In the stormy light of June
From the tiger stripe of morning
To the leopard afternoon
Where the blossom-heavy elder
Nods a needle-shower of rain
To the wind, her drunken lover,
With a breath of rough champagne.
Arthritic on the ferry deck,
He blinks away the tears
And as he gazes out to France
The wind pares back the years...
Dunkirk. Only the name remains
At times of great adversity
To stand us side-by-side.
Their membership cut down by time,
With sixty years gone past
The veterans return next June
And that will be the last.
An older man I worked with once
Was wounded on that beach
An army pressing in on them
And rescue out of reach.
"What was it really like?" I asked
But all that he would say was
(His look far weightier than his words),
"Chaos... It were chaos."
Ye see yon Scottish Parliament,
July the First an' a' that?
They'll open with a Burns lament,
Ye ken the one, an' a' that?
But Tory Scots an' a' that,
For a' that an' a' that,
Wha dinnae think the choice is right,
Are up in arms an' a' that.
Cuifs, fearfu' that it slights the Royals,
Shake glaikit heesd at a' that
Wha didnae reap electoral spoils -
Surprise-surprise an' a' that.
For a' that an' a' that
Their highland seats an' a' that
Aiblins, if Rab cuid hear them now,
He'd sit and laugth at a' that.
"Dear Margaret Cook..." It's worth a try.
I think I'll get in touch today.
"...I have this very stressful job
Involving constant trips away.
My former wife, who blights my life,
Won't let old disagreements lie.
She's still there in the public eye.
What should I do? Yours, Robin C."
"Dear Robin C, I wouldn't fret.
It may not be as bad as looks.
If bitterness is lurking there,
Suggest she takes up writing books.
You may well find, as time goes by,
She'll meet a brand-new partner too,
Who's handsome and considerate
And better in the sack than you."
Of all the short-cuts known to man
To beat the sword back into plough,
He takes the slowest way he can.
Please, sir, can we stop bombing now?Reuse content