Monday, 28 September 2009

What Goes Around...

I am a wee bit unsure about posting any of my poems on this blog, but in this case it is necessary for you to get the joke. Also this particular poem has been published in New Writing Scotland and on a CD of poems so I’m not worried about it popping up somewhere else under someone else’s name.

That is of course, presuming anyone would want to steal one of my poems. Anyway, here it is...

Art in the Park

They wur in among the trees, behind the big hoose at Rozelle.
Right there oan the grass, like they’d dropped from a plane.
Huge they wur. Huge wae effort. Huge like a god’s thoughts.
-Whiddye make o’ them? I ask my wee boy.
Had tae drag him away from the black box,
before his een went widescreen.
He points, finger oot like a dirk
– Dad, that one has a big butt.
- Furgoadsake. You watch way too much telly, son.
‘N the word is arse.
He jist luks up et me n’ says
– Whatever.

The Yoke this wan’s called. He’s hunched over.
Heid awa tae the side, like Gourock.
I move closer for a good look.
- Dad, let’s find some branches, so we can play at sword fighting.
I run ma hands over the granite. See, ye think it’s gray,
but up close it has a’ these speckles o’ black, n’ flashes o’ green.
-Dad, I’ll be Darth Vader, the wean skips over wae two sticks. -Who are you?
- In a meenit, son. Ah’m huvin’ a moment tae myself.
Noo, he’s just starin’ at me ‘n he says
- Whatever.

See, son. It’s aboot Jesus n’ his pain. But it’s more than that.
Nature’s givin’ a hand here. The stone’s gray like a sufferin’ sky,
n’ the trees are stretchin’ their arms oot tae share a touch.
Tae soothe. The earth is aroon the base reachin’ up
tae pull the granite back in. N’ see here, moss and lichen
…n’ wid ye look et that? That lichen is like a red stripe
doon the statue’s ribs. Whaur a wound might huv been.

My boy stops wavin’ his sticks aboot,
- Dad, I cannae believe you are actually my dad.
I just looks doon et him n’ say
- Whatever.

So... this poem was performed by myself on a CD that Makar Press published just over a year ago. And forgetting that my son and I have an ongoing debate about bad language, I played the CD in the car while he was with me.
‘N the word is arse.’ I say in the poem.

The wee fella homed on this. Ooh, Dad you said a bad word. Tell me you don’t swear a lot, says he. Of course not, says I. Only for effect or when I’m trying to amuse someone. Eh, says he looking totally mysstified, that makes no sense.

Fast forward a year and the CD hasn’t been played since. He’s watching a Horrible Histories episode and the theme is Ancient Greece. The next thing I hear is the wee fella shouting at the TV, ‘Kick his ass, Zeus.’ A phrase which you don’t ever expect to hear coming out of your child’s mouth.
Hey, says I, watch your language.
Sorry, dad, says he with a cheeky wee smile. I forgot. The right word is arse.

Sometimes you know some things are going to come back and bite you on the bum, but you can never quite tell how.


  1. Yeah, it iffy putting it out there, but I bought the book and CD because of one of the poems I saw on the MAKAR press site.

    You can hear the brogue in this poem. I love it.

  2. That boy is a genius - has been since I first heard of him (and first heard you reading the poem - which I love). The sooner you let him take over the blog the better.

  3. Exactly, Bill. But will he listen?