Glasgow never really slept last night.
She just wound down to pauses of silence
drunken shouts and the squeal of bus brakes.
Then the big engines of the morning roar,
searching out the first footfalls of dawn
to sweep them up and carry them on.
Without meaning or purpose to life.
we accelerate hard away from the light.
A toilet flushes, then another. The clink
of cups, rushing showers, clip of doors.
People brushing along the corridors.
Some to breakfast, some to cars, and some
to early morning bars. I long to dress
and like feather on a breeze blow away.
I’m back now in Tony Blair’s talk in the nineties.
His flying hands are signing just as much
as the woman on the stage for the deaf. And her word
for Scotland is two quick squeezes with the elbow
under her oxter, indicating bagpipes against her ribs:
a tone betraying Tony’s flailing hands.
Future hope falling down from the stage
melodically onto sycophantic ears.
Unrest blew through snowbound streets and schemes
to chill hearts and sharpen minds and rising
poverty glared beyond magicians hands
eyeballing that smiling game show host.
Telly off, on your feet. Know that this time,
when the pub closes, the revolution will be done.
Des Dillon is an internationally acclaimed award-winning writer. He was born in Coatbridge and studied English Literature at Strathclyde University before becoming a teacher. He was Writer-in-Residence at Castlemilk from 1998-2000. He is a poet, short story writer, novelist, dramatist, broadcaster, screen writer, and scriptwriter for TV, stage and radio. His books have been published in the USA, India, Russia, Sweden, in Catalan, French and Spanish. His poetry has been anthologised internationally. His latest award was The Lion and Unicorn prize for the best of Irish and British literature in the Russian Language (2007). Des lives in Galloway with his wife and dogs.