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Rebel

There used to be a programme on Radio 4 called ‘I’ve Never Seen Star Wars’ where the guests would confess that they hadn’t done some seemingly normal thing that absolutely everyone would have done. I used to listen to it and think ‘I haven’t done that either’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hermit. (It did tempt me once, mind, a nomadic existence in the Lammermuir Hills.) I just have other priorities. Take TV. At work, we often talk movies and TV.

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Rebel

Words are easy. Words are cheap. When people say where did you get the idea for your book, words are what they want, and words themselves have nothing to do with why I write. Because I’m not really a writer. What I am, is a reader. That’s me. Curled up somewhere so deep inside a story that it’s more real than the real world. If it’s night time in that story I’ll look up confused at the sunshine coming through the window. Daydreamer. Fool. And when I sit down to write a book it’s not some grand idea - it’s because I want to read that book and I know nobody is going to write it except me.

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Rebel on the Mile

The night hadn’t been kind to us. Our band of brothers had started with four, now we were two.

We had forged our alliance as young men, enthused by the arrogance of youth and rallied by camaraderie. We used to do this for fun; on home soil or in foreign lands. We lived to tell the tales of our adventures but bore the scars of our misdemeanours.

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Keywords: 
everyday rebellion

Rebel With a Cause

Secondary school art
Threadbare Jesus sandal 

Oh no you can’t

All arches and space
Lines hiccupping

Oh no you can’t

Sole foreshortened
Lost my perspective

Oh no you can’t

Art teacher
Telling tales of tea parties with Hitler

Oh no you can’t

Took one look
At my graphite frenzy

Oh no you can’t

‘You can’t draw’
Rubbing me out

Oh no you can’t

I resisted
Like wax under watercolour

Oh yes I can

I had seen the dark rainbow
In the raven’s wing

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Rebel with a Scotch Pie

I’m going back a few years now, but when I was a lass.
I took work as barmaid, in a bid to earn some brass.
A nice hotel; but staff were starved and often half-awake.
Cos ten-hour shifts were normal, and we rarely got a break.

Of course, the staff had just the trick if stomachs started twitching.
They’d sneak off for two minutes and steal something from the kitchen.
The chance of decent left-overs was usually remote.
So, folk would grab what they could find and ram it down their throat.

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Rebel?

Sometimes I am a rebel
I get out of my shell
I have been quiet for so long
Now I found my voice and I feel strong.

I had an education, spend my life at university
Conducted my research, earned a PhD
Now I have finished and I am absolutely free
I am proud of myself and happy as can be.

I am still single, I live on my own
I am without a partner, in my comfort zone
No children, no pets, I am all alone
I am not even addicted to my mobile phone.

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Keywords: 
everyday rebellion

Rebellion Begins at Home

In any family each generation throws up a rebel, someone who breaks the conventions of their tribe, who shows them a different way to live. And so it was with my sister.

Diane decided to be a rebel at the age of three. By then she was no longer the youngest child. An older brother, an even older sister and now a younger sister (me) meant she was fated to be that ‘middle child’ – a boring title with no joy in it. So she determined to be not middle, not eldest, not only boy, not youngest, but rebel – she would make her mark.

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Keywords: 
rebel, family, sister, childhood

Rebels apo da bus

Da bus is usually quiet.

Some haes peerie plugs in dir lugs we variations on dir choice o tunes. Heads nod - occasionally banging up quickly tae see whaar dey ir fae da zeds o dir unsettled snooze.

A Wednesday is different. Dat’s Coort day. Da rebels drag demsells fae dir pits tae join wis on da ten tae eight tae toon.

Dis twa ir Coort day regulars. Followin da inevitable path laid afore dem be midders at wirna midders.

Dey nod at me whan I sit doon opposit dem.

Dey’re usually quiet but dis day dey’re a bit spicky.        

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Keywords: 
community, solidarity

Remembering my mother in St Clement’s Church of Rodel, Isle of Harris

‘I sank beneath your wisdom like a stone’

Leonard Cohen

Remembering you, it’s perfect
finding in my pocket
tiny periwinkle shell, ember-red

with right thumb
brush off
cling of sand, crumb

let fall
single wind-made
blade of Marram

set down spiral-drawn shell
on stone sill
over bountiful

swell of gifts:
two and twenty pence pieces
sheep’s wool twists

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Revenge is Sweet

Revenge is Sweet

There's no point in spinning this story out by introducing a few red herrings and ending with a twist. I confess! I’m guilty! I nicked my neighbour Mr Gray’s plump ripe strawberries from his prize winning patch. It’s been over sixty years but my memory clicks into retro mode every now and then and that’s when the guilt returns. The heist was weeks in the planning and the motive for the crime had an element of revenge and rebellion.

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