Dare we dream?

words like daggers that pierce the heart…
words like salt that wound the eye when read…

another exemplary piece of writing from the heart of my heart, one where the disappointment of a failed chance at independence for his country has left us (both) feeling bereft, broken and sick to the core… thank you Robert Davidson for writing – and sharing – these words.

Dare we dream?.

A Scottish Bus Blog

a stark observation of life at its best – and worst. the two are the same.
life is full of dog shit and bus stops.
it’s hard not to allow the chaos that prevails to seep into our lives and dampen and darken our spirits. we battle on.
family and loved ones. they matter.
we do what we do because we care.
and it is because we care that we take ill when others around us blatantly do not…
brilliant writing. bleak imagery. but warm optimism contained therein.

Pure Phantasy


X58 from Kirkcaldy to Leven
Expected time of arrival at bus stop – 18:23
Actual time of arrival at bus stop- 18:40

A rattling, vibrating, roaring, precarious, slightly dank and mildly smelling of human feces, stagecoach took me from A to B.

I worried for my own life, and the life of other road users, on several occasions.

Twenty minutes of my life in someone else’s hands, and this guy was in a hurry, after running late.

The bus was fairly empty. A few reticent passengers here and there and only one mong clutching a, plain but mysterious, blue plastic bag for dear life. What is in there, i wonder? As i look down at his feet and see only socks, i conclude it must be his shoes in the bag. Of course.

Despairingly gazing out of the window at the same old streets full of the same old people…

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a new fever has me in its clutches… i can feel her long, bony, icy fingers twist my spine and contort my brain… i need paracetamol… i need a glass of water… i need to sleep…

but sleep won’t come easy…

paracetamol… a glass of water… bed.

i climb into bed… i am shaking… my hands are tingling… am i hungry..? am i over-tired..? i feel exhausted… i feel sick… nausea rushes at me like a jealous mistress… my head feels twice the size it should be… my forehead is hot… my feet are cold… i am shaking… i swallow the pills and wash them down with a long drink of water.

i climb into bed… the pillow feels cool beneath my heavy skull… i close my eyes and then it starts… i must ride this out until it breaks…

micro flashing neon lights spark inside my minds eye, igniting visions… visions… murky, but i look deeper… deeper into the grain and chaos… i see a face… a man’s face… it is Stalin… he is standing outside an old house… a house on a wild beach… a house with a red door… suddenly, he vomits all over himself… then dissolves into a puddle on the ground… i look out to sea… but the sea is not a sea… it is a vast expanse of rippling silken fabric, billowing in the breeze… i look up to the sky… a pterodactyl swoops in low over the water towards me… i duck for cover and close my eyes tight, anticipating being snatched up by the giant predatory bird… nothing… the wind has picked up the pace and snatches my breath… i gasp and open my eyes… i find myself atop one of the steel eagles that grace the lofty Chrysler Building in NYC… i am terrified… the wind is strong… my hair whips my face… i am too scared to look down… but i do… and now my palms are wet, sweating… i cannot hold on, i lose my grip… but wait! i am typing… i am sat at a desk, in the middle of a forest, and i am typing… typing incoherent words on a sheet of stiff, white paper… The typewriter is old and battered and clunky… a pale blue Olivetti electric typewriter… my curious eyes follow the flex… it is plugged into a giant snail… the sound of my fingers tapping the keys rattles my brain… the words make no sense… the words make me shiver… i open a cupboard… an old farmhouse style larder- just like the one my Aunt Mary had at Fullerton Farm… i open the door and find hundreds of tins of Baked Beans… i close the door… but the door is a mirror now… i stare at my own reflection… i smile to her, but she does not smile back… she is naked… pale, gaunt… two headless horses appear behind me… one black as night, The other white as snow… the white one speaks to me in a language i cannot comprehend… but we start to dance… the floor beneath me turns to silver sand… the sun is beating down on me… i pull the quilt around me and nestle into the comfort and familiarity of my bed, despite the madness of these visions… visions i have no control over… i cannot make them stop… they come, in a flood… my mind is a fairground… i look at my hands… six fingers on each hand… i cut off the tips of my fingers with a large pair of shears… they are bleeding… i put on a pair of bright yellow rubber gloves and go outside into the night… there are two moons in the sky… both are full and resplendent… the night is cool… i am alone… i look to my left and the buildings start to crumble and fall… an apple falls from the sky and rolls towards me, stopping at my feet… It speaks to me… beckoning me to take bite… i pick up the lilac apple and bite into its soft, juicy flesh… it tastes salty… so i throw it away… it explodes on impact… in the distance, i hear a child’s voice… it is my lover’a son… he appears out of nowhere, wearing a flappy bird t-shirt and red jeans… he is barefoot, as i am… he takes my hand and tells me to follow him… i do… suddenly, i find myself, alone, inside a computer… i look at my hands… i am made of pixels… i peer through the screen and see a morbidly obese man, sitting on his sofa with a boxful of donuts… he is playing a computer game… he is controlling me and my movements… he is controlling the CGI world i now find myself locked in… i like it here, but i cannot stay… i call out for my lover’a son… but he is gone… he has left me a note… it reads “gone fishing, be home Tuesday!”… i smell coffee… i look down and find myself in a bathtub full of warm, steaming coffee… it stains my skin… my lover appears… he dries my wet skin with a cloud, gently patting it dry… he lovingly combs my wet hair and strokes my face… we kiss… and float out the wind into space… we swim through the stratosphere and look back at Earth… it looks radiant and blue… i take a bite… it tastes like battery acid… the shock cuts my tongue and i spit out blood and a chunk of France… “it never used to taste like this…” says my lover, his eyes filled with tears… he spits a mouthful of India out into the blue stratospheric air… he fades into the night… “soon…” he says, blowing kisses as he dissolves into the ether… i find myself in a deep, Belfast sink… the cold tap is turned on and the sink is filling up with tiny sea horses and goldfish… they sparkle and shimmer and swim around me… but i need to urinate… i open my eyes, climb out of bed and make my way to the bathroom across the hall… my legs are shaking… i feel weak… perhaps sleep will come soon… i hope for a dreamless sleep… but instead, i find myself in a field full of rabbits… hundreds and thousands of rabbits… rabbits of all different colours… the pink ones are my favourites… odd… i hate the colour pink… but they are the friendliest… i reach up to the sky and reel in the sun… i hold it in my hands… it burns, but only momentarily… my cold hands chill its fire and it turns from burning amber to brittle blue… the sun shatters in my hands… i am left holding fragments of turquoise glass… i throw the shards up into the air… they tinkle and twinkle against the sky, like dying light… The tranquility of their peaceful chimes turns into an ugly chaos as the fragments of harmless light turn into bullets… they rain down all around me… everything has turned to dust… children lie dead around me… women scream… another bomb goes off… the ground shakes, like the thunder of the apocalypse… there is no colour… everything is grey… the course of death… i hear the wail of an electric guitar… someone, somewhere is playing a guitar… it wails, like a wounded animal… i cover my ears and crouch down, holding myself… crying… i open my eyes and see a young deer, chewing a leafy twig, at the foot of my sweating bed…

