incredulous and uncertain
she berates herself
oh far too willingly
too eagerly condemns herself
for faults that reside not
in her but which form
outside her control
she is capable of so much
talented beyond words
and might never know
how blessed we all are
to share this life with her
but i will strive to ensure
that she learns this vital truth
of how wonderful she is
my beautiful nighean ruadh

Laya at Westminster Abbey

pompous deception

there is precious little
your inglorious pretence
can fulfill in this world
beyond boggling the minds
of those incoherent to reason
and juggling principles
like so many rotten apples

regardless of how often
you exclaim in favor of the us
your own voice disclaims
quite vociferously, so vilely
against the most innocent
of beings seeking nothing more
than an ounce of kindness

Offender of the Faith

I am very happy to share with you all the release of my latest audio book production–Offender of the Faith by Zach Abrams. This was a real pleasure to record, and a challenge, trying to produce enough distinctive voices reflecting a variety of Scottish accents for the different characters in Zach’s latest book–the fourth book in the series of police procedurals in which I narrate murder investigations led by Detective Chief Inspector Alex Warren. This tale of murder among strained family relations and multiracial conflicts is set in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and home to a great variety of ethnic groups and disparate accents. In other words, for me as narrator–a challenging but grand story to produce!

As with my previous audio book–Strange Tales of Scotland–I do have a good number of codes you can use for free downloads of Offender of the Faith through and I am more than happy to share those codes with anyone who would like to listen to this novel. And I do still have some codes for free downloads of Strange Tales of Scotland as well. Just send me a message, and as always, happy listening to all!

Oh, forgot to mention, the rights holders have contracted with me to produce the second and third books in this series of Alex Warren murder mysteries, so if you like this one, I have more audio books coming for you to enjoy. And I hope you’ll let me know what you think; I appreciate the feedback.

the music they adore

my weans whisper hopeful sounds
playfully panting giggling
as the chanter croaks in response
and i love it

how could i not adore this
having longed for ages for the art
to breathe rhythmic wonder
into hollow wood

i have sat in awe time and again
while acquaintances of old
have performed for gatherings
of family, friends

nothing so formal as would call
one man a patron, another a star
but for me it was all so magical
a dream to trace

laya, asena, laura, mark, halil, tuǧcan
i have in silence admired you all
for so very long with sweet memories
of your own music

i would my children should grow
wise and bold and even foolish
taking chances others might refuse
to discover themselves

i would have them be happy
beyond all measure of joy
and always imbued with the generous
gift of love

but more than this and all, please
may my beautiful weans all thrive
with hands hearts voices expressing
the music they adore

what it’s like

sit, breathe an’ start again

yet dessicated rhymes
inhibit the next step
an’ the next
til haunds clench
in sullen despair
an’ wha’s tae say
it will e’er end.

stop nou, erase
ane other dram first
rum this time
tae sweeten the words
an’ loosen the tongue
tae speak sumwise braw
so sip, an’ start again.

but dinna jus’ write
ye gormless pillock—
listen, hear the words
feel them in yer bones
wed them ane tae ither
mind nae the destination
bind yer soul tae the journey.

breathe, be, jus’ be

an’ start again

absent words

why have you abandoned me
my once constant companions
who had teased my keen imagination
frolicking in the lush gardens of my mind

i recall so well the days my thoughts
were awash with exhilarating concepts
eagerly analyzing exotic words
playfully pondering stimulating sounds

when with tantalizing enthusiasm
i swept you all up in virtual arms
like the soft new fallen snow
but like the snow you melted away
to become vague uninspiring memories

and where are you all now
my oh so fickle faithless friends
whose mind do you sweetly inhabit
whose desires now do you stir
urging only others on to greatness

why sits this sluggish mind so agonizingly still
bereft of even a single meager word
worth the speaking, clinging
bit by bit by bit to the meatier
more venerable thoughts of others

i once was a creator, a builder
an artisan of words and ideas
relishing the warmth of my own inventions.
now i read, i listen, quietly i reside

Yuki-Onna by Laya V. Smith

I am very happy to share with you all the latest publication of one of my wife’s short stories, Yuki-Onna, based on a rather chilling Japanese legend. If you’d like to take a look, it is available for free on page 11 of the most recent Sirens Call eZine at

Happy reading, and as always thank you for sharing your own wonderful writings.