McGarrigle’s Glasgow


One of the scribes was taken tonight.

One of the seers, one of our own.

One of the prophets will write no more lines

in radical rhymes

nor preach them to people like us.


He struggled against his emptying days,

though yearned for contentment and calm.

Thought he had lost that angry young man,

but McGarrigle – words never die;

they’re beyond a stillness of pulse.


You spoke of a Glasgow unknown to the rich,

of the Cross, of a town built on sweat.

In the Clutha, the Scotia, the folk and the verse -

dance of the underdog, lies of the land –

were given a life in tune to your truth.


Tonight in a town made of working-class gold,

in the midst of McGarrigle’s Glasgow -

the artists and players, singers and sculptors,

poets and prophets and pipers and drummers

remember the heat of your heart;

raise their glass to the fire within.


May your flame spark gently in sunset tonight - unsurpassed.



GlasgowJohn McGarriglepoetThe Clutha

◄ Smoke Rings

Writing In Fire - live version ►


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Harry O'Neill

Tue 17th Dec 2013 14:04


I like the way the deep breath taken, deliberate, stanza form adds so powerfully to the passion and sincerity of this.

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Laura Taylor

Mon 16th Dec 2013 10:35

Thought about it, grew to really like it, have changed it. Thanks Cynth and Darren!

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Laura Taylor

Thu 12th Dec 2013 14:48

Hmm, aye *scratches chin* may well work that Cynth, ta!

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 11th Dec 2013 13:32

It sings - with great poetic skill.

Darren's point is excellent. So is yours. Perhaps you could combine the two. I think it works really well - honours the 'homage' idea and yet avoids a direct 'copy' effect that does jar your own line.

'May your flame spark gently in sunset tonight - unsurpassed.'

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Laura Taylor

Fri 6th Dec 2013 10:16

Thanks Dave and Andy :)

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Andy N

Thu 5th Dec 2013 12:41

this deserved to get published, Laura. it's a excellently wrote tribute

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Dave Bradley

Wed 4th Dec 2013 17:04

A fitting tribute from one passionate poet to another

darren thomas

Wed 4th Dec 2013 10:21

Look forward to hearing it when I finally get out of my tortoise box !

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Laura Taylor

Wed 4th Dec 2013 10:02

Thank you Darren :)

The 'unsurpassed' was taken from these lines from one of John's poems:

“There’s something, that defies this desecration/a sunset unsurpassed.”

which was published in an anthology called Workers City: The Real Glasgow Stands Up

and I felt it was just right to put it in there.

darren thomas

Wed 4th Dec 2013 09:56

I can hear you saying this poem aloud Laura. I feel that the word 'unsurpassed' in the last line may actually spoil the natural flow of a Voice' s inflection, which in itself would reflect the sorrow absorbed from the words. It seems to glide effortlessly to a conclusion with just 'may your flame spark gently in sunset tonight'?

It's a beautiful, poignant piece of writing. :)

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Laura Taylor

Wed 4th Dec 2013 09:47

Thanks Ged :)

I have become known for my rants, but actually, I write non-ranty stuff far more than I do rants!

This has been published today on Poetry24, which is also lovely - a poet commemorating a fellow poet, on a poetry site :)

I like to think this would have pleased him greatly :)

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Ged Thompson

Tue 3rd Dec 2013 18:22

Lovely last first, it carries its own momentum when read, going faster and faster and then finished off with such a delicate line following a natural pause.

Brilliant as always, as much as I love your rants, I prefer this more delicate style of writing from you that I have seen lately it flows so well and is still very powerful in its own right.

That said dont stop ranting!

I think what I love most about this is the way it naturally moves to a faster pace as you move through the lone.

Also... just to add...this line

'remember the heat of your heart'

What a line, brilliant.

A big salute to you yet again


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