Monthly Archives: August 2013

There is so much to celebrate

There is so much to celebrate
Life continues beyond the night
The smiles of all that surround
Echo the anticipation that lies ahead,
And joyful tunes are the soundtrack
That makes a path that draws life out of you
Of possibilities that reach the sunset
That slices the Earth and sky.

There is so much to celebrate
Friends provide the context
To the poetry of living
And giving, and sharing and crying
That keeps you leaning forward
Together with the giants
On whose shoulders you stand
Whose virtues carried you here.

The child blows out the birthday cake
With no problems between his ears
The friends, the parents, the relations, the acquaintances
The joy, the music, the context, the security, the mystery, his God…
Gives much for the child to celebrate.


Song for Frank Turner

Frank Turner says there is no God
There is no source a great love
Frank Turner says we only die
Then turns around and says don’t cry

Frank Turner’s version of the good news
There is no God so there’s nothing to lose
We can save ourselves this is what to believe
Goodness is something we all can achieve

But if there is no Jesus
There is no source of truth
And of there is no Saviour
There’s nothing but bad news
And if there is no Calvary
We get what we deserve
If there is no devil
Then who is doing his work

Frank needs to see who God really is
That He is love who conquored sin
That God doesn’t want him on the hell bus
But that Jesus came to save us

Man’s wars started in God’s name
Is why He said don’t take His name in vain
Just because His name they have used
Don’t judge a thing by its abuse

Cos there is a God
Lets clap our hands together
There is a God
Who saves sleeping souls from hell
Cos there is a God
Lets clap our hands together
There is a God
Lets ring that victory bell.

A song in response to “Glory Hallelujah” by Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Brothers and sisters, have you heard the news?
The storm has lifted and there’s nothing to lose
So swap your confirmation for your dancing shoes
Because there never was no God

Step out of the darkness and on to the streets
Forget about the fast, let’s have a carnival feast
Raise up your lowered head and hear the liberation beat
Because there never was no God

And there is no God so clap your hands together
There is no God, no heaven and no hell
For there is no God, we’re all in this together
There is no God so ring that victory bell

No cowering in the dark before some overbearing priest
No waiting until we die, until we restitute the meek
No blaming all our failings on imaginary beast
Because there never was no God

No fighting over land your distant fathers told you of
No spilling blood for those who never spread a drop of love
No finger pointing justified by phantoms up above
Because there never was no God

There is no God so clap your hands together
And there is no God, no heaven and no hell
There is no God, we’re all in this together
There is no God so ring that victory bell

I know you’re scared of dying, man and I am too
But just pretending it’s not happening isn’t gonna see us through
If we accept that there’s an end game and we haven’t got much time
Then in the here and now that we can try and do things right

We’d be our own salvation army and together we believe
In all the wondrous things that mere mortals can achieve

Well, I’ve known beauty in the stillness of cathedrals in the day
I’ve sung ‘Glory Hallelujah’, won’t you wash my sins away?
But now I’m singing my refrain and this is what I say
I say there never was no God

There is no God so clap your hands together
There is no God, no heaven and no hell
But there is no God, we’re all in this together
There is no God so ring that victory bell
One more time

There is no God so clap your hands together
There is no God, no heaven and no hell
But there is no God, we’re all in this together
There is no God so ring that victory bell

Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”

1 Thessalonians 4:14 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”

Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

1 Corinthians 15:51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,”

1 Thessalonians 5:6 “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

Slow as a bullet

Newtonmore versus Kingussie
The “Old firm” derby again
On “The Dell”
Play like hell
Five pound ticket’s a good spend.

BBC Alba send their team
For this is the Highland game
Men play tough
Crowd plays rough
160 years the same

Game starts at 1000 miles an hour
Ball fizzes through the air
Knees of red
Bloodied heads
Goalie stop it if you dare.

The ball is hit higher than the mountains
This is an Ariel game
Slow as a bullet
Don’t even hook it
These players who entertain.

Where the deer’s antlers hang on the wall
And the caman is the weapon
Fields muddy
Skilful keepy-uppy
With only their jersey as protection.

The highland backdrop is a painting
For athletes who like to play risky
Clannish pride
Play side-by-side
That’s a hundred square yards of Shinty.

Shinty 1

Shinty 2

Shinty 3

Note: “keepy-uppy” is when the player runs with the ball on the end of his caman (stick)

shinty uppy

Fish ‘n’ Chips on the Isle of Skye

Fish and chips on the Isle of Skye
At eight PM when the sun is still high,
With friendly midgies and the coffee hot
Where the Chips are greasy but the fish is not.

The opaque moon says “look at me”
Above the bright blue shiny sea,
The fluffy pillows hang in the air
While the Spannish tourists sigh and stare.

The little boats give you a dance
The distant mountains give you a trance,
My wife’s lipstick smears on her fork
We taste the view and enjoy a talk.

While we let Skye work to catch our breath
We see less is more & more is less,
So it doesn’t matter the slice was dry
With the Fish and chips on the Isle of Skye.

Skye chips

Note : a “midgie” is like mini mosquito

The Glasgow Clearances

After the end of World War One
The world said Scotland shipbuilding is done,
No longer would anyone pay their bills
For lowland coal and cotton mills.

