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Here I Am

Am I a rebel?
I leave it up to you
Am I?
All I tell is true -
you will be the judge,
through my eyes, you will see,
my reconstructed memory.

When I was much younger,
nerves strangled my voice -
fear warned me to stay back
yet I chose the right choice,
expression I did not lack.

Using my pen,
pen and keyboard -
I took aim,
rebelled against the inner naysaying,
that which claimed me alone.

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Hidden Rebel

Fifty one years ago I had a memorable holiday with my parents, sisters and cousin when we went to Port Seaton in East Lothian. We were staying on a campsite in a converted railway carriage that my grandfather and his friend had built in sections, then transported to the campsite and assembled piece by piece. They added a small kitchen, along with gas lighting and bedrooms complete with camp beds. Staying in that carriage, which my late grandfather had built with his own hands, made the holiday very special. We also had an Alsatian called Rex who came along on our summer of adventure.

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How Do You Get To Be A Rebel?

Recently, on a night out in a city centre pub, an Irish singer was entertaining us. Deedle-de-de music is great for a sing-song and we were having a ball. During the chorus of one song, lots of folk started shouting “IRA, IRA”. I was shocked and speechless. These were young people. Scots who weren't born when we were watching the horrific Irish troubles on our TV screens in the 70s, 80s and 90s. How did they become so passionate about a rebel cause? Did they think about what they were glamorising or simply join in?

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How tae inadvertently start a Coup!


Warning: this piece contains strong language

Wit am a daeing?

A sat there watching a guy picking at his bum crack. Then wae a secretive wee glance aroon the auditorium he began sniffing his fing’ers. A shook ma heed and quietly glanced aroon at aw the other vulgar animals. Future leaders, academics and inevitable dropouts trying tae impress each other. A wis bored listening tae how great college will be fir me until ...

I introduce your newly elected Student President …

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I am me

I have always been the one who was different; unafraid
I guess that is just the way some of us are made,
I have walked tall, whilst many fell behind
While all my beliefs stand firm inside my mind
You label me bohemian, but I am an earth child
I belong to the universe, I run free and wild
I dance naked with nature, flowers in my hair
It doesn't even bother me when people stop to stare
I am one with the earth, I am naked I am free

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I Insist

I insist

on stepping near cliffs

And in my dreams

I fly from them

One day I'll trip

or sit too long

asleep

I'll fall 

and

then don't say

I didn't want to

or simply didn't warn you

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I See Differently

Transgressing to conform to your brand of “good”

Not all good of course – some bad – but we should

Fake till we make, but what are we making?

Creating a space where we feel bad for taking

The time to embrace the rough with the smooth.

Feeling guilty for stealing our own time to soothe

Our aching brains and hearts. Some peace

And rest or moment of intense release.

Snuffing out the flames of the fire in my belly

All in the name of disagreeing well - we

Cannot continue to throw ourselves in

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I Was Never a Rebel . . .

I was never a rebel
Well except that time
I wore lipstick and stockings
Stayed out past my curfew well after nine
But I didn’t dare light a cigarette
Until I was at least twenty-three 

I was a rebel, there’s plenty to say
Scramming apples from trees at the big house
Catapulting stones across the wall, crack
Being sent to my room then escaping
Down scaffolding surrounding my house
And running away to play 

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I'll Cross the Stream

When did it happen? When did I get to be this grumpy old woman? It must have crept up on me slowly, surely. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had to put up with so much that all my reserves of patience have gradually been worn down.

I remember what my mother was like.

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I'm Not The Rebel You're Looking For

So you want to read about rebels? Well, you’ve come to entirely the wrong place. Sorry.

I’m about as far from a rebel as it’s possible to be. To give you an idea of what I mean, here are a few scenarios from 20th century cinema to help.

Imagine Stand By Me, but with a character who, having heard the rumour about a bloated corpse amidst the rushes, leaves his more adventurous friends to it, hot-footing it home quicker than you can say ‘valuable life lessons’.

I’m the Neo from The Matrix who takes the other pill.

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