the pillow is damp… i turn it over and, with trembling hands, i gulp down a glass of cold, clean water… i close my eyes… please let me sleep… a dreamless sleep… please… these rapid fire flashbacks of former trips inside my minds eye and visions of my subconscious’ innermost thoughts and fears, as surreal as they are, are raping my brain… i am exhausted… i want calm… i want to feel well again… i look at the time… three hours have passed… i have been away for three hours…

i take two more pills, and water… and close my eyes…

but wait! my feet are covered in sand…

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

a house full of butterflies


in a house full of butterflies
my heart resides.
a house,
a home,
a haven for the heart
and one hundred butterflies.
i watch them come-
they return, again this year.
i watch
as they cling to the walls
with no fear of falling;
like lovers cling to each other
with no fear of tomorrow.
i watch
as they wing to the window,
but choose not to leave;
like lovers’ fulfillment.
i watch
as they flutter in light and breeze;
like lovers’ adulation.
i watch
as they hold tight in the night;
like lovers sleeping.
oh what beauty! oh what love!
home is where the heart resides;
the heart and one hundred butterflies.
i watch them
as they dance in each chamber;
like the butterflies
in the four chambers of my heart.
i watch them come-
with no fear of trap nor pin.
i watch them come-
on beautiful beating wing
of velvet, red and gold.
i watch them come-
like gentle pilgrims
their message is true, and old.
they tell me i am safe here,
they tell me i am loved.
a hope,
a home,
a haven for the heart
and butterfly.
they tell me home is
where the heart resides.
this is home.
a home for love
and one hundred butterflies.

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

– for Robert: for in both his heart and home magic resides…

do you dream of horses, my gentle Centaur?


