A Voice Outwith the Crowd.

If the cap fits!  Try as I might, I have never been able to conform for the sake of it.  It’s just not in my DNA – and, for that, I am eternally grateful.  Opinions belong to the individual, however; to those who are interested and passionate about life – and who care enough to want to be heard above the crowd.  Writing has long been my release and, in a world which is becoming increasingly lost, there is so much to be said!  Often controversial – to be fair, usually controversial – sometimes the words flow more easily in verse.  This page is testament to that and home to poems I have written about subjects I feel strongly.  Nothing if not cathartic!   

Dear Pop…

It’s on days like this that I miss you most
As the sun glistens on the water.
But you’re here, in spirit, that I know
Forever, father and daughter. 

You loved this beach.  We shared that, too
From that summer evening so long ago.
August 1964, I shall never forget
‘Paradise’, you called it and still it is yet. 

At peace, now, at one with the nature you loved
You’re the sand at my feet and the sky up above.
Life, it moves on as the tides ebb and flow
But you are a constant, a part of my soul. 

The voice in my head, I hear your words still
So calming, so comforting, I need them – always will.
It’s your sarcasm I miss, though, at the end of the day
God’s not in his heaven, that’s all I can say! 

The memories, I cherish, the photographs, too
Of a childhood so happy, so much owed to you.
The laughter, the tears, you were there through it all
I’ll always remember; I’ll always recall. 

A consultant psychiatrist, of significant repute
I was so proud to call you Pop!
Still known to this day, you were one of a kind
How’s that for a legacy?  Your name is enshrined. 

Not one for people, your friends were select.
Your loyalty was earned, your love and respect.
But family was everything and I was never in doubt
That my Daddy was there to sort it all out. 

To buy me my records, to drive us to school
To help with our homework and polish our shoes.
You were my mainstay, my anchor, my sail
You gave me my courage, my strength when I fail. 

In the end, you were broken, in body and soul
There was nothing that I could do.
A family in tatters, the wounds way too deep
A fairy tale shattered while my world gently weeps … 

Five years they have passed since you threw in the towel
Has time healed those wounds?  Not one bit.
But I carry you with me in all that I do
The voice in my head?  You’re still it! 

We scattered your ashes on the beach that you loved
And I visit you most days, you know.
I chat and you listen, is it madness?  Perhaps
Do I care?  Not a jot and, so … 

It’s on days like this that I miss you most
As the sun glistens on the water.
But you’re here in spirit, that I do know
Forever, father and daughter. 


A Voice Outwith the Crowd
October 2023

Please Stop the Rain …

I thought it had stopped
But I was wrong
Another drop, another gone.
The rain seems a mirror
To a world filled with gloom
But nothing prepares
For one taken too soon.
Hit like a bolt
When I heard the news
Like a kick in the gut,
Please, don’t be true!
Though I never did meet him
His fame it did soar
For this giant of rugby
Was oh, so much more.
His eyes positively twinkled
Like the smile on his face
His zest for life, infectious
His kindness, his grace.
He had everything to live for,
His family loved him so
Why, then, did it happen
That he had to go?
Six years, they have passed
Since that cruellest of blows
MND, a death sentence
A cure? No-one knows.
But he did not falter,
Giving all he had left
Raising money for others
Too late for himself.
Through the years, he held Scotland
Very close to his heart
His tartan suit reflecting
His nation and its part …
In a life which shone so brightly
Loved by all who crossed his path.
Now, the skies are that much darker
And the rain, it is but tears
For the world has lost a hero,
His name was Doddie Weir.

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
November 2022

The Hero and The Hell

Human nature knows no bounds
It seems we never learn.
Has history taught us nothing?
Why are we here again?

Old as time, the lust for power
The reason never changes.
I want so therefore I shall have
Who cares the cost, arrange it!

The day that Russia invaded Ukraine
Was the day that COVID ‘ended’.
Co-incidence? Of course, who’d dare to presume
An agenda at play, war intended?

What happened to life as we knew it
The one before COVID, now war?
So near, yet so far but still we remain
A world gripped by fear – ever more?

