Category Archives: Music


Men in plaid, skirted
and flirting with machismo
where’er they go they blow.
The sound sweet as chocolate
filling the air; making the hair
on my arms to stand and salute.
The intonation is a sensation
that any Scot would devour.
It is our theme, the soundtrack
that brings us back to the sod.
My God, it fills the air with flair,
whene’er the cauld pipe reels play there.

Posted at Poetic Bloomings – Prompt “In the Air Tonight”


Mc Illwain, the Celebrated?

“Poetic Bloomings”, the shared poetry blog of Marie Elena Good and Walt Wojtanik, has honoured me with their selection as the Web Wednesday Interview on this day. In it, Marie Elena and I discussed the poetic process, bagpipe music, Robert Burns and Mother Scotland, among other topics. I would be fully appreciative if you would give this piece a view. Thank you again to Marie Elena Good and Walt Wojtanik, as well as all the contributors for their support and encouragement.


In the reel of the pipes
there lives a muse both mythical
and magical. Scots a’fore me,
most celebrated for their wile,
bring mirth to a worn and tired soul.
Any toll life may have visited upon you,
dissipates in the loving tones of kith and kin.
And within the notes played soulfully,
a transformation occurs. Within the heart it stirs
and love is aroused in the pitch and timber.
A prestidigitation  in sound, musical and magical.


I’ve returned from more extensive travel to wrap myself in the comfort of a homespun holiday celebration. Happy Christmas to all.

Teach Your Children


This code that we must live by,
to be true to ourselves,
to live with compassion
and fill this life with passion
for the things we do that make us
vibrant and vital; this tidal wave
that will save our souls. An S.O.S.
to all alerted. We will not be swayed;
not be diverted from our charge.
It is a large order to fill. but
if we instill these qualities
into our progeny, they will be
on the road to a proud humanity.
The world’s sanity will be dependant
on their survival. Await their arrival,
it will be a grand parade! Crack the code.
Teach your children well.




**Written for Poetic Asides “School” prompt and conforming to Poetic Blooming’s “Song Lyric” prod

Uncle Angus Hummed

A made-up melody,
random notes from the back
of his throat. Uncle
didn’t bother with words
when the beauty of a song
lived in his heart. Many nights
on the lough we waited
with baited hooks and star-filled
skies. Angus closed his eyes
and his lips to begin
this hot air symphony all his own.
Old folk songs taught by his
GrandDa keeping the fish at bay,
and drawing me closer to the ancients;
descendents and ancestors alike.
Songs that dance in the shadows of my memory.
My times with Angus were laced with love.



A Thistle’s Whistle

Windblown and grown throughout the valley,
the sharp burrs wave in rhythmic rolls.
In the quiet evening the rush is heard;
soft as a whisper, sharp as a whistle.
If you listen you can hear its calling,
enthralling and even. In the bushes and stalks
it talks to the shadows of my Scots ancestors
long interred; the rush is heard throughout the dale,
in the thistle’s tale its whistle wails.



Ceilidhs (Evening of Music)


Come to my home; make a spot for yourself.
Musician and artisan you be.
Fill my hearth with gaelic trills,
and songs of sweet harmony.
Friend and neighbour gather round,
tonight we will dance and reel.
Shamus returns from a day on the ridge,
crost the bridge of trunk and steel.
Come to my home and make it your own,
musician and artisan, come.
There’s a fire in the hearth, do come warm your heart.
Your music has found its way home!