Poems by James Rowan

The Tramcar

How well I remember those days of pre-war
When life was much slower but never a bore
We seldom did wander abroad or afar
Content just to travel in the dear old tramcar
That green and cream goddess who ambled each day
Rocking and swaying on its metallic railed way
Rumbling its protest with frictional wail
As bogie wheels slipped on high polished rail
But time has rolled on and the tram is no more
Only memories remain of this steel dinosaur
It served its public for many a day
But was sacrificed to progress and was forced to make way.


Where are the “Raws” – the old ‘But and Ben’
Where’s the barefooted, - ‘the Hide and Seek’ den
Where are the tinkers, - who peddled there wares,
Where’s the lamplighter – who ignited the flares,
Where are the mothers – with babes in the shawls.
Where’s the old wooden cradle – the beds in the wall,
Where are the Rounders – the bat and the ball,
Where is the ‘Leave O’ – the ‘I spy You’ call,
Where’s the Musselburgh Fishwife – with creel on her  head,
Or the horse drawn hearse – to bury the dead,
Where is the tramcar – its loud clanging bell,
The wash-house, the Midden – the old village well,
Where is the wringer – the tub, and tub stool,
The old leather belt – we got at the school,
Where’s the horse and its cart – the solid tyred car,
The old silent pictures – we watched at the ‘Star’,
Where is the Palais – the old ‘Happyland’
The Saturday night dancing – to Jack Cunningham’s Band,
Where are the old names – we once knew so well,
Like Maggie, and Mary – and Katie  and Nell,
Where are the Ecks – the Tams we once knew,
The Wullies, the Dods – the Jocks and the Hughs,
And where are our hearts – if we ever forget,
The moleskin clad miner – all coal dust and sweat,
For he is our roots – our life, our seed corn,
And the God Given Reason – our village was born.

Glencraig Village

Lorem iT’was 10 am on an August Morn,
The sky was blue-The sun shone warm,
To the “Meadows” Park – I made my way,
Yet To the hill of Clune – My feet did stray,
I stood apon – Its summit high,
Watched Fitty’s waters – Flowing by,
Twisting it’s way – First left then right,
Under Clochrite bridge – And out of sight,
So I spread my   gaze – Past either shore,
Remembering it – In days of yore,
Where cattle now graze – Miners rows stood there,
Like the “Double Blocks” – And the famous square,
The “Gaffers Raw” – And so many more,
Barclay’s Chemist – Lochgelly Store,
Nevay’s the barber – Joe Gizzie’s Club,
Wilson’s chip shop – John Hunter’s pub,
Then I movemy eyes – To a higher line,
Where the Colliery chimney – Spewed smoke and grime,
And the winding engine  - With it’s awesome whine,
Sent the cage a plunging – Down the mine,
The burning bing – It’s sulphurous coals,
The old “Pug” engine – The fireholes,
But all have gone – These many years,
With lowered eyes – Now filled with tears
Retraced my steps – With a heavy sigh,
Its so sad to see a village die.

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