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Oh! I know where to begin. The minute I saw the word rebel I thought ‘not me’ but then, after a while, I thought ‘yes me’.  I’m a wee bit of one of them.

But it goes back to last century, when I was young, say about ten or eleven-ish.

‘In them thar days’ we played ‘roon the doors in wee gangs.’

We didnae hae many toys – if ony – so we made oor ain entertainment.

An’ ken whit? Yin o’ the gemes we played wis ‘Kick Door Run Fast’.

Noo, ye kinda hae tae bide whaur there’s buildins. That’s Boness’s wurd fer tenements, ken – Glasgie’s tae fer that matter.

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I will be rebellious, and I will guard fiercely what I believe
Some self-respect is all that is left
And there's no way I will let it lose
To your angry eyes and accusing hands
Burning into my space
I wait until you are done
And you can feel like the greater one.

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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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My mother was born a rebel
as soon as she learned to talk,
it was no to this, no to that,
whatever grown-ups said,
stern words a red rag to a bull,
she attended many schools
in childhood never obeyed rules,
in holidays fought with three sisters,
and a younger brother too.
At twenty one, ran off to France
in Paris, took up with a young man
who was a native of Bordeaux,
after an idyllic summer in Cannes,
transpired he was promised to another,
humiliated, began the journey home,

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REBEL (possible definitions)

Warning: this piece contains strong language

Is it when you ask yourself,
'Why do this?'
and you answer,
'because I can!' 

Is this not the start of

Is it

Is it
spawned in Europe'ssleepysuburbs,
bankrolled by mumndad
en route to Essaouira
to hang out with Jimmytheman?

Is it
in waistdeep warfront mud
saving the lives of strangers? 

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Rebel - Mindless belief

The whole point of being a member of the 'group' was conformity. We all had to follow the same rules. We all had to have the same hair, dress and beliefs. You would think that in carrying out all these rules that I would be happy. That was not the case. I found it impossible to completely repress my individuality.

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Rebel - Running across the road

When I  was a small boy I used to go out the door, out into the close, down the stairs, then out the front door and run across the road and sneak into our next door neighbour, Mick Forgrieve’s, van.

Sometimes I went into the front passenger seat or the driver’s seat or the back where the joiners’ tools were. I really liked that van and it drew me to it.

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Rebel Aliens

There was, briefly, an American girl in my class.
She can be called Casey Watts.
She must have been from the US Naval Base.
Why she wasn’t at their school I don’t know.
She was always trying to kiss the boys, to their terror and the other girls’ bafflement. 

The Mormons at Thurso swimming pool must have been from the Base too.
They unnerved us with their short hair, smart suits, fixed smiles and unshakeable politeness.
They would strip completely, astonishingly naked, use the showers, then, without going near the pool, dress and leave. 

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Rebel Bombshell

I am NOT a rebel.  I am one of life’s rule followers. But I broke a rule once and was branded a rebel by the ultimate of rule enforcers: a policeman. The shame lives with me still.

I like rules. I like to know where the boundaries are.  I get a bit tetchy if someone steps outside the boundary – I worry for them.  It’s like stepping onto a minefield.  Stay to the path and you are okay.  Step off the path and there could be anything out there.  Stick to the path.  It’s safe.

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Rebel Boots

Rebel boots, big and clunky
Their rubber soles, thick and chunky
Worn through the years on my changing feet
Rebelling, learning, itchy, neat

Worn to stomp ‘round in my teens
Underneath angry, baggy jeans
Not for me, high heels, designer
I’m Grandad’s little 5 foot miner

20s: travel, music, books
Pink hair, piercings, eclectic looks
Worn to parties, lectures, interviews
No trainers, pumps, or black court shoes

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