John Quinn

John Quinn is an ex-teacher, writer and performer from Dundee. His poetry in Scots and English has appeared in Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, Scotia Extremis and Mind the Time. He is the author of the play O Halflins an Hecklers an Weavers an Weemin and a full length novel The Eyes of Grace O’Malley (Black Wolf Books).

Photo of John Quinn, looking at the camera straight on and wearing a black t-shirt with the word "Heckler"


Hamish Matters »

A celebration of the life and legacy of Hamish Henderson through music and poetry collected, written and inspired by him

Sun 8 March | 20:00 - 21:30 | £10.00/£8.00 | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium


Anent the Wird Socialeist

Ilka day in wunnerland
Humpty Dumpty says tae Alice -
a wird means whit ye chuise
whitiver fowk jalouse.

An in Auld Reekie aye an on
a scholar name o’ Blair,
wha wis nae lad o’pairts
stairtit lairnin sic dark airts.

Aince clause fower wis chowkit
the Labour Pairty wis cried new -
bit like thon auld yairn gaes
aboot the scuddy Emperor’s claes.

Blair’d seen Thatcher skelp the left
as tho reddin cairpet stour.
Thair wis nae common weal
an greed wis guid an weel.

Wrangous wars an nuclear airms
stravaiged the laundskip o the left.
A Jock Tamson’s bairns?
-mercat rule is whit wiv lairned.

Anither ill-uissage o’ the name
wis at Caledonia’s referendum
an sae cried socialeest brithers
on Tory tattie-bogles’ shithers.

Keir Hardie maun be birlin like a peerie
in e’s widen jaiket fury.
Sae when ye come athort thon wird -
mibbe Humpty Dumpty’s wha ye heard?


John Quinn

From The Darg (Poets Republic, 2019)