Cramond Island

When families with dogs have gone
back to their Morningside retreats
and waves begin to slap away
at Leith’s reflections on the flats
the punks and drunks turn out
to watch the stars.

Among the shadowed concrete cones
their tide slips with a glossy sheen
where mussel blue dips into brown
and Forth asserts its in-between
here punks and drunks are lords
and rising stars.

Beyond the headland gorse, a spot
where hours before, kids unwrapped lunch;
now violence bursts like nebulae
in green and white of laugh and crunch.
The feet of punks and drunks
grind out new stars.

Where stripped-out gun-emplacements gawp
at ships that chug where no-one cares
while burned pill-boxes shield the snap
and flash of cigarette-lighter flares,
the punks and drunks summon
their shook-foil stars.

This poem has also appeared in the StAnza poetry map of Scotland.

Confessions of a food thief

The day I stole your tastebuds was the best.
After that, I could do anything. I slipped
horsemeat into burgers, flung the odd rat
into your ragu. Every little helps.

Sauce is everything. Splash a little spice,
inject the perfect compound, and you think
all your Christmases have come at once.
I sold you a certain shade of red,

uniformity of portions. Remember the tomatoes
your dad grew, that exploded in your mouth
like liquid rubies? I swapped them for
the taste of cardboard. You never noticed.


This poem was also published on Clear Poetry, March 2015.