Does evil truly wait round every corner
To ensure that the innocent know hell?
While Putin sits in his armoured bunker
Families, severed, bid their last farewells.

No words can describe the bravery
Of Ukraine in all of its might
As Russian armoury made its advances
They vowed to stay and to fight.

The world stood by and support was hollow
For a country not yet in NATO
If only Ukraine had completed the form
Wakened Biden, taken Bojo’s Prosecco!

But sanctions are all we have offered
And weapons to kill or be killed
Helpless, we watch innocent slaughter
With feelings of shame and of guilt.

For the images are truly harrowing
As civilians take blow after blow
The dead, the wounded, the fleeing, the terror
The courage in the bunkers below.

Millions have fled to the borders
In fear, leaving all that they know
And Poland was the first to embrace them
No questions, just harbour and hope.

Again, Britain’s part has been wanting
Bureaucracy more important than heart
For the thousands who have made it to Calais
No visa, no entry, that’s that!

But amidst all the horror and evil
The suffering at the hands of the depraved
There are beacons of hope for humanity
Proving night always gives way to day.

The selfless have rushed to the rescue
Offering comfort to the battled and bruised
Generosity, too, has been overwhelming
Please, God, erase evil with good.

But through it all, one man stands a giant
His courage no coward could buy
Rescue declined, he’ll stay ’til the end
Well aware, he’s the ultimate prize.

Volodymyr Zelensky has the heart of a lion
With patriotism instilled in his soul
He will fight to the end for his country
For democracy and freedom for all.

Yes, the West may have denied all his pleas
But in rousing his people, he excels
Their courage is only mirrored by his
A true hero amidst the reality of hell …

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
March 2022


Misinformation. That’s information with a ‘mis’
The power of three little letters, who knew?
The word of the ‘now’, it’s the perfect misnomer
For anything which threatens ‘your’ truth.

For Covid has divided into brothers and foes
And the ‘experts’ have been carefully chosen.
No verging from mainstream, they’re la crème de la crème
All others have hooves which are cloven!

Years of training, proven knowledge and expertise
Count for nothing unless you agree
That the vaccine is sacred, be it one, two or three
Injuries? Early treatment? Quiet, please!

The doctors and scientists who dare to dissent
Must be censored and silenced, rebuked.
No platform, no voice, not a chance of debate
Could it be there is too much to lose?

Fact-checkers align! The support it is growing
For those who have nothing to gain.
For the ones who remember the Hippocratic Oath
To help not to harm is the aim.

It does beggar belief that one word holds such sway
Just challenge the narrative, there it is, sure as day.
Labelled ‘Misinformation’, that’s all that it takes
Lest the masses should SEE, just tell them it’s fake!

But my question is this, what happened to opinion?
The freedom to choose one’s own truth at will?
The freedom to access all missed information?
To make an informed choice, not just follow the drill?

For I have the right to decide just for me
The ‘experts’ I seek, those I choose to believe.
To deny me the information I wish to find?
Merely adding a prefix does not render me blind!

Joe Rogan attracts an audience of millions
And venom from those under threat.
For his podcast is free from restriction and censure
A voice for the silenced who deserve some respect.

At the end of the day, though, it’s all about money
And ego can never compete.
So, blackmail averted, content advisories in place
Warn of misinformation. Of course! Just in case.

But the word of the ‘now’ lost its lustre, per se
When it came to our own Dr James.
For he couldn’t be challenged nor would he concede
To tyrannical mandates borne of power and greed.

So, Misinformation, it was fun while it lasted
To cast doubt over truth everywhere.
But the savvy are gathering, no more will they take
The censoring of content; the lack of debate.

You will be remembered, of course, let’s be clear
As the word of an era enshrouded in fear.
A fear so hypnotic that the world, it was duped
And the use of three letters all but silenced the truth.

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
February 2022

Big Boys Don’t Lie …

Oh, yes, they do! Oh, no, they don’t! Oh, were this pantomime
But Christmas cannot right the wrongs of the year we leave behind.
Who would have thought we’d be still here, that little would have changed?
Masks, restrictions, a media possessed, ensure the fear remains.

