Ghostly glimmerings
halo this highest moment.

While I cradle him eagerly,
smiling with absolute certainty,

a future portentous persists
in torturous anonymity.

And perhaps that is why
I cling to him more than he me,

fearful of the inevitable time
to come when wisely he

anchored in a now unknown
describes a photo to his love,

“Oh, that was my father.”
And her heart will smile on him.

“What was he like?” she will ask.
He’ll pause and grimace.

Not that it’s his fault, really,
just that ghosts are so much harder to know.

When my sweet boy Cooper was born. (Aug 2016)

this is me

I will never believe
that this inglorious me
as you have labelled
is the only me to be,

but choose to seek instead—
however disastrously
however comically—
to define myself!

to create my me
in such colors and tones
as I would most wish
to be seen by you—

speaking hugely in words
and accents as I would
most insistently, most proudly
choose to be heard,

for this is me

this is me

[Inspired by Lia’s https://liathepoet.home.blog/2021/02/03/c-am-em-g/ ]

I cannot listen to this sing without crying. My thoughts dwelling on my mother and father, and our homelands in Scotland and Germany, and all of the family and ancestors there whom I will never know beyond the reading and imagining. So … here is Scotland’s own Kris Drever and Lau, singing “Ghosts”.


i can still hear their needful echoes
rising up the steps
flowing over the stained walls

i think perhaps they are laughing
i hope they are
although sometimes they shout at me

and when i trembling reach out
to listen, to feel
more deeply than ever before

i notice the path is still broken
and shards remain
untended by even the smallest hands

From Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh (May 2015)

Strange Tales of Scotland

I am very happy to share with you the release of my latest audio book, a production of Jack Strange’s Strange Tales of Scotland. This was so much fun for me to record, revisiting many of the most entertaining and fantastic tales of Scottish culture, tales of ghosts in castles, and of fin folk and monsters in lochs, and of body snatchers and even cannibals. You’ll probably recognize a few of the names you encounter in this book. It is one of a series of books about strange events in Scotland, England, and Wales written by Edinburgh’s own Malcolm Archibald under the pen name Jack Strange. I hope you’ll give it a listen. And let me know what you think. If you’d like to save a bit of money on this audio book, contact me. I have codes to allow the first 100 listeners to download this audio book for free in the United States or the United Kingdom from one of the following:

Audible.com at https://www.audible.com/pd/Strange-Tales-of-Scotland-Audiobook/B07VBGZ9KH?qid=1563824962&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4JZ4CER3GY7WM67N52B5&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VHVGN59/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taud_p1_i1

Happy listening!