Endings.

I’m writing a new show that will be biographical and feature tales about mental health. Last time I felt the black dog tugging on his leash was after the death of my dad. In truth though that wasn’t depression it was me grieving, which is perfectly natural. I feel it’s important we recognise that and don’t define ourselves via a condition…some of these jokes are in bad taste…good.  

I hold everything the NHS does in the highest regard. Being Scottish I’m quite reliant on them. I hate these twits that say, “Ah but you can’t expect free care forever.” It’s not free. We pay for it. And being an ex smoker of 20 years, with the amount of tax I’ve paid, when my time is up I want a gold plated bed and disgraced Tories washing my feet while I whack their arses with a rolled up copy of the Morning Star.

I’m not claiming NHS care is perfect. I used to have an uncle who had an NHS pacemaker and every time he farted the garage door would open.

My dad went out in an NHS bed. Not so much to do with a Scots lifestyle and more to do with he was chock a full of white asbestos from his job. The funeral was lovely and very well attended but his cremation went on forever.

That was the last time I felt depressed. But the point is it wasn’t depression I was just grieving. We should recognise that, I feel it’s very important we don’t define ourselves via conditions. Being sad is sometimes the right way to be. I really don’t like how we romanticise bad mental health. Poor old Van Gough get’s that, “Ah well, the reason he was so great was because he was so tortured.”
Bullshit. They claim his last words were  “la tristesse durera” meaning  “The pain is eternal” Well that was conveniently poetic of him wasn’t it?…and just not true. You know what my dads last words were? “You maybe better get a doctor. I think there’s something really wrong with me.” Which makes perfect sense. He wasn’t rattling out little bon mots on the nature of being. “Ah the universe is a hurricane and we are nought but farts.” What? What’s he saying? I’m not sure, something about farting like a hurricane. Ah…it’s probably the mixture of hospital cabbage and morphine.

I reckon Van Gough’s last words probably were more along the lines of, “Speak up you fool, I’m missing a lug. What? No I don’t feel like getting it down in a painting! I’m really fucking depressed! Send out for some prostitutes and Absinth, that tends to work”

And if those really were his last words then he was wrong. Pain isn’t eternal…Well unless you’re watching Scotland in a world cup qualifier. In which case it can feel like it. The point is you get better. Of course I can still feel a swelling of emotion when I think of my dad, but it’s a nice feeling. I was just thinking today how he could be full of constant surprises. I remember watching indie band The Smiths on telly one day and he looked up from his paper and said, “What a lovely singer that man is. Perfect diction, you can make out every word.” I was stunned. As far as music went he wasn’t into anything post Sinatra. Now he’s gone from Sinatra to The Smiths and cut out pretty much everything in between. That’s some gap. Or maybe he just liked the idea of “hanging DJs” Then there was the time gay icon Boy George first appeared on Top of the Pops. Again he looks up from his paper, “What’s that.” He enquired? Not who, what. I said, “It’s Boy George. He’s gay.” To which he replied, “Well if gay means happy then that man’s ecstatic.” A joke I feel good enough to go in this show.

Although the death of my dad from cancer was anything but pleasant I didn’t find it horrific either. Life kind of prepares you for such stuff. And even in among all the pain nice things would happen. The day before he went he decided to rally round and find the strength to watch Scotland play England at Rugby. We hadn’t defeated England in an age…that day we won. Nice one God. I always reckoned if he did exist he’s probably Scottish and invented England to punish us for our sins.

Even on the day of his passing quirky stuff was happening. My family is like The Broons. There’s as many of us as them and like The Broons if one heads out to solve a problem then another nine follow behind them. On the day my dad was at the end he had been put into twilight to ease his pain. It was decided a word with the nurse was required and in typical Broons/Scott family tradition nine of them set off down the corridor and I was charged with watching my dad as I had a “nursing background”. I’d worked for nine months in a psychiatric hospital about ten years prior. They hadn’t been out the room more than two minutes and my dad decided, from whatever level of consciousness he was on, It seems to have gone a bit quite I’ll just sneak away now. And he stopped breathing. I got a fright. I then said, “Shit dad they’re all out the room. Could you please just hang on.” And he promptly started breathing again.

So then I lean out his room and call on the family. As I was doing this I did the most ridiculous thing of keeping one hand on his bed, like you do with a shopping trolley in the supermarket…in case someone is looking for exactly the same groceries as you and makes off with your stuff. I’ve no idea where I thought he might be going. I think the chances of him leaping up and announcing there’s maybe some time left for a final bet at the bookies were slim.

PS My dad’s the one on the left in this photo.

 

 

 

For The Love Of Star Wars. #Worldpoetryday

FOR THE LOVE OF STAR WARS.