But wasn’t the vaccine coming? Wouldn’t everything be alright?
That’s what the experts told us. Roll up! The end is in sight.
Then spring turned into summer and most did what they were told
But not all could be persuaded in view of the risks involved.

Still subject to trial until ’23, there were adverse reactions, who knew?
No mention of stats? Don’t worry, they’re rare. This is the truth, be assured.
But I have a problem, you need to be straight. Why silence the experts who wish to debate?
A rhetorical question, too much to lose, but everyone has the right to choose.

Two jabs, they said, that’s all it takes to set you free, to fly
But, then, they learned protection wanes fast and a booster is required.
What a surprise! Arm out, again, and why not have the flu one, too?
A chemical overload, take one for the team, just selfish to deny.

The fact is, there are millions around the world who choose
Not yet to be injected with an experimental dose.
Labelled ‘anti-vaxxers’, that’s just so far from the truth
For most have had every vaccine before, tried and tested, no dispute.

I question why the heavy hand, why the blackmail to comply?
To be socially responsible, protect the NHS, to live and not to die?
It makes no sense to argue that the unvaccinated must submit
To protect the vaccinated who are unprotected? Is this a comedy skit?

You see, this is the problem, how can anything make sense
When there is no consistency and gripped by fear, the world is tense?
Mainstream media is to blame, the rhetoric unrelenting
The party line is all that’s allowed. Strict censorship of the ‘dissenting’.

Like the Sword of Damocles, we are led to believe, the virus is just waiting
Manipulated data, constant figures, the scaremongering is unabating.
Christmas is coming, a chance to reflect, spend time with those we love
Oh, look! Here comes Omicron, just in time, a gift from up above!

Stop! I have had it! No more can I take. Life is for living, for goodness sake!
No Covid passports, no mandatory jabs. Free to make choices, to have or not have.
Stop being fed information and look for yourself. Open your eyes, this is not about health.
The truth does not fear open debate. The censorship, damning, controlled by the state.

The truth does not fear open debate. So why the accepting, resigned to their fate?
The daily statistics, manipulated, we know. Every death is from COVID, no cancer no more.
Adverse reactions? Pray, what are they? Scores of injuries and fatalities. No liability. No say.
Doctors and scientists who try to enlight? Their voices are silenced, jobs lost overnight.

So, to say things aren’t sinister, is denial in the extreme
To accept and not to question, believe just to believe.
It gives free reign to those in power, to manipulate and control
To do exactly as they choose; to flout the rules they enforce.

Ferguson, Cummings and Hancock make three
Those that we know of who did what they pleased.
Harbingers of doom, they built the walls which confined
Then, smirked as they lived life while the minions obliged.

Does it not make you wonder why they had no fear
Of the virus they warned of with consequences severe?
How could it be that only they were immune?
Were they hiding something? Had it all been a ruse?

Now, in the light of the ‘parties’ last year
Could it be that they celebrated while most isolated in fear?
The country is outraged, the trust has all gone
Could the irony be Boris has been lying all along?!

Irony? Wow! It’s present in spades
To, at once, question those to whom one is enslaved.
The ones who have manipulated, controlled and instilled fear
The ones who were partying at the end of last year!

I have to admit, it has made me smile
To think that this party is the focus of all guile.
For the gathering is irrelevant bar the spotlight it shines
On the blinkered, blind belief that big boys don’t lie!

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
December 2021

No Game …

I’ve had enough, there is no doubt
The fridge is bare, I’m all cleaned out.
I’ve tried to maintain a voice of cheer
But the towel is in, all hail King Lear!

Charlie Watts has gone, the Stones are three
Thanks for the memories and the reverie.
As for ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’?
Beloved?  A classic?  Oh, no, inflammatory!

The world’s gone mad, there’s no denying
To surpass the gloom is increasingly trying.
The rhetoric of fear is unabating
Inject the children while we’re waiting!

A year and a half has come and gone
Life is no more but we soldier on.
Daily statistics, manipulated, are still fed
Nothing’s changed, don’t think, just obey and be led.

