ALP : The Adult Learning Project,

Voices in the Dark

You awake, startled,
at some strange hour
between midnight and dawn,
and tremble as a wisp of cold air
slithers through silken sheets
tossedby insomnia.

The ticking clock beats time
to the dead hour as floodgates open
to let in wild thoughts.
In the moonlight soft voices whisper
reaching a crescendo
of impish trickery.

Teasing, tormenting
unrelated incoherencies.
Love found, then gone.
Your pain is sharpened by
the loneliness of solitude
filled with ghost voices in the dark.

© Barbara Munro


Moving from one side to the other I ready myself to get out and about. At the moment I am inside the place I currently call home. Being a bohemian fells like an original relationship, free to move and meet people along the way. Moving is nourishing. Being a writer is bohemian. The role of the writer is to bring forth nourishment to others. There is the author, the essayist, the poet and the food critic. Writer on the move.

© Katie Ross

Vote Trident Out

The Rose o’ a’ the World is not for me
I’ll settle for my own country –
Minus our nuclear weapon aggression
To others – whoever they may be.

Observe OUR beautiful country and see
The peaceful nation that we could be.

‘Do unto other as you
Would have them do unto you’.
So let’s not live by the gun
Or consider nuking anyone.

I give you the Rose ofPeace.

Vote Trident out!
You’ll hear me shout.
I’ve been anti-nuclear for forty years.

It’s immoral, illegal and expensive
The damage it could do is extensive.

What are we proving?
We should be moving
From when Britain had an Empire
And ruled the world.

Let’s lead in a different way
And show that we may
Have a nuclear- free world

Preserve Peace on Earth

© Anne Milne

The pensioner’s confession

(inspired by Brian Patten’s poem  Little Johnny’s Confession)

This morning
being rather old and tired and
suffering from assorted ailments
I borrowed a machine gun 
from the man next door
and tried to top myself.

But the machine gun 
is a long weapon
and my arms are short – 
I couldn’t aim and fire
at the same time

and besides, I didn’t have the strength
in my rheumatic thumbs
to pull the trigger.

So I returned the gun
to the man next door
and we both shuffled down to
Starbucks for cappuccinos.

© Hilary Birch

Desire Returns

When I was very young and lived in a squat with my Ma, Da and my wee brother, I wished we didn’t live in such a place.
All my friends lived in lovely homes, with electricity and a kitchen and bathroom. Most of the friends I met in the Lifeboys and the girls in my class didn’t know where I lived. I took so many different ways home and made sure no-one could follow me. I so wished and desired to live in a proper house with electricity instead of paraffin lamps. I wished we had a bathroom instead of a sink bath that my Ma would have to boil pails of the water to give us a good wash.

I wished we could get a council house like my friends. But in those years there was a points system and there was not enough council houses built.

I desired almost everything my school mates had. I made my own bike from an old frame in the tip and Granny ( Bandor?? ) paid for the tyres. In fact I desired for almost anything you could bloody think of. 

But when I was older, I desired almost every pretty girl I met.

©David Bain


The Trickle Down Effect

Unlike money,
where the laws of economics
don’t fulfil their promise,
Love is an altogether more
predictable form of wealth.
The greater its accumulation,
the more abundantly it flows.

Consider the child
who is cherished and adored from birth:
Love is not a scarcity
to be hoarded from the world.
Its bounty is a free and plentiful commodity
so there is no anxiety in sharing it with others.
It is an acquisition that keeps on giving.

But she who has little to give
must secret and protect
what little she has
for fear it will be stolen.
Bankruptcy comes not from
squandering her treasure
but from watching it depreciate in value.

The currency of Love
is like a waterfall,
exponential and unstoppable,
while money has a drip, drip, drip effect…
It is contingent on the will
of the hand
that turns the tap.

© Jo McFarlane


Small shell,
lying on the beach,
I stumble upon you.
Put my right foot
on top of you.
Bending down to 
pick you out of
the gritty sand,
the sun behind me
burns my back.
Lifting you up,
placing you
in the palm of
my hand,
looking at you,
seeing your beauty,
where do I begin
to understand,

©Elaine A Harris


Elusive as a newly freed blue copper butterfly leaving her cocoon 
Dancing on the hedgerow but only for an hour or so

Eerily whipping up a storm, blowing across the orange sands of the Kalahari Desert
The wind cannot be captured or kept.

Peering through the hallways of her mind, a smidgen of light momentarily offering optimism
For a future that can never be!

© Frances McCann 2017

The ALP Association is a Scottish Registered Charity No. SC007226 and a Company Limited By Guarantee No. SC 286580   

The ALP Association is a Scottish Registered Charity No. SC007226 and a Company Limited By Guarantee No. SC286580
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