Fifty thousand Scots per year
Boarded ships with immigrant fears,
The roaring twenties was not just fashion
But Atlantic jet-streams and cheap ticket rations.
Great Grandpa Fleming whose name is John
Considered himself a proud Scottish son,
Answered the British army call
Became a drone in the Kaiser’s war.

But after John Fleming blew his last bugle
It wasn’t enough to be just frugal,
The lack of income took its toll
So he sailed away to the immigrants roll.
Scotland’s loss was Australia’s gain
The bleeding talent was Scotland’s pain,
The proud Glaswegian with daughter in arms
Became children of the Southern stars.

They bought with them the seed of life
So men like me can live and laugh,
So remember those of Scottish appearances
And benefits gained from the Glasgow clearances.

Fleming clear


Note : In the 1920’s, 50,000 Scots per year left the ports at Glasgow and Greenock for Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. After WW1, many mills, mines and shipbuilding companies closed down. The world didn’t need Scottish resources because The war was over and Scotland didn’t invest in upgrading capital equipment. The biggest loss was the cargo – it’s people !. My great grandfather, a Shipbuilder, was one of them. He carried my grandmother in his arms to a ship for Australia.

I have called those times, “The Glasgow clearances” as a simile to the highland clearances.

Highland clearances or Human clearances ?

On the Isle of Skye and Raasay
In eighteen fifty one,
The English Government army
Cleared Scotland’s daughters and sons,
Cumberland burned their villages
To ensure cultural disappearance,
Was this Highland subjugation ?
Or Was this a human clearance ?.

There was a ban on tartan
And breaking the law you’d be libel,
If you spoke the Gaelic tongue
Or read a Gaelic bible,
With potato famine and poverty
And without the tartan regalia,
Scotland’s most precious resource
Sailed for Canada and Australia.

40,000 cleared from the glens
Left clan chiefs to the land,
Turning them into landlords
And into an upperclass band,
Some crofters came to the meetings
To discuss the so-called fair rent,
Only to be tossed on boats
Like sheep being sent to their death.

But despite these human clearances
And loss of life by the ton,
They’ve had their final say
You could say they still have won,
The new world is heavily populated
With those of highland appearances,
To ensure we never forget
The highland and human clearances.


“Lochaber no more”. What does the future hold for these highlanders bound for their new country ?. What are they thinking ?. Below is a painting by a student (who didn’t autograph the picture) of a family being recorded as they are “cleared”. The painting is on the wall at the “Sannox Centre” on the Isle of Arran. (My photo taken 11.9.2014).


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Smelling the coffee on the Isle of Skye

The smiling loch gives a welcome
Along with the vigorous pine,
Time to recharge the soul
And smell the coffee on the Isle of Skye.

Misty mountains of mystery
Are a drug with a natural high,
And offer more to discover
Sipping coffee on the Isle of Skye.

The landscape changes each minute
As clouds give way to the shine,
As the sun whispers the invite
Smell the coffee on the Isle of Skye.

White washed homes contrast colour
Of illuminous mountain sides,
That greet the Cali ferries,
And bring life to the Isle of Skye.

You can almost touch the mountains
As you’re touched by the Western Isles,
Three dimensions experienced, while
Sipping coffee on the Isle of Skye.

But the likeness of God in nature
Stirs the fourth dimension inside,
Marries the natural and spiritual, while
Smelling the coffee on the Isle of Skye.

Chaos theory must answer
To the Western Island design,
A place too wonderful for me
While smelling coffee on the Isle of Skye.

The Gaelic heart of Scotland
Melts into the core of mine,
As the wide-eyed little boy
Smells the coffee on the Isle of Sky.

coffee skye 2

coffee skye 1


Time’s eye

Time’s eye shines
On things that last,
The things that fade
“All flesh is grass”,
Traditions come
Their magic goes,
“Cool” comes fast
Then fades slow,
Soap box trendies
Preach their thing,
Last as long
As a piece of string.

Time’s eye shines
On things that last,
The good, the bad
The gold, the chaff,
Man’s evil acts
Beyond his grave,
Will ripple on
Beyond his gaze,
But time’s eye shines
What’s proven clever
God’s word and acts
Will stand forever.

For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. (James 1:11 NKJV)

The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8 NKJV)

to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (I Peter 1:4 NKJV)

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A daughter’s cry for affirmation

The grieving tear on the wincing cheek
Says much more than she can speak
Of grieving thoughts she tries to hide
That squeezes out of red stained eyes.

Craving her father’s affirmation
That never came brings much frustration
She yearns to be her Daddy’s girl
But it feels like pigs who watch thrown pearls.

Though time has bought her twilight years
To this place of heightened fears
That she will never hear the sound
At affirmations holy ground.

She watches his coffin go into the dirt
Those tears now flow down to her shirt
Some things are not won by having a lover…
A daughter’s affirmation given by her father.

Luke 3:22 “and the Holy Spirit in a form like that of a dove descended upon Him, and a voice came out of heaven, ‘As for you, you are my Son, the beloved one, in whom I take pleasure’.”

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