Not so long a time ago,
In a galaxy where we stay.
An empire rose and then it fell.
Some rebels had their day.
One world war.
Two world wars.
Have three and then it’s see ya.
War’s an endless franchise.
Like Luke and Han and Leia.
The need to end such turmoil,
Cannot enough be stressed.
If only Presidents and Prime Ministers
with Jedi rational were blessed.
They lied about a phantom menace
in the rubble of Iraq.
We got the oil, a million dead.
An empire striking back.
Despite it all the people fight.
Here’s bloodshed and defiance.
Like Obi Wan in desert sands,
a Persian rebel alliance.
Are we as a moment now at our end of rope.
Or can a fairy tale inspire,
and bring us a new hope.
So when you hear of refugees
From Syria to Mogadishu.
Spare their blasted lives a thought,
and may the force be with you.

Celebrity deaths 2016. #WorldPoetryDay

When you kicked off we were all crying No Way!
That can’t be the end of our David Bowie.
But the Reaper this year had a much bigger plan.
As he moved straight on to Alan Rickman
Seems we’re not immortal like Wolverine Logan.
As the house wives wept for old Terry Wogan
Even a Mockingbird death he would kill.
Turns out Harper Lee was feeling quite ill.
By the time he took out producer George Martin
We’re beginning to think, “this Death guys just startin’”
Paul Daniels didn’t like this, not even a lot
Then in Deaths grasp he was finally caught
The reaper moved on in an endless orbit
And it’s goodnight from him, wee Ronnie Corbett
Why are you taking the great and the good?
Oh come on man, not Victoria Wood
This slaughter of yours is making us wince
We’re not even sure what was wrong with Prince
Every week sees another, who is the latest?
Muhammad Ali no longer the greatest
The situation was getting fair bonkers
As Gene Wilders heart went a bit Wonka
But Death just continued, and he danced and he turned
Time to stop spinning Mr Pete Burns
Next was our U.N.C.L.E dear Robert Vaughn
Out like a light, then he was gone
And on and then on and then on he kept goin’
A last Hallelujah for nice Mr Cohen
What is it with you and these folks we adore?
Next up on his list goes Zsa Zsa Gabor
Death just continues, relentless his cycle
You really are kidding, it can’t be George Michael
We are your fans, this year’s made us blue
Goodbye Carrie Fisher, he’s finally through

 

Youth #WorldPoetryDay

I remember a boy who always loved rivers
As he screamed and he skipped and he ran
So when the last light is naught but a sliver
I’ll take pride in his complete lack of plan

An infectious laugh brimming in joy
Just another face in the Oi polloi
And we danced
Castles float
Keith transmits
Ice expands
Plastic spins
Charlie fights
Acid lights
Raymond disappears
Nobody here

I remember a boy with no thoughts of the mortal
How he drank and he swore and he sang
And when I see that I let out a chortle
Yet some are long gone from the gang
And we danced
Twirling your stuff
Strutting a bluff
Where is she going
Enough is enough
What have you done with your hair
You burn and you dim like a flare
I can’t remember
It’s fading like embers
Play turns to working
Your bones are for hurting
Warm summer sun
Is this the last one
Sea was for swimming
Nettles for stinging
Is there money for one more ride
I don’t need anything with you by my side
Life is a bitch
Forgive us our sins
Life is a beach
An the tide’s coming in.

CAT IN THE HAT DONALD TRUMP. #WorldPoetryDay

CAT IN THE HAT DONALD TRUMP

I do not like him or his hair

I do not like his angry glare

Or riding on a Camel hump

I do not like that Donald Trump

I do not like his orange face

His policies are a disgrace

I do not like his suit and tie

I do not like his beady eyes

He’s about as smart as Forest Gump

I do not like that Donald Trump

I do not like his fascist chums

And his crazy views on the Muslims

I do not like his tiny hands

I do not like for what he stands

I do not like the things he says

Or where on women his hand lays

He is the chief of all the chumps

I do not like that Donald Trump.

I do not like his Mexican wall

To make them pay takes some gall

He moans about the fake news

I hope it’s giving him the blues

You can only ask him stuff he likes

Just like Hitler and his Third Reich

Get rid of him I do beseech

This president we should impeach

With climate change he’ll do the trees in

He’s not afraid of committing treason

In the bin he should be dumped

I do not like that Donald Trump.

I do not like his nuclear expansion

While living in a gilded mansion

He’s got his hand upon the button

His face is like a cut of mutton

I do not like his Stepford wives

Just look at her she has no live

This man child he is a bully

A simpleton with brain so woolly

This bad man he is a racist

He sees the colour in our faces

He treats women like they are strumpets

He grabs a leg and then he’ll hump it

This planet really took a slump

When they elected Donald Trump.