Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


The North Sea

It's strange
how such a cold and formidable thing
reminds me of you,
its icy breakers failing
on a beach we've never walked on
nor likely ever will.

And yet perhaps that is it.
That after all these miles of travelling
defeat should come
at the final moment.

Aberdeen, 29 February 1995
This is the only poem of mine where I’ve felt the need to record the place it was written. I lived in Aberdeen for six months and it was probably the worst six months of my life. I’ve sworn I’ll never go back to the Granite City and I never will. This is the only thing I wrote while I was there and it makes me shudder every time I read it. I remember standing looking out from the harbour and how cold it was. The “you” in the poem is F. I called her once from there but never spoke. I just wanted to hear her voice and I still can. It was a nice voice, soft, a little smoky. In March I returned to Glasgow and I’ve never left. 

Two years later a strange American woman took a chance, got on a plane and probably saved my life.

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