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Toward the end of 2019 I was in California, homesick for Glasgow. As a diversion from daily life I decided to create a series of #scotlandditties and launch them on Twitter.


I set myself some rules:

  • no swearing;

  • no ditty longer than one tweet;

  • be more inclusive than divisive.

Playful, irreverent, political, serious, at times anthemic, the first of more than a hundred #scotlandditties 

appeared on December 31, 2019, all addressing the themes of Glasgow and an independent Scotland. 

It has been a great discipline to fit within the constraints of Twitter, and allowed me to experiment with form, rhythm, and rhyme. When I was producing one, sometimes two, or even three a day, it really stretched me and was a real help in my other more mainstream work.




the statue of Wellington in Glasgow city centre almost always has a traffic cone on its head. It has become something of a landmark. 

In Glasgow's a gremlin

Who deals in hats.

If you're looking for an emblem

Or something like that,

Just give a shout 

In any square,

They'll pop out

With at least a pair.

But their greatest feat

It must be said,

Is dropping a cone

On Wellington's head.



I hear boots marching,

Despite 6K miles away.

Time comes arching

To touch my yesterday.

There in the footfall,

Moccasins scuff along.

Ghosts of elders call

“Glasgow we belong!”

I say, “Hello successes.

Goodbye faint fears.

Rejoice in all that blesses

The long Trail of Tears.


To wait too long

Is a dangerous thing,

Comes caustic to the yearning.

Slights & scorns sharpen thorns,

Screws of hate keep turning.

Deny & denigrate can work

But are a short solution. 

For history shows the more the torque,

The more blood the revolution.

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