Meanwhile, boost your immune system, take Vitamin D
For, if you fall ill, no doctor you’ll see.
Most, now, work from home for a better life balance
Take a call, go online, if it’s not COVID, it’s callous!

Millions are vaccinated, has it made any difference?
Has freedom been granted, restrictions been lifted?
It seems we’re going nowhere, confusion abounds
But the dots they are a-joining, the truth will be found.

Travel is impossible unless it’s to Bognor
Staycationers en masse, forget spontaneity, that’s an order!
Masks are ubiquitous, there’s a virus out there
The vaccinated need boosters?  No long-term data spells unaware.

Emergency legislation has been extended, of that never fear
Control, a powerful weapon, no liability, in the clear.
Wake up and take notice before it’s too late
Or sign your life over to government and state.

Oh, help, it’s depressing and so difficult to see
A way back to before when, at least, we were free.
The definition of Groundhog, every day is the same
Cue the bars, charge admission, this is definitely no game …

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
August 2021

Talking of Cowboys …

Like cowboys in a movie
You thought you had him beat
You drew your gun, he hit the ground
The end. No more. Defeat!

You turned and walked, white stilettos intact
You licked your lips (poetic licence) in glee
But he was down, not out, his gun still loaded
The shot in the back, you did not foresee!

So, the chaps are on, the hats in situ
The spurs they are a spinning
But how does one beat a clone of oneself?
There are no depths too low, I’m winning!

Like cowboys in a movie?
No, that could never be
For, here, there are two baddies
No goody that I can see.

It’s perfect, though, think about it
One will take the other down
The clones/clowns, in their bid for independence
Will ensure the Union’s crown.

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
March 2021

Dear Meghan …

Well, you’ve done as you intended, you had your say
The fallout was inevitable, the Family in disarray.
I wonder if you’re happy, feel vindicated at last?
You have Harry where you want him, at sea without a mast!

So predictable, nay so rehearsed, no greater part to play
And Oprah was the perfect voice to reach the audience you craved.
First sympathy must be procured, look dewy-eyed, downtrodden
For unprotected, unprepared, you reached the very bottom.

None of this was of your doing, you tried your best, you say
Kind to all, without a doubt, just the victim of racism at play.
You lost your voice, your passport, your life was not your own
The press attacked you for no reason, you wanted to go home.

The wedding cost a fortune, you were granted every wish
Prince Harry, the country’s favourite, what could possibly go amiss?
Who was to know you wanted it all, renouncing hierarchy and tradition
Ambition and fame, it’s all about me, haven’t you heard the news, I’m Meghan!

Meghan gets what Meghan wants and Harry proved the key
Beloved by all, I’ll play along, the perfect wife I’ll be.
I’ll stick it out for just a while but I am definitely no Kate
No life of service, not a chance, subservient, I ain’t!

No photographs of Archie, no details of the birth
Privacy is what I crave, I know exactly my own worth.
The tide has turned, the honeymoon over, butter melting, that’s a fact
Time to play poor little me, racism is where it’s at!

No protection, no security, concerns about Archie’s colour
What happened to the title, deserving like any other?
Did we say we wanted privacy, to lead a normal life?
Don’t be ridiculous, I want it all, I’m Meghan, Harry’s wife!

Enough is enough, it’s not going my way, call the private jet, let’s go
Friends in high places, deals to be made, Oprah is waiting, don’t you know?
It’s all about thriving not just surviving, right? I need to tell my truth
The greatest fairy tale of all time, I call it, and that’s a fact, forsooth!

What about Harry? Oh, yes, he I married. He’s happy, I told him so
For what he’s lost, look what he’s gained, the privacy to grow.
Netflix, Spotify, private jets, 16 bathrooms, he can’t complain
His family, his brother? Well, they’re in the past, our fortune will ease the pain.

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
March, 2021

By Her Own Hand

To the best of my knowledge
I wasn’t there
I can’t remember clearly
I was not aware.

From recollection
I can’t recall
29th March?
Well, sort of, that’s all.

I am First Minister
That, I do know
But to pretend I’m infallible
That just isn’t so.

Still concerned about him
Of my loyalty, take note
But where is the evidence
For me to revoke?

