Tricia's Treasure Trove

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Poetry against Bigotry ¦ Hairy Balls ¦ When we were Weans ¦

Poetry against Bigotry by Patricia Preston©

I'm the best Fenien Orange man you have ever seen
One day I'll bless the Pope of Rome then toast the British Queen
The only colours I will wear are red blue white and . . . green
I'm a rebel Loyalist, if you know what I mean

One day I'll support Rangers then Celtic I will cheer
Though this becomes confusing when the old Firm game gets here
That is not the half of it, in Hibs hall I've heard talk
About the man who blessed himself wi' the flute at the Orange Walk

Indian, Chinese, European, African
Women, Wains, and Animals and then of course there's Man
In my garden I grow Lilies, watered by the Shankhill Falls
Surrounded by the Shamrock, sheltered by the Dairy Walls

My wife she is a Muslim, My son, he's turned a Jew
Me; I'm a Roman Protestant, My daughter is Hindu
The Grandwains, they are Sheiks, though we have some Buddhists too
We're a Cosmopolitan Family, through and through

Temple, Mosque and Synagogue, Church of Scotland and R.C
Because, I'm Ecumenical, this week I'll try Wee Free
The only disagreement that you'll ever hear from me
Is I won't allow Racism, or stupid Bigotry

I've wore short trousers long enough
I knew my day would come
I know what age my Granny is
I've even banged the drum

So the moral of this tale is
Why don't we live in Peace
'Cause we're all Jock Thamson's Bairns
So let this hatred CEASE.

 

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Hairy Balls ©

Hairy balls, they called her, but they were just jealous, and anyhow she was not what you would imagine her to be. She wasn't some middle aged Granny with hairy legs competing with the mustached top lip.
No, she was a sophisticated young teenager who had finished her college degree with flying colours, in art and design.
She was going places and the World had better be getting ready.
Mary Ball, her real name, was preparing herself for the audition. This was to be her big break and she was making sure that she had all the advantages.
She had visited the Beauty Salon for a facial, massage and nail improvement.
Looking in the mirror closely she gave herself a satisfied smile at her cleavage, not too much, just a hint of sexiness, and she enjoyed the fact that at least hers were real.
Her suit had been tailored to show her figure to the best advantage. She wasn't particularly rich, but she was lucky to know a friend in the business. Tony had studied with the best, his background was working with Transvestites, and if he could make a man look good Mary was a stunning Goddess of womanhood.
It was so good to know contacts, Mary thought to herself as she admired the black suit over the white blouse in the mirror. Tony was Gay and automatically knew what a woman wanted.
I'm so lucky, thought Mary.
She had designed the suit herself of course, the Art came in real handy there. Mary had looked through her old portfolio. She had tried to copy a mixture of 40s, 50s style of the last century. When women and men wore hats.
That along with modern materials, more comfortable by far than the original version, would be the thing that made Mary stand out from the crowd.
All of these things and her stunning natural blonde hair; like her breasts, would make sure that the people giving the audition would remember her for a long time to come.
Mary added the final touches to her make up. She practiced her 'actors walk', straight back, no slouching and smiling confidently. A quick warm up of her vocal chords, some gibberish with no meaning and a hum, song and tounge twister she had learned as a child, 'Red leather, Yellow leather'. A quicky Shakespear prologue and then she phoned the taxi.
Mary thought she would give her accent skills a try at this point and turned on her Cockney accent.
'Hello John, got me a motor', she went.
'What Love?', his English was noticeable straight away.
'Blinkey, Blonkey, Blimey!', Mary found herself saying, then cringed at the obvious stereo type. She tried quicky to return to character. 'Which part of the city do you come from Love?'
'What?', the voice replied. ' This is Glasgow Hire. Do you want a taxi?'
Mary quickly reverted back to her broad Glaswegian. She thought the Guy was being patronizing. He wasn't though it was herself really, trying to be a person from a place she had never even visited let alone knew, but Mary could be fickle that way.
'Ah, all right there big man, Ah'm wanting to know if there's a taxi? Ah'm going to go to the Tron Theatre for an audition like. Ah'm an actor so Ah'm ur and Ah've got an audition fir a great play. So's Ah need a taxi to get me there on time. Huv you got wan available wee man or what?'.
There was a slight pause and then Mr Cockney pipes up. 'Would you like a ring back Love'.
'Whit!', says Mary indignant now. 'Ma ring back, where we engaged at wan time or something?'
'No love'. The voice replied apologetic enough. 'Who's calling please?'
'It's Mary, Mary Balls', she says, as if the man should already know her name.
'Sorry Love Hairy who?' he goes and
Mary slams the phone down indignant.

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When we were Weans ©

 

Remember the time when we were weans

drawing beds wi' chalk on paving stanes

hoola hoops and playing at chases

egg and spoon and three legged races

when we were weans

 

ah can still mind playing birlies on swings

joy wheels, then chutes, then raking the bins

docket leaf fish and grass for the chips

penny caramels and wawlnut whips

wish ah could visit that time again

the time when we were all being weans

 

ragdolls and teddies, balloons on a stick,

bubbles and penny lucky bag tricks,

buttercups and daisy chains;

sure it wis great jist being weans

when we were weans

 

skipping ropes and playing ball,

running messages for neighbours as well as yer Maw

Andy Pandy, and Bill and Ben

when women were lassis and boys were men

when Daddies worked and stayed wi' their wife

and women looked after the men all their lives

 

days when the telly payed respect to the Queen

and Mammies and Daddies aye knew where ye'd been

sure I was protected, except when at school,

but ma pals were affected cos their home life was cruel

it was never spoken about at all

when weans watched the weans tae help their maw

never getting the chance at being the wean

jist school, hard work and belting pain

whit pain, when they were weans

 

nae canteens, men worked wi' their pieces

Aunties looked after their Nephews and Nieces

Uncles would speak up tae get ye a joab

except fur the pawn man, Mad Uncle Boab

yer brown parcel handed ower, he'd call yer Da sonny

but he was rich, cos he aye gie'd ye money

 

the days when the pubs all closed at nine

and yer mammy was daring drinking thimble-glass wine

yer granny wore vests wi' whale-bone stays

devoutly kept her Catholic ways

noo she never prayed for her daily breath

no, she always wanted a happy death

 

mind you, she got it jist the same

think how I felt being the wean

cruelty is not always physical

words like "I'm dying" can drive you mental

mind you, I forgive her for she never had help

to be a strong woman or jist be herself

 

I couldn't survive her generation

two wars she survived on a char-lady's station

just new to the vote, I don't take it for granted

my independent streak, in her it first started

taking women away from the ball and the chain

making me strong when I was a wean

 

taking you back to the starting time

a child of five in '59

when all's said and done, I've done no' bad

as a matter of fact, I'm sometimes glad

I gather wi' friends who give me my place

they call me by name in this human race

though sometimes I go back to that time again

wi' on'y good memories of bein' a wean

 

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