the picter


o years an years ago
at a roup in whit used tae be
st mary magdalene’s  kirk
(noo the vertical world climbin centre)
I bocht this  pentin
that I still like
a street wi a garij an a big hoose
an in the backgrun
a kirk steeple wi a clock
(10  past 10)
it wis signed d adamson
nae capitals d adamson jist like that

fowk asked
whin they saa it on ma wa
is yon nae thon kirk
jist aff the perth road
next tae the ryehill surgery?
which is whaur I thocht it wis masel
when I bocht it

but it wisnae

in fact it wisnae dundee ataa
or aa thae ither places that wir suggested
it wisnae perth
nor wis it letham
nor kirrie
nor caputh
it wisnae  friockheim
it wisnae crieff

I searched them aa
ilka weekend fir twa/three months
till I began tae think
d adamson hud jist imagined it
pentit it oot o his heid

it’s aye the hinmaist pooch i yir jaiket
whaur ye fin the keys

last friday
I hud tae collect a dug
fae the osnaburg bar in forfar
an ther it wis
ahint the osnaburg
ther it wis
starin me i the face
the vennel wi the big hoose
the garij an the railins
the kirk steeple i the backgrun
an steerin bi a photo o d adamson’s pentin
I fund the very spot whaur he’d stood
(or sat)
a thae years ago
tae pent his picter
ma picter noo

naethin hid chinged
jist the time on the clock.


This is here now but was there then. A b & w photograph taken some time ago which surfaced to day

I may be the backpacker in the photograph although I have vague memories of seeing the grafitti and asking someone to pose for the photograph but then that may have been another time, anotherplace….

and this is here and there – the Shetland island of Hoy taken last summer from the boat as we drifted past,  with  the bright curtain (bought last November in Perth) balancing the photograph (30cmx40cm) on the wall ( painted white ten years ago)  and the yellow roses (plucked this morning from the garden) in the blue vase (a last year’s Christmas present from the alas deceased Mary Jess) on the brown table that I got at an auction in 1999….



In the once-thriving city of Dundee

striding purposefully along for all to see

is this  eccentric, comic-character,  local man

known far and wide as Desperate Dan,

desperate, they say,  to get away

from this city  famous for its poets beside the river Tay

to the fine buildings of Embra or at least as far as  the fair city of Perth –

the most beautiful, flower-bedecked place on earth –

which is only thirty five or so miles away

along a picturesque if busy motorway

that runs alongside  the silvery Tay

which flows from Perth to Dundee every day

and where he hopes that his enjoyment

will be added to by the chance of gainful employment.

Until then, he’s worth a visit if you’re passing nearby.

Here he is eating his favourite –  cow pie.