Toward the end of 2019, with the UK December general election behind us, I was in California. I thought hard about what contribution I could make to Scotland's effort to establish different values to the present UK. So I did two things.
For the first time in my long life I joined a political party.
I decided to contribute my rhyming skills and create a series of #scotlandditties and launch them on Twitter.
I set myself some rules for the #scotlandditties:
no ditty longer than one tweet;
be more inclusive than divisive.
Playful, irreverent, political, serious, and at times anthemic, the first of more than a hundred #scotlandditties
appeared on December 31, 2019.
The River Clyde remembers me
As well as any memory
And rises up just by the sea
As this year, rise shall we.
The River Clyde churns like blood,
Makes emotion froth and flood,
Its bones of forebears banked in mud:
Yours; mine; the deep myriad.
The River Clyde flows ever strong,
Soft smooth above hides what is wrong.
'Hark!' sings the River all day long.
'Rise up Scotland. Hear my song.'
the statue of Wellington in Glasgow city centre ALWAYS has a traffic cone on its head. It has become something of a landmark. Since the EU referendum the cone was changed to sport the EU flag.
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.
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.