BORN IN LOCHEE, A Poem By Bob Shepherd

Families before me with their new cludgies (toilets). This is how I grew up in my early years until they were knocked down for modern slums.

I was born in Lochee, a part of Dundee

A city on Scotland’s east coast

A dragged up affair as my parents didn’t care

So there’s nothing from there to boast

It was really hard to thrive

I’m surprised that I’m still alive

My parents just smoked and drank

The money from the “bru” every week they just threw

Living in stale cigarette smoke just stank

I was only just six when I knew to up sticks

From the fighting through drink that occurred

My father would beat my mother just too often

I expected to see her laid in a coffin…how absurd

But whenever I stepped in I’d get it on the chin

From a big strapping man called my dad

If only I’d grow we could go toe to toe

But sadly I was just a wee lad

I’d go and take a walk from the Victorian tenement block

Doon the road seemed a million miles away

I’d spend hours sprinting on the grass just to make the time pass

Before realizing I have no where else to stay

Back home to the doom and the gloom of my room

I’d tuck myself up in my bed

I’d try to get some sleep and stay away from the creep

Even though I still haven’t been fed

The night is cold and long I try to sing a song

But I need to get up for a pee

But this is so wrong as I’m here all alone

My parents are nowhere to see

On the stairs of the tenement balcony we have the use of a council cludgy

It’s minging from three other families sharing

We need an early warning budgie

I tear off the strips from an old newspaper page

As I can’t park my wee arse without going into a rage

Dried excrement on the seat all the way down to my feet

And the cold wind screams under the ill fitting door

I rub my wee hands to keep them from freezing

But the chill comes up from the stone floor

I stand up and flush and head back with a rush

There’s ice on the inside of my window pane

I’d tuck up in bed I’m still not dead

And I’d use my fingers on the ice to make a plane

A way to dream of a life not so mean

There must be a way out of Lochee

But it’s not just me having tough times in Dundee

There’s many others without their breakfast, dinner or tea

At school one day when we’re out at play

A big bully is just one of those

Who choses to beat me because I’m so wee

So I try to bite off his nose

We’re pushed to the ground his nose can’t be found

So I bite his ear instead

The kids step away and there isn’t a sound

Until teachers and the head come running around

I’m thrown out of school have I been played as the fool

Oh how I wish right now I was dead

My father is sent and the police are all bent

I get kicked out of school for my action

The truth can’t be told the headmaster’s not bold

The church and the police are a faction

From Lochee I have to leave I can no longer dodge and weave

As poor Lochee is not getting any better

The economy is a stink Dundee’s on the brink

And any future here is just getting wetter

I make my escape down the old southern route

Where there’s a chance of some food and a roof

England is rich as Scotland’s a bitch

But I’ll have to succeed to show proof

A footballer I gave a go but they all said a big no

So what can I turn to instead?

A good man suggested the military to me

I’ll give it a go and just see

So off to join up now away from any family row

Being on my own hasn’t been so bad after all

I make some mistakes but I now have loads of mates

Still brothers today one and all

So what of Lochee that poor part of Dundee

Has it changed for the better today?

I went back there myself to see if there’s wealth

But Lochee is the same as yesterday

However it’s still mine even though it’s not fine

I was born there and so were my kin

Lochee is me and so is Dundee

It’s the place that’s mine from within

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit www.bobshepherdauthor.com

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One thought on “BORN IN LOCHEE, A Poem By Bob Shepherd”

  1. Outstanding Bob. Reading between the lines, one could imagine childhood experiences as depicted harbouring anger and bitterness at the world. Obviously you rose above it all to become the man you are. There’s truth in the old adage “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger “. Great writing as always Bob, thankyou for sharing.

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