He’s up all night

again; pacing,

pausing. How

did i make this mess?

Leafing through

the holy texts

for the error,

for that one slip

in the formula

for certainty.

He’s drinking

again, muttering

the names of

the so-sure


he set up

to fail. By

dawn, he sleeps

face down

flat out on

the drawing


James Stewart
The Man from Laramie
Blue world
Bloody apaches
Sheet rain
Dust on The
Man from Laramie
Shakespeare's plot
Dead extra in gulch
Look at the rain
Ridiculous woman
All day


if it’s ok with you

this is the way

I want to be forgotten

with an indefinable shrug

with a businesslike slide

of the phone’s garnished screen,

with a thought about

an upcoming appointment –

pottery, work, sex,

death, death,

no, not death.

in the eye hospital

on Old Hall Street

mum shows them her right eye


they pull back the lid

like lifting a dogblanket,

and come in close with

their steel and flip charts.


seems she’s seeing

things from her point of view-


and that’s why she smashed

the window pane with a hammer.


The next time you hear a robin sing in your garden,

remember a long-lost episode from Doctor Who

– (gutted by the king’s troops in 1644).


The tower house surrounded by a curtain

33 million years ago, songbirds regenerate a branching pattern,

(New Guinea barely existed in Erskine.)


Save for Antarctica, blue tits in the Tardis, magpies

preached in the chapel of Dun, the three of them

island-hop to the planet Vulcan. (A tiny pterosaur),


William Hartnell, before the changes in the mausoleum,

is poorly preserved, bone-hollow as John Knox, that

Presbyterian (1.5 metres wide, an aridification).


Gutted? A glance at a globe of family trees, evolution

only aired fully in New Zealand. The wingspan of the chapel

foundations (a castle the size of a small challenge, 4’11”)


has eager viewers. Long-distance dispersal, a handful of clips

originating in Australia, The Virgin Mary, a clergyman, Polly and Ben,

outdoors that day, listen, glance, ( a telltale) (Antipodean) twang.