Flying to Malaysia


Flying to Malaysia is like 

sailing to Antartica,

Trekking to Tasmania

eloping to Ethiopia 

cycling to Shanghai

potholing through Rockies

ballooning beyond Bolivia

rowing to Rumania 

– It’s a confidence act.

It takes imagination to dream 

and courage to fly.

I didn’t put fuel in the airplane

didn’t oil the engine

nor train the pilot

nor test the emergency exit

I didn’t chart the course

didn’t make sure the co-pilot took her medication.

I simply trusted an imagination I didn’t invent.

Unknowing the Indian Ocean

the Bay of Biscay

the gulf of Hormuz 

the mouth of the Brahmaputra

and why the earth isn’t a perfect sphere.

If Malaysia didn’t exist,

Rhodes would have invented it

and I might have plonked it  

out of sight

so we could amuse each other with questions like

“What would you do if 

you were born in Tajikistan 

and fell from an angel’s wing 

over Kuala Lumpar?”


“Is the square root of the latitude of the Federation of Malaysia equal to the sum of the other two sides involved in the revolution?”

Because you’ll never find it 

unless you can imagine a black-haired boy 

in an emerald green rugby jersey 

shouting “Ireland, Ireland” 

as he snapchats his way from KL to Cork. 

Scott Torrance in Cork 


we met thanks to people on Periscope – the live streaming App.  

Scott was sitting on Dublin grass in the Phoenix Park. Drawing the obelix from Egypt that celebrates the military victories of Wellington.

I kept my eye on him.  Every mark he made on paper – every single line. He was too good to ignore, too attractive.

Scott shuffled himself comfortable under the shade of a tree that might have been planted specially for him. 

I heard him offer his drawing to anyone who wanted it. Anyone tuned in live to his “scope”.

The polite thing would have been to wait. 

I said to myself in Cork:

 “Me me me – I want that drawing – it’ll never happen again, boy”

So I whispered – in my loudest internet voice 

“I’ll have it please. May I have it?”

The rest is history… 

(Buy the authorised biography of Scott from Scotland, when it’s published. 45% reduction on published price – only through this site) 

Who wrote this limerick? 

I found it in the Notes App on my iPhone – from 2013. Doubt I wrote it – I like it too much.

There once was the classic mother-in-law

Who considered she hadn’t a flaw

She knew all the answers

Crosswords and chancers

Until she found she had snot in her jaw

Wanting more 


I’ve always been found 

wanting more than a woodpecker carves 

into the last tree 

in the last forest,

wanting more 

than my mother’s ever offered,

– even more than father bestowed 

on one of his good days. 

I was born wanting more time for love. 

I’ve grown hungrier by the day, 

thirstier by night, 

always grasping for clean air. 

There’s never been a father more loved,

ever since letters of infinity 

were strung together 

on a necklace 

that shines with promise

and gradually shrinks 

until it chokes 

the living daylight out of me. 

I’ve always wanted to beg. 

Like most beggers,  

my voice has been feeble 

– barely enough courage 

to pay the price father demanded. 

I’ve always been found 

wanting to trust more.

I’m used to starving. 

Bless me Father, 

for I have sinned 

on a daily basis. 

let me do penance 

– only let me have time to pay. 

2014 was a year…

it was a year that asked to be


or burned on a pyre 

constructed from the shyte

that held my year together.

Or was it …?

Surely there was more to it than that?

Surely there was a before and an after?

Before was wintertime.

Before was the joy of the city of big shoulders,

the invitation to excitement desired,

hope retained,

an event looked forward to.

There was a new year

full of hope

a future to celebrate with Revolution.

There was a period of time

when I prospered.

The joys of March.

Days when my lover’s offer 

came to Cork

were an unmitigated blessing

– before that offer was too much.

All those early days,

all those days before the French holiday,

before the paintbrush 

wiped away the smile from my face 

– I sat by a stream.

I imagined the whispering flow

of water over stone.

I imagined paint on canvas

and fell down in the field

during the drama of women

confronting the god.

Oh how terrible that field,

how awful


months later.

Bless Netflix, bless Breaking Bad.

You were so wonderful.

Where would I have been without …

Composed on 31 December 2014