Monthly Archive: May 2015

Tweet your Street!

Tweet your Street _Map

Tweet your Street _Map

On Monday 1st June pupils from several local schools joined me and Councillor Richard Lewis at the Central Library to launch the display of their mini-poems on a ‘Tweet your Street’ computer-based map of Edinburgh and environs.

Just click on the map pins and their tweet-sized poems will pop up! Some are also displayed on the windows of the Children’s library. They’re worth a read.

Here are two out of almost 100… and the number is growing!


Holy Rood HS wall display

Holy Rood High School wall display

Southfield Gardens West,
It is the best!
Children, scooters
gardens too,
all I smell are barbeques.

Age 12, Holy Rood HS

My street is unique
Old – an antique –
It’s Newhouses Road.
If you drive in
You have to drive back
You see
It’s a

Age 9, St George’s School for Girls

Royal Mile statues – Adam Smith

S on S photo May 2015About the time of the General Election Scotland on Sunday published my poem about the statue to the famous Scottish economist, Adam Smith. The poem rather lost its shape in the columns, so here it is.

The invisible hand

Royal Mile statue of Adam Smith by Alexander Stoddart

You must have had a natty tailor – that coat:
cuffed, collared and buttoned to perfection.
Your draped cloak softens it, protects from winds
of close and wynd. Those buckles must have cost
a bob or two as well, and your full wig.
 Where you stand you can
almost see Kirkcaldy: cornerstone of character where
you learned the basics, built on them brilliantly;
where you saw men paid in nails, their work
a cannie commodity for barter.
 That gaze hides much:
a soft heart, perhaps a nervous disposition.
More than likely you soldiered on with just
your widowed mother: there seems a touch
of melancholy in your stance.
 But you were wedded
to debate, enlightenment; thrust your learning
through the engine of your diverse faculties, built
sound new theories – PolEcon we called it in the 60s.
You reasoned that hoards of gold, alone,
 are no true measure
of a nation’s wealth; that Productivity and GDP
can measure Systems. Your Wealth of Nations,
that weighty bible of free market Capitalism, set out
the links: competition, self-interest, prosperity.
 But you were also grounded
in Philosophy; wrote of Beauty, Order, Harmony;
of Good and Evil; knew the underpinnings of morality,
of faith. Your writing was plinthed on the invisible hand,
the hand that seeks the greatest good for all.
 That plinth has gone now.
Would you be shocked? Would you be writing
a new treatise, re-defining Capitalism for this
Global era? You look east, well above our heads;
your vision still clear as a bell.

And the article by Shân Ross   photograph by Andrew O’Brien