The Mrs has an eye for interesting events, events that she knows I would never stir myself for… simply due to my laziness. And so, I get dragged in.. and then wonder why I didn’t think of going myself.

Case in point being a recent haiku writing workshop she took us both to at our local library. Yes, my library is cool like that.

Given the sparse nature of the subject, I think it better to simply leave here the result of our efforts. The last 2 are completely original, written by us from scratch. For the rest, it was more a fill in the blanks exercise with varying levels of “blanks”.


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cuimhne albannach


I left the lab the other night, getting into my car, going through the usual rigmarole of adjusting seat belts, switching on the ubiquitous mp3 player, and putting the car into ‘R’. The first chords sounded…

When I wake up yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you

…and even as the drums kick in, I’m transported back to Hogmanay 2005.

We had left the house after the usual passing of time for the New Years’: some alcohol, some snacks, some dinner, some music, a lot of laughter and fun. Aberdeen had one of the bigger street parties in the UK, and we didn’t want to miss the best part. Even as we entered Union Street and found our way through the crowd and hit the randomly sighted people we knew… the countdown had started.

New Years was ushered in by the crowd of over 2000 people screaming.. as the final echoes of the scream died away.. the distinctive chords were struck. The crowd had turned as one towards the stage.

When I go out yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you

All at once, the crowd bayed an anthem of their times… and we joined on yowling away to our best. Someone took up a Scottish arm dance, and before we knew it, we were circling each other, linking arms, breaking away.. banging our feet, clapping our hands together.. dancing like so many others around us. I remember at the time, one of the highlights was the fact that random people around us joined… most importantly Scottish girls 🙂

If I get drunk yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

The chorus came once, twice…and we joined in the best we could. We didn’t know the words, the band, the song, the people around us. But I remember that the Scots around us had clapped us on our backs, and joined in our dance, stamped feet in unison with us, and at the end of it all, hugged and wished us a happy new years. We didn’t know them, nor they us.. but the smiles and the nodding stays with me now.

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more

My eyes came back to focus… on the parking lot I was in. The rhythm still gets me… I was banging my feet in my car and snapping fingers to a long-forgotten beat. The song was slowly reaching its end, I reached out to play it again. It shouldn’t have to end,  I should be able to go back in time to where I want.. when I want. Especially to the times in Aberdeen.

Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door

No matter how many years pass, Scotland can never really leave me.

The Proclaimers500 Miles
cuimhne albannach = Scottish memories (roughly)



When it started we were alright
But night makes a fool
of us in the daylight

sitting back. headphones in place. the strumming should come from your fingers, but it echoes in your head nonetheless. you look at the the screen in front of you. its getting boring. you’ve been looking at it for a while now. seven hours is a long time. you think you hear something. headphones off, walk around. nothing. the place is dead. there’s no-one around. motion sensor lights come back on as you walk past them, one doesn’t. you move back and forth to get its attention, this is unfortunate… a motion sensor won’t recognize your existence. and this matters to you.

have you become so mundane that you are considered part of the background ?

the final light flickers on.

So up they picked me by the big toe
I was held from the rooftop then they let go
Dizzily screaming ‘Let the windows down’
As I crawl to the ground

you want to yell. you want to scream. you want to be seen. you want to be known. thats why you’re here. you don’t want to be nothing. you don’t want to be forgotten in the debris. you don’t know what you can do to make sure you are never the muck. you are tired of being the shadow. you don’t want to be lost in the night. barely noticed as you pass the streetlight.

but the one thing you want most is that you want to see her. see her face light up when she sees you that night. you want to see her be impatient that you haven’t come yet. you want to be able to leave early and surprise her. you want to sit doing nothing, watching her do something. anything. have her ruffling your hair. see her excitement at a trip somewhere. even just to the movies. watch the fireworks light up her face. feel her burying her face in your sleeve when something scares her. remember her burying her face in your chest when you left her last.

just her.

If you’d only if you’d only say yes
Whether you will’s anybody’s guess
God only God knows she won’t let me rest
But I’m just so tired of this loneliness
I’ve become so tired of this loneliness

Coldplay – Yes
gese = ‘yes’ (in old english)

camera one


Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he never got undressed
And no, he never made a mess

watching. waiting. looking away. sipping the water in front of you. looking back. waiting. ever so slightly leaning forward. seem to listen intently. waiting. look down. note the sheen on your shoes. rest your forehead against your elbow on the table. feel the dryness in your mouth. look up. reach for the water. wait. sip. feel the trickle of water go down a throat that is too, too dry. swallow. eyes never move from in front you.

