I have retired from being a pedagogue though have been drawn back by episodic penury. I am still writing to some effect, but this effect is not so far visible in my wallet. Two books have come and gone, https://www.waterstones.com/book/not-actually-being-in-dumfries/hugh-mcmillan/9781910745106 and https://www.waterstones.com/book/mcmillans-galloway/hugh-mcmillan/9781910745182 Others are on the stocks, more talk of them soon.
Currently I am writing some poems about Original Nations in America. There has always been a rumour, backed up it must be said by DNA evidence, that a great grandparent was of this stock: a very exciting prospect. I have always walked quietly in Capenoch Wood, for instance, another sure sign. Researching Bufallo Bill's Wild West Show and its visits to Scotland, I came upon the tale of Crazy Dancer, one of the Sioux Ghost Dancers who was sprung from incarceration to tour with Bufallo Bill and re-enact the destruction of his own people on daily basis. He spent some time in Barlinnie having been arrested in a pub. here's a poem about it: The picture is from Buffalo Bills visit to Dumfries.
Ghost Dancingin the Gallowgate 1892
thumped a minder
over the head with a doorstop
but before that had reachedan understanding
beyond the need for words
with Donald from Sligachan
whose leg was shot offin Egypt with the Seaforths.
They both lived in
the hem of their histories
ragged at the edgestelling stories for beer
over and over
in the insistent poetry of tongues
as though the fevered actof repetition might
reel back time
and the landscapes
black with ghosts.