The People of Mars

35,000,000 miles.

The distance from Earth to Mars, apparently.

Do the Martians take after their god?

Are they warmongers or farmers?

Are they friends with the folk from Jupiter?

Do they long for peace on our fractured world?

Do they even care?


Summer in Scotland

Mottled legs lay stretched on plastic strewn beaches

Ice cream vans appear on every corner, in every cul-de-sac

Fair-haired babies are shaded, under the eye of anxious mothers

Red backs accompany peeling faces

And the smell of sun tan lotion and after sun lies sickly sweet in the air

Families paddle in the ice cold water

And the Big Issue seller stands on the corner, dreaming of better days.


white pleated field hockey skirt swinging,

she walks by the side of the road.

11 or 12, maybe


walking home from practise

on her own? such a safe neighbourhood

a screech of car tires and a single scream

and the illusion of safety is shattered

never to be whole again