sweet chariot, by Ruby McCann

sneaking into the city      Prometheus

late again     and so close to Juneteenth

time stops      framing a lit up sky

not shunting burning coals

to Molls Myre      above Dixon Blazes

ancient master blacksmith’s      sit with Charles

and Margaret      fire-placed in perfect

swinging low clouds      like Gods


and Goddesses muse over theft     fuelling

fine fire and art      no cupids angels frolicking

or gossiping about who Jupiter’s off shagging

when you really need him      to be angry

as thunder      to bring rain


below in the shadows      a fiddling fiddler

offers flamed serenades    silent rhymes

of night and day cracking structures      snapping-hissing

popping sonatas      paid in grounded

capped coins on concrete      croons aromatic

fiery-smoking      haar-filling

blanketed-brassy-breathy tinny red notes

A Mother’s Sacrifice       wraps

itself around Glasgow mourning


and Scottish MSP’s refused to parlay

parliaments anti-democratic      jiggery-pokery

devolution walked out its metal on worlds stage

allying together      against rape clauses for women

with children      generation Windrush

bedroom tax and preventable profitable disasters

like Grenfell    independently fired forging swords

of solidarity    and World Cup madness is news


did you know Arthur MacPherson

a Scot      took football to Russia

with love Putin’s ordering rounding

up stray dogs      selective slaughter in poisoned pens

execution style      mass culling’s

and America owns dreams      holds dreamers

blessed are the fruit

children in cages

hundreds of children

……………….in cages

……………….in cages

……………….while fire rages

……………….in cages

……………….in cages

……………….weans in cages

for fuck’s sake


aye      Glasgow’s angry alright

while lily white zillionaires

watch family movies      secure with their kids

on Saturday afternoons:  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang     

under his eye      baiting child catchers           

and their never failing noses take freely

others children and tonight’s screening:

Glasgow’s primal scream


burning Glasgow

burning Glasgow      School of Art

School of Art

………………..flames          firing

………………..flames          firing


blazing inferno      collapsing forms

swirl like fallen autumn leaves      and

it’s still spring      violin hisses fizzling

reddened-yellowed glares      blackened

putrid acrid smoke     sizzle saddened

tender eyes      streaming silence

painting essence of colour      in crackled

street-choking memories


moments sitting      suns hitting

stone bench at CCA:      looking up

boiling voices say       some stories are not

finished     firing light in rooms

remaining      in a state of questions


imagine Russian dogs running free

caged children released     returned to families

loved ones nurturing      resuscitating loves breathe

into      small hearts smiling again


because      if you cannot talk

river language with boat people

we’ll all be swaying low

and sweet with Charles and Margaret

looking over the Clyde      waiting

on a band of angels      coming

for to carry them home

when Macintosh’s chariot rises

from ashes     if we can drag our eyes

away from screens long enough

to realise that the handmaids tale

reads like an oracle of what’s

going on      in our backyard

One thought on “sweet chariot, by Ruby McCann

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