This is a piece that has come straight from my sketch book. It is a drawing, a sketch, something not fully realised but I like the way it may or may not become something else. It comes from a walk when I took the photograph. My phone hummed in my pocket and I looked at it to discover I was being followed by a Russian man, on Twitter….. The final connection was a conversation about claimants and the benefits system.


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In a scrubby woodland of sycamore and thorns, the wind has smacked a punch right through his den of black plastic bags. He looks at the gaping hole, like a mouth of a ray filtering food, the way his mind sifts words to find ones that fit. Except today there are none. He turns to see the man still there. He thinks he might be Russian. He knows the sanctioning will not end.


Here are the opening lines to a new composition ‘Caravan’, the inspiration coming from a walk along the burn one particular day when I came across a torn up Christmas card on the verge. It read To Lisa and the wee man and I began to wonder who they were and why it had been ripped up. The other point of reference came from a wartime  story I was told about an old bakers van that had been buried in a garden and fitted out with bunk beds for the eight children for use as an air raid shelter. So here’s the opening to the piece and a drawing that goes with the composition….


On the edge of town

a bone black fineness of winter air

licks the salty rime at the lip of last tide.

Bridge pilings punctuate the slaked

slipped clay

sooking the river toward the sea….


Drumgeith bridge





Warm sun on our faces.


Warm sun on our faces

this February morning.


and thick ice on the pond.

Start work on the dry stane dyke

and the space where we will make a seat for Billy and Davey.

We were the only twa’ that smoked.

now its jist me.

New faces, old faces.

Foundation stones,

trying to make them fit.

We walked the ridge of the Sidlaws with a bottle of Guinness in hand.

Happy times.



A wren.

Mountains in the far north.

A picnic tea on the tarpaulin,

eating jammie dodgers in Daveys honour.

Warm sun on our faces.


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