cotton on bones
bones on cotton
on a bed of fresh fern green
i watch you sleep.
sleeping arms,
long and slender
like strips of willow rest
by either side.
the head is tilted towards me
your mind, a whip,
lies coiled and contained;
folded up, locked inside
the sleeping skull;
the mind, tamed and tempered
only fleeting, in dreams
‘are you close, or
are you far away, my love?’
i impart my thoughts
upon you
with a temporal kiss.
you open your eyes
and gaze at me
eyes, turquoise and back-lit.
you are still asleep.
forehead to forehead
we talk.
limbs extended, arms entwined
for a kiss.
you move to untangle
restless, like a mustang,
with kicking feet.
‘do you dream of horses, my gentle Centaur?’
i kiss the flank
and watch you roll
in cotton crisp, and tangled.
you face the sea breeze
lingering in the open window
fingering your spine,
a crustacean fossil,
i have known you forever.
you have always been there
like bedrock.
i touch the curve
with endless fascination.
my fingers trace down
like lazy waves lap
a sweeping shore.
your body, my favourite beach.
i nuzzle in.
i am the Big Spoon.
i bury my face
in the fragrance of your hair,
softly tumbling down your back,
silken threads unfurled
flaxen and spun with thyme.
i plant another kiss
upon the nape
and drape
myself around you.
i crave you but i leave you
i slip my hand inside
yours and feel your fingers curl
around, protect,
held close to heart.
beating heart.
i nestle my head
where your wings once were
and slide
my ploughing, furloughing hand
across the hip,
boned and keen,
skin taut as snare.
my hand between thighs
i chase your breath
the rev of a sigh
fuels, ignites
the horsepower of the sex.
the mind sleeps
the body very much awake.
‘well, hello…’
i promise.
i chase your breath
the pushes and the pulls
in and out
like a summer tide.
i lie still
upon my beach
and listen.
i listen, hard.
the cocoon is silent
but for the gentle machinations
of our syncopated breathing.
‘oh my love, my heart’
my heart…
when near you
she gathers pace,
begins to race
like pony on beach,
i nestle in close
and plant five tiny kisses
and hope that they grow.
on golden shoulder.
‘oh love,
you are the cool side of the pillow…
you are that tall glass of water
by my bed’
this bed, a craft, a portal
this bed.
this bedrock.
this familiarity.
you are family
– ancient and familiar.
feels like i have known you
before forever.
between these ancient bones and whispers of mind
there are words and songs
and spates of twin behaviour.
we think the same, we wear each others clothes.
we came from the same old furnace of the same old dying star.
we are on vacation here.
‘pilgrims!’ says Juliet.
it is true
we don’t belong here,
but we belong together.
and this…
in this quiet time
is when i really see you.
when my mind drinks in all that you are
and is left swimming, intoxicated
in the softness of your gentle love.
when my heart soaks up spillage,
of spit, sweat and semen,
like a sponge,
and i am left
teeming with fluid, emotion.
so much water inside.
words elude me
but happy tears prick my eyes.
all i can do,
until you awake,
is silence my heart
and wait for those eyes.
i close my eyes
and nestle into your back.
i listen
to the breath –
a sound i cannot not hear.
the day that tide stops
is the day
i pack up and go home.

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

for my gentle Centaur, my lover and fellow writer/weirdo…

image (c) Kat McDonald Photography 2013

throw your dreams to the wind like a kite…

throw your dreams to the wind like a kite

i remember, as a child

a child
is born into this world
fearless, knowing
yet blissfully unaware.

i remember, as a child,
scribbling my dreams
on a kite.
a kite
of pretty colours –
red and blue
yellow and green,
dancing on a breeze.
i remember, as a child,
watching my dreams
flying high,
soaring with romantic notion,
as i held on tight to its tail.
my tiny hands, frozen,
clasping the threads;
holding on so tightly
i was so scared of letting go.
my fingers, red,
as the threads
knotted and tightened their grip,
cutting into the soft
impressionable flesh.
little fingers, red.
little hands, sorely determined
to keep the dreams alive.
if i let go, i lose myself and who i am
so i held on tight
to these romantic notions.
foolish childhood notions of mysterious lovers,
mysterious places,
unravelling like a kite, and travelling across the bluest of oceans,
like the span of the sky above me – limitless and clear
with no clouds to cloud my judgement.
i remember, as a child,
small beneath the sky
gazing upward.
eyes big and wide and full of wonder.
my kite, my dreams
tethered to my tiny, cold and blood red hands
i was scared to let go –
for fear of losing all i held dear.
the kite, the dreams tethered to me.
tethered like me
to the ground where i stood
fixated on my dreams;
tethered – like a bird
flapping, and desperate to fly.
i was scared to loosen my grip;
to let go, for fear
that all i held dear
would disappear from me.
but let go i did.

with clouds in my eyes i watched
my kite, my dreams
come crashing down and break apart.
my kite was broken.
my dreams, in tatters, lay broken on the ground.
and so, with a heavy heart,
i buried my kite
and laid my foolish romantic notions to rest.

and twenty seven summers later,
i bought a kite.
a kite, bright and full of colour.
a kite with a long tail to tell,
hopeful and pretty.
i took her
out into the open,
to find her breeze.
i took her
out into the open
and on her skin, i wrote my dreams.
i took a deep breath
and slowly let go…

i set her free.

she took to the open sky like a bird.
sensing her urgency to fly
i let the threads slip through my fingers.
i loosened my grip, biting back tears
as i felt her bite back and snap at the breeze… at me.
but her tail is tangle-free
she is strong –
but the wind is stronger.
changing direction like my next breath.
she dips
as if glancing back at me
for reassurance?
i watch her struggle as i grapple with the threads,
trying to keep her happy.
but she soars
with grace and stoicism.
oh my heart feels heavy –
for in my hands i hold her future.
it’s time to let go.
i watch with clouded vision
as she dances away with my dreams
higher and higher
and out of reach.
she does not look back.
what will become of my dreams,
my hopes, my notions
now that i no longer have control?
what will become of my dreams,
my hopes and notions now that i no longer hold the threads that bind?
i am not scared
because i am ready.
throw your dreams to the wind, like a kite,
because sometimes…
sometimes… they take flight.

Image and Words (c) Kat McDonald