The chill is gone from my weary bones,
I feel the therapeutic warmth of a summer’s sun
in this diminished preview spring offers.
The mist upon the loch rises ever slightly
as the brightly coloured hues hibernate
awaiting their blooming. Soon, the hills
will be awash with the beauty reborn.
And my worn and tattered heart starts to feel
the reel that the pipes provide and it can not hide
the thrill I find in Heather on the hill!
(And Heather doesn’t mind it either!)





She sits in vapid conversation,
flicking her fingernails in annoyance
trying to avoid his blatant stares.
His coffee cools in deference to
the bright blank walls which
lack warmth and offer no comfort.
And I sit in solitary silence gazing
into the dank despair of my smoky cup.
My soul bears its stain sadly.
Night is a ravenous carnivore;
it preys on our loneliness.

In homage to “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper


In The Clutches

In the clutches of a heart so true,
a lost soul finds comfort and security.
It is the purity of love that fills
one to satisfaction, through thought and word and deed.

We feed our hunger with tender tastes of kisses, found
in the clutches of a heart so true.
We have come to sup at desire’s table,
able to share the feast of love’s pure beauty.

Lovers have a duty to persevere through
obstacles and pitfalls, being held
in the clutches of a heart so true.
Strong is the belief that love conquers.

Do you believe in love?
It is the lifeblood of humanity expressed
in the giving of one to another, embraced
in the clutches of a heart so true.


Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure,
born of grace and beauty; demure
in her womanly wiles, her smile
can charm the monster from Lough Ness.

She touched my heart when she was born,
Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure,
giving me a part of her soul,
this gentle girl in full control.

Her mother’s looks and her father’s
way with words, both expressed in love,
Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure;
an angel. Sent from up above,

Blessing all that know her spirit.
And her voice, the way I hear it
fills all my days with joy for sure,
Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure.

Written for the dear heart of a daughter, Kairn Blythe McIllwain.


Lost within the heart of reason,
a love once burning, extinguished,
covered in ash and soot, buried.
Deeply sequestered from this life.

Vanquished soul, sapped of breathing’s fire
lost, within the heart of reason
rests, the remnants of emotions
adrift on oceans of sorrow.

And what will the morrow offer?
Love’s most gentle intervention
lost within the heart of reason?
Or despair for the heart’s demise?

It is unwise to give up hope.
Love’s rose will bloom amidst the thorns,
filling your soul with bouquets, once
lost within the heart of reason.

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.



A fresh start
warms a heart and brings
perspective to all life offers.
A chance to fill
our coffers with the wealth
that fills our very souls.
And so as the year
evolves into the next
mutation, involve yourself
in the celebration; a fresh start.
Begin again!


The Boxer

Brain and braun and a mean streak
a mile long, with hands and a stronger head.
He could have been anything,
but he chose to be a pugilist instead.

A mighty upper-cut has he,
and a jab to keep his foe at bay.
In a way, a choreographer in this
ringed dance. Fighting for his life.

One more concussion and
all discussion of his future will include
warnings of permanancy. It is he
who chooses his fate;

who is to say if it’s not too late?
And the longer that he waits,
the gong will eventually ring his finality.
The banal refusal to concede with words

unheeded, will kill him. Boxing is all he knows;
it is all that thrills him. Life’s battered heavyweight.


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.


And so, I’m planning on attempting Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge. A poem a day for the month? I may hate myself in the morning. Good luck to all contestants and poets. We’re all winners!

Alright, I’m not buying the bullshite either. Good luck inspite of that!