Sits and watches the sea fold in
And wonders what might have been
If she could ever have the chance
Would she do it all again?

your brain starts playing the scene to unfold. soon, very soon. unbidden, images flash. words flash, fade, move, rearrange. your mouth moves in rehearsed motions. it is robotic now, a motion that occupies the moments that are to come soon. very soon. you have dual vision – the real life in front of you somehow overlaid with the future. every minute, every second weighs in on you. you glance at the watch unbidden. it is an empty gesture, the time moves no slower and no faster. very soon. it will be time. words hang in the air, unspoken. you want to do something, pace, walk, shake in fear, shake in excitement. you want the moment to pass, you want to relish the moment. meanwhile the future continues to unfold. you feel the end of the “vision” coming. very soon. it will be over. and it hasn’t even begun yet. you have no idea what will happen when it will be over. something might go wrong. nothing can go wrong. very soon. you will know.
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Pehli saans
Mere din ki pehli dhoop
Chaand ki pehli kiran

walking down the street, the twilight barely lighting your way, you don’t notice. the harsh shadow of the streetlight seemingly bars your way, but such considerations barely affect you. the wind bites, you barely huddle up in your coat. lost in thought, you don’t notice the autumn leaves half buried in frost, the last leaves on the trees surviving the cold, the frozen dew… you feel much lonelier than that last leaf, that last drop.

Pehla geet
Baarish ki pehli boond
Tum sheeth ki pehli kampan…

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Where do we go, nobody knows
I’ve gotta say I’m on my way down
God give me style and give me grace
God put a smile upon my face

sitting there with chris martin crooning, the piano chords striking something deep, deep within. all at once, the symphony comes together; drums, guitar, bass, keyboard… and the chorus resonates. involuntarily, the foot starts tapping the beat.

Where do I go to fall from grace
God put a smile upon your face, yeah

Now when you work it out I’m worse than you
Yeah when you work it out, I want it too…

you try to listen harder; the foot taps faster, faster…the fingers join in. the rhythm builds within you, you wish you could actually play the guitar – follow the beat, follow the tune, follow the song. you also know no instrument would ever produce that kind of music coming from you. you sit back; your hands moving in unison to meaningless strumming, nonsense chords…the only thing that makes any sense is the beat, the rhythm, the song.

the music.

Now when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine…
It’s as good as mine
As good as mine…

you wonder why, you wonder if ever, you wonder why you wonder… the line starts hammering itself into your head, and a voice joins in before you realise it.
you are singing.
you open your mouth to mouth the words… the legs still tapping the beat that you hear… the hands strumming the song the way only you can… the head jams to a song that you live, you resonate with, you change to drum roll with nary a pause, then the keyboard, the hands moving in configurations that are yours; and yours alone. the drums, the keyboard, the bass, the guitar, the voice…

the song.

God gave you style and gave you grace
And put a smile upon your face…

everyone stop


Wait in line
‘Till your time
Ticking clock
Everyone stop

sitting around the room, each of us looking away. the number of possible activities you can indulge in not requiring the presence of any of the others, even though they are right there… are being explored. a frown, a smile, no expression, and yet all of them. look up, quickly.. and look away. meeting the eyes can lead to conversation. conversation could mean breaking the silence, which now seems to have occupied a fifth corner which it has created.

Nine to five
Living lies
Stealing time
Everyone’s taking everything they can
Everything they can

stillness permeates, the occasional tap makes barely a dent in it. we look up, all at once, and find each of the others looking back at us. awkwardness ensues, a nod, a shake, the word ‘nothing’ mouthed… and the head bows down to the task that seems to be overriding any need for human contact. new corners are explored in the effort to look away from present company. not dislike, rather not wanting to be caught in those awkward moments is the overreaching goal. 2 of us end up examining the same corner of the wall, oblivious of the other. 2 of us turn over in the vain effort to sleep. none of us are really successful right now.

Do you believe
In what you see
Motionless wheel
Nothing is real
Wasting my time
In the waiting line

and yet..deep down, we can feel the connection that exists but is not accepted. there is no reason for any of us not to turn to the other… we just don’t. we believe the smile we exchanged 2 hours earlier suffices for an evening together. we want to feel that chatting with each other while sitting next to each other demonstrates affection.

a look, a smile, a word. nothing more, nothing less.

Do you believe
In what you see…

Zero 7 – In the Waiting Line