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Wicked Daughters

Daughters who stop talking to their mothers are always wicked. The family is quick to condemn, criticise and decry the actions of such an immature, ungrateful delinquent witch. ‘Why have you done this? Can’t you see how much it’s hurting her? Just give her a text.’ ‘No.’ ‘She’s your mother!’

‘Why does that make a difference?’

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When I was younger I feel as though I was a well behaved, well-mannered and in general, good wee lad. Though, I'm sure my Mum and Dad could tell me stories that would otherwise contradict this…

I have an older brother called Darren. He is four and a half years older to be exact. I love him dearly and I miss him so much now, ever since he moved to Vancouver, Canada.

However, he is coming back to Scotland to get married to his wonderful partner. I am as excited as my younger seven year old self on Christmas morning to see him again.

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It was the sixties – to be exact, the summer of 1969; the sputtering embers of that hot, fervid decade. Of course we didn’t know that at the time. The ‘sixties’ is a later invention – a social, political and cultural inferno that, safely over, has been elevated to the realm of untouchable saintliness. It's what happened to Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and John Lennon. Now they are celebrated but ‘at the time’ they were a menace to J Edgar Hoover and all things decent. They became truly good only by being truly dead. Like the ‘sixties’.

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Without A Cause

A Teddy Boy who’s shorn his quiff;
A cool hepcat who’s lost her purr;
A mod whose parka’s shed its fur;
A hippy who won’t smoke a spliff.

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without knowing what a rebel is

Without knowing what a rebel is,
I stayed away from school,
smoked cigarettes and hung round
vast cities – silent and lost.

I’ve not changed –
the edges lure me,
empty, forgotten margins:
that’s where I like to play.

Come sit with me,
cross-legged and free.
We’ll share stories of the
true heroism of youth.

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Would I? Should I? Could I?

Would I? Should I? Could I? Would I be a rebel? Should I be a rebel? Could I be a rebel? If I did, was it even rebellion?

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Ye Cannae Shove Yer Grannie Aff A Bus

I wis aboot eleven when it happened. Didnae really ken whit it meant tae be honest. I'd heard the wurd 'cancer' before o'course but I didnae realise it wis a bad wurd. But there I wis. An unwitting part against an airmie, an airmie no made up o'people, but my ain bloody blood cells.

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You and I and the Sea

I swim into endless colour
and leave you
far behind

laughing all the while
at quaint and
distant shores
at helpless
empty skies

I laugh until
my lungs fill
with water
and you part the waves
stepping forth to
carry me to shore

holding me close
as I shiver
and splutter


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personal rebellion

You can't ban me

Jamie bit her lip, as she walked up the football field behind her parents. Would they still consent? They encouraged her to be herself, but mum wasn’t too enthusiastic about her running around in shorts. Nervously she spun the ball under her arm, while she scanned the boys on the field. They didn’t even waste a single look on her. Since the ban three years ago everything had changed. When women had once drawn more spectators to the games than men, the Football Association ban of 1921 effectively killed the women’s game.

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Young Butchers

Warning: this piece contains strong language

The Butchers had all the fun at school. I mean, they ran the place really. Tough, confident and full of spunk, their collective attitude more than compensated for their lack of traditional smarts. It was an outlook that militated against any prospect of academic success, but that’s not what they were about. Daz and his brethren epitomised carefree youth. 

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