Chris' books include Aliyyah (2015), Redlegs (2012), and Ascension Day (1999) which won the McKitterick Prize. His first collection of short stories, Poor Angels, was shortlisted for the Saltire Award and a story from it won the Scotland on Sunday prize.His stage plays include: The Pitiless Storm (2014) and The Cause of Thunder (2017), both for David Hayman. Sabina won a Fringe First in 1998. He has written over 70 hours of television, including popular series like Taggart, and River City and drama-documentaries like An Anarchist’s Story (BBC 2007). He has written and presented TV docs including Barbado’ed: Scotland’s Sugar Slaves (BBC), and The Scots Who Fought Franco (STV). His films include The Ring (BBC), Poor Angels, and the Imax production, Mistgate. He has written over 20 radio plays, including adaptations of Stevenson’s classic Kidnapped and books by many authors including García Márquez, Umberto Eco, and Balzac. His original plays include 2014’s The Strange Case of Dr. Hyde.
Just about the only thing we've got over him I hear you mutter is poetry, but unhappily he's good at that too. His poetry takes inspiration as it should from ordinary life and he's volunteered here a cheerful and accessible piece, particularly welcome at this drab and cheerless time when its hard to keep the spirits up. People have always turned to poetry when the emotional heat is on, and we look to it for consolation, ceremony and the boosting of morale. This poem 'Greedy Me' is just bursting with life:
I want my choice on the menu. And I also want yours
I love the disease, and seek out the cure.
I wanna dance, dance, dance the whole night through.
And go to bed early with an improving book.
I’m going to train so hard for that perfect PB.
And have myself a dram when I finish this beer.
Gonna climb that mountain. And stay in my bed
Have my cake and eat it, if even force-fed.
I get up early and I like a long lie
An independent mind, I take both sides.
I’m a nature boy, and prowl the city at night.
The Tay and the Tyne; Bonnie and Clyde.
I’m hail-fellow-well-met, but leave me alone!
Keep myself to myself, and yak all night on the phone.
I talk to God, but proclaim that He’s gone.
I’m a follower of Marx, a fan of Proudhon.
Oh so many things I can be
Professor of hermeneutical bibliology
Fix your car, a molecular engineer
Pen smash hits, or a slim volume of poetry.
I’m perfectly suited for today. But also the jazz age.
I want to stay as I am, and quickly turn the page.
I see every point of view, but I’ve got my own crusade
I say, hey Peace man, as I’m building the barricades.
I’m teacher and learner, United and City
I wanna be your lion, and your cuddly kitty.
I lead from the outside, but I’m on the committee
I’m self-possessed, but feel I deserve your pity.
I want prizes and baubles, and I want to refuse them
I’ll shout the odds, while in secret collusion.
I want facts and figures, and believe nothing is proven
I have no conclusions, but I know how to use ‘em.
I’m a Mod and a Rocker. I’ll be young when I’m old
Give me southern warmth – and the crystal north cold
I’ll be the dragon. And also St. George.
I know that I’m right, but welcome corrections
A happy lost soul who still hopes for redemption
I always hit deadlines but demand an extension.
Rub my tummy and head in different directions.
Bach and The Who
Tarkovsky and Corrie
Steak and tofu.
I wanna be me and I wanna be you.
I can be real, I can pretend
Save my pennies, and spend, spend, spend!
Not give a toss – and repent, repent!
Give me it straight, give me a blend
Stranger in your midst, and all things to all men.
I want to be useful. I want to be dreamy
I want to find everything that maybe is in me
It’s never ‘or’ but always ‘and’ with me
I want it all, the A to the Zee, so gimme, gimme, gimme!
More Info about Chris here:
An Interview with Chris here: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/lifestyle/1703431/024pjno0711mag1_a_4/