It is not about the pound.
It is not about loyalty.
It is not about whinging.
It is not about loving Alex.
It is not about Labour.
It is not about Conservatives.
It is not about Liberal Democrats.
It is not about supporting the SNP.
It is not about north sea oil.
It is not about electricity, gas or wind energy.
It is not about David Cameron.
It is not about the recession.
It is not about cultural differences.
It is not about the bankers and bonuses.
It is not about in or out of the EU.
It is not about in or out of NATO.
It is not about the NHS.
It is not about do we or do we not have nukes.
It is not about the defense of the realm.
It is not about settling old scores.
It is not about care of the elderly.
It is not about education.
It is not about a fairer society.
It is not about housing.
It is about YOU.
It is about EVERYTHING.
It is about DEMOCRACY.
It is about THE FUTURE.


poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2014


That Thing You Do

Me: so ill prepared for life and love,
and that other thing called sex.

Life: just a walk in a coastal breeze
hopefully over by age thirty.

Love: what the hell was love -
a too often used four letter word.

Sex: why.. that makes your head, your hips
and your whole world go round.


poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2014




Every day I am ambushed by gravity
the essence of me crunched like cereal
in a bowl.

I own time or, more likely, it owns me
drowning me in minutes that last light

Broken electrical circuits signal me alive
moving with a lethargic crawl that has
been learned.

Pain replaces all of the bits that were me
so, invisibly, I hide in the shell remains of the
washed ashore.

Mind and memory combine to confuse breathing
with living, and living with not yet dying.


poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2014


all the news they need

Our future politicians are currently getting “all the news they need” from some social media sources (either summaries or so wrong to be laughable). Important world events distilled into bite size pieces.
In the UK we may have some future Prime Minister tweet his latest achievement thus: “Just chucked 100,000 off welfare, busy day – lol”
Oh wait..



© copyright Brian Shirra 2014

Shadow Dances

There is a spot on the Campsie Hills where she lies
unvisited mostly, but not unwanted: this her own wish.
She could see these hills from the hospice window
imagining there the shadow dances of her small children.
The children were more dependent than they knew
for she was their carer, lifeblood and ultimate salvation.

A one parent family before the phrase was coined,
though the children’s father lodged in the same house
but he may as well have been at sea, his only true love.
She, often strong and weak in unequal measures,
responded to their needs whilst neglecting her own.
He, an archetypal Scotsman, liked a drink and to think
that he was somehow in charge of their shared destiny.

Uneducated and slow to catch the drift of conversation
she armed herself with humour and a love of music.
Like most families not everyone would see eye to eye
and those fallouts would lead to periods of isolation.
When he died she started to live her own life deciding,
for the first time, what she wanted from her remaining years.

She grieved for him as the man she fell in love with,
not the man that he became. Missing his presence.
For twenty years she managed to create a better life
for herself, full of friends and family in days, lived day to day.
She lost many of her children at birth but was stoic in the
face of adversity. This was the history of women of that time.

Illnesses and major operations were always part of her life.
She thought she would go on forever, and she has.

poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2014