23 June 2013

The Scheme


Packs of young hyenas

High on booze and speed

Echo in the distant dark

Split the night with blood oaths

Sworn to some terrible tribal god

A delicate sense of terror

Seeps through the concrete

The grapevine hums

With menace and disillusionment

On summer nights full of lusty promise

This city heaves orgasmic spasms

Cocks and cunts of infatuation

Fuse between sheets sticky

With cum and anal slime

False promises solemnly sworn

Fade before the creeping dawn

The accidental offspring

Of illicit couplings

Grow to repeat the cycle of suffering

Zombie see and zombie do

Here in the barrio of broken dreams


(A ‘scheme’ is a Scottish council estate or project)



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Lolita, a meagre offering next to your own work.

  2. UrbanHippie Browniecat24 June 2013 at 05:04

    The first time you read this line will be the only first time you ever notice as much until you read again these words upon regret untouched... You captured a terrific point of view of walking thru the truth of many streets, where most avoid these sights, you force the reader to view this embattled reality that many overlook otherwise! Also, great metaphor for many floating ideas! Cool!

    1. I grew up in a scheme situated in a Scottish industrial town. I currently live within shouting distance of a Scottish prison - I can hear the inmates howl during the sultry summer nights - which is what inspired this wee piece - that and the memories of the gangs - the drugs - the violence of my youth.

    2. UrbanHippie Browniecat24 June 2013 at 05:35

      Great piece!

  3. What a cold and sinister word to describe a habitation for people - a 'scheme'. The very word itself conjures some sort of wicked preturbations in the minds of those who developed them...sort of like a 'roach motel'. You can check out any time you like, but few ever leave. And when they do, it stays with them like the reek of unwashed sweat. Brilliantly written, John. So straightforward and to the point. Nothing pretty or romantic about it.

    1. I couldn't wait to leave Ray. There were good people there, but their lives were overshadowed by the shear drabness of the place. I went back recently and it all seemed so benign - but in the 60's & 70's it was my idea of hell.

  4. Bethany Wiseblood24 June 2013 at 17:21

    It reminds so much the housing estates around here,I see it all the time,you are so right about the the repeating cycle,they are several families with no dreams or hopes,young girls becoming mums by the their,still kids themselves.Their kids will do exactly the same.

    1. They hand out awards to the architects who design these shit holes, but if you think they are rough you should have seen the place where our pal Ian McLaren grew up in Glasgow - that place was scary!

  5. Nicely worded, we like it.

    1. Thank you all the people at Fjords