Subject to redaction?
Not my fault I’m sure
Notes of meetings not forthcoming?
Attempts to obscure?

Last to give evidence
Yet, seemingly so unprepared
Blanks, inexplicable
By contradiction, snared.

So totally gripping
I watched it unfold
The noose quickly tighten
As bravado was sold.

To fall on one’s own sword
Who’d have thought it? Such disdain
But, today, powerless to stem the flow
By your country, you were slain.

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
March 2021


Mary had a little lamb … is that ‘allowed’, please tell?
“Don’t be ridiculous!”, came the reply, you deserve to go to Hell!
To speak of Mary, in this way, is nothing short of blaspheme
And, as for Jesus?  ‘A little lamb?  Good grief, most definitely obscene!

‘I’m not going to spend my life being a colour’, that’s what Michael said
But that’s exactly what he did, from black to white, instead.
George Floyd’s death became Black Lives Matter, injustice has to end
Give me the power, I’ll use it well, first, history, I’ll amend.

Tear down the statue of Edward Colston, graffiti that of Winston
He saved us in our darkest hour but that’s only your opinion.
Forget ‘the many’, think of ‘the few’, surely, he was racist?
He was white, he was privileged, that’s enough, context unrelated!

David Hume, philosopher acclaimed, there is a ‘tower’ in his name
Important to me, my lectures were there, when to Edinburgh, I came.
But a Masters student, of one year only, took umbrage at his memory
Letter? Slave plantation? Change the name!  Guilty of white supremacy.

Hang on a minute, there is still more, what of ‘Last Night of the Proms’?
In the name of ‘woke’, they tried to revoke tradition and its very core.
‘Rule Britannia!’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, these words cannot be heard
To hell with history, it’s 2020, WE want justice for George Floyd!

The World of Disney? This can’t be so, please tell me it’s immune?
Happy ever after, films spanning the years, adored by me and you.
For goodness sake, please concentrate, look for the negative and you will see
That Peter Pan is racist, Dumbo, too.  Lady & The Tramp?  That’s three!

Hey, this is working, people are listening, scared to criticise
The ‘Tyranny of Tolerance’ is a mighty foe, designed to terrorise.
No gender specifics, call me ‘it’ or ‘they’, I’ll choose what e’er I please
Life, as it was, is dead and gone, this is the world according to me!

Life is unfair, I’m not happy, who said anything about self-esteem?
This victim culture’s gaining momentum, the brief, once more?  Poor me!
What to do is absolutely nothing, sit online, pick a subject and attack
Minority group?  Even better, who’d be fool enough to hit back.

Colour and gender, the two key words guaranteed to give free reign
Black Girls Hike?  Surely not?  Has the world, truly, gone insane?
Change ‘black’ to ‘white’, designed to incite, that would never be accepted
Discrimination?  Not at all, move the goal posts, that’s expected!

No standards, no morals, forget manners, why bother?
Bias is rife, everyone’s aggrieved, attack in packs, that’s an order!
Common sense and intelligence?  Consigned to history, it would seem
And history is the new swear word for, back then, they were mean!

What gives ‘the few’ the right to dictate, history to delete?
It belongs to ‘the many’ and ‘the many’ object, learn from it, don’t just bleat!
The ‘Tyranny of Tolerance’, bullying, be sure, is cunning in its guise
But give an inch, they take a mile, reveal their hand, expose the smile.

For ‘woke’ is a victim culture, birth dictates the joining fee
Some bemoan the hand they’re given, some accept responsibility.
Ultimately, we walk this path alone, one life, one chance, one legacy
Change the ‘o’ to an ‘a’, wake up to ‘poor me’!  Love yourself, that’s the key.
And start living!

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
February 2021

Ode to COVID

I’m wary of the radio
I no longer watch the news.
There is no escape, it’s all about you
What happened to the right to choose?

Life in 2020, call that living?
Rather echoes of animals in a zoo.
Born to be free, now home is a prison
What happened to the right to choose?

Separated from family and friends
There is no me and you.
Loneliness and anxiety where once there was fun
What happened to the right to choose?

