two comets had blazed in-between
and then faded in the night sky,
but held still,
in our wonderful moment.

It was Aberdeen’s reevin win that brought us our millennium marvel.
Dark eyes brightening the nineteenth.

Hearts bursting with joy beneath.
Tears cradling a wonderful moment.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month
“over the stair she went, she went….
Heavily down the stairs
Binglety, banglety, bumplety
Down with apple & pears…”
That was how our dear soldier fell.
Stookied in sympathy with thoughts cast
always to dwell in the moment.

Yes, our dear soldier reached out to the lost
and brought them together again
in her kaleidoscope of showering comets
and one last glittering moment.



Moments together in time
Each and every drop, has dropped differently into the moment.

A moment cannot simply belong to a drop.

In this our wonderful, yet falling togetherness
our love is only equal to the moment
in the feeling and the fall.



The bed we made

We are neighbours and friends across a generation, and a fence.
Our houses, laid-out in a mirror opaquely stane:

The 1870’s fancy of Mr Cousin that infinitesimal builder,
built himself so fiery red.

It is long since our lost Cousin made his Victorian bed.

Seven years ago this summer, our neighbour’s wife died.
That spring, I recall seeing Elma at the door of her house
in the mirror of a doctor’s eye:
she could not walk.

Crawford, her husband, dear neighbour, had to support her.

My mirror was useless.
Elma had not broken her leg,
no longer proud of diagnosing little Ali’s break,
a tear – no more than manganese and gravity- fell
as neighbour told that his wife had cancer;
that she was hobbling to her Strathcarron bed.

That summer, Crawford arose every morning and dug,
a beautiful circular bed.
For Elma he filled it with roses.

For several years they were colourful and beautiful;
but the roses, in the shadow of Mossgrove life,

Not quite Ten Summers have since passed,
and ‘That Summer’ is still as real to me as the bed Crawford made.
So I raised my own summer bed, not to Elma, but to life.

Yesterday, from the mirror, I spotted Crawford digging – early yet again:
digging out the scraggy roses from Elma’s bed.

Today Crawford is sowing grass,
and now both our beds are made.




Granny is gone.
Her potty rusts and now leaks

The beech tree is ancient, but not near death.
The iron potty was once her doll’s.

Peter is here.
He is potty
and in his leaking, he reveals much iron mongered:
or is that ‘irony mongered’?

Candia’s father rearranged such.

Len you died ‘that summer’:
1940 so somersaultingly real to me.
Natural sciences still cannot hang upon such invisible
at least not revealingly.
The disappearance of appearance.




Known to none but Peter.
Nestles in a hill that carries a name that we forget why it was so called.

Our WORLD is here!
Natural sciences are backwards free
yet what is humanity
if not understood in its journey?



We have moved on

‘We have moved on’ (said doctor Knows Best)
didn’t you notice?!

Today we have targets, tooled by incentive,
and our patients are our numbered ‘partners’.
Betjeman has been realised:
not in poetry but in his warning:

we must ‘Release time to care’

Illness is our paradigm.
Though (of course) we only seek health!
But sadly, long since did guid Dr Osler ‘move on.’
and Today disorder is our norm.

‘Neuro-everything’ may seem necessary, but it is never sufficient:
unless we are no more than ‘our brains’?

And Peter’s principle is just that:
that evidence base matters
but cannot be sufficient amidst poverty of thought.

‘We have moved on’, and ‘we can be certain’:
said Dr Knows best:
history is ‘irrelevant’, and our social world ‘unreal’.

‘We have moved on’, and ‘we can be certain’:
of the boundary between ageing and illness.

And more certain still,
that we are (indeed) (today) more humane.

Dr Knows Best you are a marvel!
A neuroscientific wonder.

and we have moved on . . .



The shortness of life

Michael, yes, “life is short”:
So you will say what you like.

Life is short.

And there is little of enough time to mention identity.

You don’t want to be ‘told’
but like me, you ‘tell’ everyday:

In our own professional language (pathologically ‘complete’)
we typecast disorders more ‘real’ than any illness.

Michael, life is short
so we must remember
that we are not all ill.

Not at all.
but you know this.

I worry for you Michael
as you hate illness –
and that makes you angry.



The world lives in me (or am I backwards to think so?)

I am neither independent
nor simply dependent:
I am simply Peter that is somewhere
to be found within (and without)
my biology, physics and chemistry.

Every sceptic can agree on this
astonishing ‘scientific’ complexity!

Peter lives in a world far more than
that which is carried in words or indeed numbers

Perhaps our world
can never fully be understood:

DLROW or 12345?

Letters, numbers,
expressed backwards or forwards,
may always struggle with time as experienced.



