You’ll be Needin’ the Gallows
You smiled a smile of trust
Blinked your eyes, as if by chance
Put your faith in ‘teenage kicks’
Laughed at rockers fading fast
But when you were asked whose
side you were on.
Take an oath of loyalty
For Goodness sake
Your hands and fingers twitched
And head shook all the more
Casting forth expletives
From behind closed doors
The gallows come like mercy
Closing such perfidious
Such a traitorous
Such an ignoble, bearing
Let us hope that in the future
Such thoughts are in the past
For now, you’ll need the gallows.
Get it over fast!
Patterned, like the stars are patterned.
Tracing a vein through semi-opaque matter, splitting and diverging into delicate fragments.
Not necessarily green but changing with the seasons, like us all.
Forming rich, red and brown hues before falling endlessly and inevitably to the ground
To be trampled underfoot or gathered up in a basket
Or with a brush,
‘til next year, when it will all begin again.
State of the Nation by Duncan Wallace
Stirling is much of a muchness
Paisley is poorly and heartless
Aberdeen stinks o’ the Tweed
Berwick, a town in need.
Build my gallows high in Glasgow
For a lady, frae eastward departed
From Edinburgh town
Hope they pull that town down
And dump it wherever it started.
Monster of the Slums
In the network of streets we tread, beneath our feet
In the tenemented halls, stacked
In this creeping network, dimly lit
Stalks a masked marauder
A murderer it seems
Who walks the streets by daytime.
At night retreats the scene
To stalk and creep
Round flats, where people once lived.
Grinding coffee for broken machines
Until at last
There’s someone there to scare
First he frightens you
With his scarred face
And daring glare
Turns down the lights
Flickering bulb, then bare.
Then he sticks the knife in
You’re in his lair
Perhaps he’ll electrocute you
With those things you use to straighten your hair.
Look out – there’s a monster in the slums.
When’s he comin, where’s he going, that miser over there?
Sea Like a Carpet by Duncan Wallace
Sea like a carpet, crinkled up.
Oriental pattern, complicated, stormeee
Formless, flowing, free
Whatever you are, you are almost always in a clash
With smoother, deeper piles
Held to the floor with fancy tacks
You are wide and boundless
What’s visible to me
Is constantly fluctuating
Like your being waved in the air, beaten
Constantly at sea
You see, your flexible fibrous nature, is
At One with me
Peace in strife
You are wall to wall
Socks, no shoes, please
Tints the blue, you see.
A Flat Earth
At the end of things, is a barrier
That move quietly in the darkness of the night
Gently onwards until they fall, off the edge
De-cis-ive-ness makes all things capable of
I’ll tell you this. You may be English, Scots, Irish or even Welsh
But you’ll still fall off
You are deluded if you think that it’s a globe we all live on.
How can it be so? We would all slide round and fall off underneath
To who knows where?
For goodness sake, what’s down there? Hades?