Life in a frame, one calls it Zoom
Just click and you’ve got it, a friend on a screen.
No need to travel, to dress or to move
What happened to the right to choose?

Fear is a constant, isn’t that the intent?
The figures keep coming, there is no relent.
Restrictions and rules, so much we can’t do
What happened to the right to choose?

The country is divided, belief or suspicion?
Masks or no masks? Acceptance or derision?
From lockdown to ‘tears’, constantly confused
What happened to the right to choose?

The acclaimed NHS is battling on
But winter is here and summer has gone.
There are more threats than COVID, there’s cancer, there’s flu
What happened to the right to choose?

As jobs are lost and businesses go under
People are in crisis. Suicide? See the numbers.
COVID, you’ve done this, you’ve unstuck the glue
What happened to the right to choose?

Is this a plan to exert control?
A communist state devoid of free will.
The vaccine is coming, arm out to infuse
What happened to the right to choose?

COVID, you have enabled the death of free will
Liberty is gone, rather, take a pill.
Sheep, form a line, you see nothing to lose
But me? I was born to have the right to choose …

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
January 2021


It must have been August, I saw the first cards
The perfect excuse? This year has been hard.
But summer’s not over, yet winter’s begun
What happened to waiting for good things to come?

This year has been awful, the stress hard to bear
COVID and lockdown, isolation and despair.
Something to look forward to, that’s what we need
But Christmas means December, don’t spoil it, I plead.

Once it was magical, a time to wish, to dream
Families all together, so simple, no extremes.
The glistening lights, the smell of the tree and presents all around
I still remember, always will, every sight and every sound.

But the years have gone, nothing stays the same
Turbo-charged by technology, the once gentle life has been claimed.
Broken families, too much work, no time and no money
Christmas? Oh, help! It’s really not funny.

It started in August, the build-up, that is
The year, it was taken, start making that list.
No, is the answer, four months in advance?
There’s COVID, there’s lockdown, no energy to dance!

COVID is going nowhere, there is no room for cheer
You can’t do this, you can’t do that and don’t forget to fear.
Tempers are frayed as tiredness abounds; darkness is unrelenting
It’ll never get done, I’ve run out of steam; pass the gin, I’m dissenting!

Once I believed in Santa, that it would all fall into place
But that was then and this is now, he’s gone and so’s my faith.
Or is it? Listen! I love this song, it takes me right back when
Two little boys had two little toys and I’m a child again.

The magic is in the music, the songs which transport you back
To fairy lights, snow and gentler times when nothing did we lack.
Noddy shouts ‘It’s Christmas!’ and, suddenly, the world is alight
For it’s the memories which sustain you, make everything alright.

So, Christmas is still magical, close your eyes and you will hear
‘Merry Christmas, war is over’, it’s the end of a horrible year.
The sleigh bells, they are jingling, the song I hold so dear
Wham, ‘Last Christmas”, I give you my heart, now and for all of my years.


A Voice Outwith the Crowd
December 2020

Below is a poem I wrote eleven years ago.  Dated November 2009, it is written from the perspective of a wild animal in a zoo.  One in particular, actually: Mercedes, who, thankfully, was to be the last polar bear in captivity in the UK.

In 2005, I spent many hours filming her for the Born Free Foundation, praying that she wouldn’t look me in the eye …  Captured as a cub in Manitoba, Canada, she was flown to Edinburgh Zoo to spend her life in a concrete enclosure, reduced to nothing more than a money-making exhibit for human entertainment.

Mercedes is long gone but, sadly, she is representative of so many more wild animals, born to be free yet cruelly sentenced to a life in captivity.  Beyond the bars …


What can I see beyond the bars?
Them.  Pointing, laughing, staring
At me.  Why?
Every day, relentless.

What can I do in my concrete world?
Nothing.  Sleep, pace and more sleep.
Why me?
Every day, relentless.

What can they learn from me behind these bars?
Nothing.  Dead birds, cakes and sweet corn, a diet for …
Not me.
Every day, relentless.

But when I close my eyes, I can see
Endless skies, my family, life
As it was meant to be.
Not futile but free …

A Voice Outwith the Crowd
November 2009