Let us not calculate light
Sian saw a glimmer in me. I was dazzled by Sian

Glimmer or dazzle, dazzle or glimmer:
let us not calculate light!

Together, and only together,
Peter and Sian have wavelength




Agapanthus: natural, beautiful, reaching
sharing light, colour and presence.

A globe, a world, projecting tall into the clearest of skies.

Without Agapanthus I have no sky.



How foolish

To think that we can ‘capture’ the moment!
“Listen. Time passes. Listen”

Every moment has properties in physics, chemistry and biology
A togetherness that is lost without time and tense.

“Listen. Science. Listen”



Part of the conversation.

I could never be a leader,
I do not want to lead.
I just want to be part of the conversation.

I don’t want to be labelled,
I do not want to label.
I just want to be part of the conversation.

Such ‘antisyzygy’: is this my sensitivity or that of the world?
and for that matter, who “overwhelms” who?

I could never be a leader,
I do not want to lead.
I just want to be part of the conversation.






Prosody (when and now)
Syntax (arranged)
Grammar (not to be silly)
Punctuation (all in the timing)



Meet you at the statue in an hour

Thank you:
For meeting me (we are part of serendipity)
‘at the statue in an hour’
(more than serendipity)

Thank you:
For marrying me (we are part of serendipity)
We are arresting in our togetherness
(more than serendipity)

Thank you:
For being there for a temperamental artist
We are all scientists!
(more than serendipity)

Thank you:
For your beauty (beauty beyond serendipity)
I have no sky without Cimbrone

Thank you:
Our world together.



I need ethics because I am on my own
I can only see with my eyes.
I try to shift my stance.
I do not always see what others see

I need ethics because I am ordinary and extraordinary

I can only see with my own eyes
I try to shift my stance
I do not always see what others see

[and then there is feel]




It is both terrible (and not so terrible)
How much I forget

I feel more than I forget.
And sense more than I feel.




Not all that I can see is light
I will shift my stance to ‘see’
and to feel.

This matters to all of me.



being confident
is not ‘me’.
the lack of

is some sort of making



under our hedge:
a blue that
opens up to the world:

I know where love might be found.



Scottish Chapter Prize:

EGOs get in the way of life and land.

I was awarded every award
in my post-medical landscape.

But awards are not signs
to be posted on maps.
and I am not an architect of any landscape.

Let nature in.



“The subjective—objective divide”

Within and outwith I cannot find any ‘dividing’ line:
backwards, forwards, inside-out and wonderfully Humpty-Dumpty,
no presence is
ever knowingly




My mind is a garden

Gardens are transient arrangements
lost without the gardener.

In the lightest of winds
they sway
flickering in colour
part and apart


the moment
or the wonder of.

nature needs no capital,
nature has no singular,
nature cannot be arranged.

My mind is a garden of nature.




As schoolboy I was put in goals
Yet I could not catch.

Such play!
If only I could catch!

the goal is wide
If only I could catch!

I am schoolboy.



I mistook myself for a scientific label.

This is neither fact
nor expert advice:

I am an artist, a poet, and all that may be in-between.

This is neither fact
nor expert advice:

specialisms are making nonsense of sense.

and we are being divided.


I had a project as a small boy.
I would step into the real world of colour television,
where history is not so different to music.

But naturally, it’s impossible to be logical all the time,
so fuck that. Fuck normal.
It takes serious talent, to be as sensitive –
Imagination can melt iron bars.

The number of lives that enter our own is incalculable.
Why select just a certain few stories to define yourself?

Being with you is like being in this fantastic landscape.
H E R E is where we meet:
he looked at her, and she smiled.
she laughed her seventeen-year-old laugh –
colours upon colours.

We are all passing through it is just a question of how brightly –
that brief smile that afternoon.
The story began halfway through the lyrics of a song.



A Little Spartan

I am more little than Spartan.

I retreat from Market forces, Ego and Ivory Towers.

I do not attack, but vulnerably question.

Neither science nor art can divide Little Sparta.



Jeepers creepers

Jeepers creepers,

why on earth did you

fall in love





Words and numbers

Numbers matter!

But numbers alone cannot begin to reveal the actual experience of life [or any life lived]

The same is true of any language.




Please do not worry about any shortage of ideas,

reserve any worry [should you perhaps so worry]

to ideas



A D V I C E [as given by Mr Gordon Bennett]

Sell yersel’ Peter –
yer ideas are money!

Sell yersel’ Peter –
even if your ‘talent’ relies on yer vulnerability.

Sell yersel!

Naiver says Peter –
I am no brand to be piped across any ocean or galaxy –

we are tummy-buttons amongst the stars.




I struggle to measure:
half truths
half rights
half wrongs.

I struggle to measure:
half of what I say, and
half of what I do not say.

I struggle to measure:
words-halved and half of any world

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