Monday, June 29, 2015

Here's a wee experiment - an hour or so of tunes and chat from yours truly...

So anyway, I was looking at the thousands of records, CDs and digital whatnots I've managed to collect over the years, and the pile of radio equipment sitting there glumly, and I thought (after a month of broadcasting silence) I might as well put it to some use.

Here's the Beatcroft Social, then. I've already recorded one for next week (when I'm on holiday), featuring a whisky tasting. Future editions may have more poetry and on-location stuff from around Shetland, as well as new tracks from Scottish artists.) See what you think. It may be self-indulgent nonsense, but hey, it was fun to do. Hope you enjoy it.

Get in touch via Facebook  ( emailing me ( or on Twitter @thebeatcroft.

The Beatcroft Social, Volume One by Tom Morton's Beatcroft Social on Mixcloud

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Zetlandic Muse #1: Beardopolis


Welcome to Shetland, land of the beard
Where weak jawlines are made to disappear
And chins, quadruple down to double
Sprout wispy, weedy down, or fearsome stubble
The kind that leaves a rash or even scars
The casual  kisser, or removes the paint from cars
Should face and body work collide 
Some small refreshment having been imbibed

It can take many months, or even years
To grow a quite convincing Viking beard
And would-be Norsemen, filled with fear and doubt
Their naked chins refusing to sprout
Resort to desperate measures, pills and ointments
To counter any hairless disappointment 
Hormone supplements, consumed in quantities
So vast, they've opened special pharmacies

Male pattern baldness, fought by men down south
Means nothing here. It's whiskers round the mouth
Which mark the man of honour, poise and strength
No wonder here we'll go to any length
Those bristles to obtain
We'll suffer any pain

Abrasion with sandpaper will
Used with a Black and Decker drill
Stimulate, I'm told those Viking follicles
It's a fact, historical, absolute and true

It worked for me. I pray it works for you

Saturday, June 13, 2015

In Praise of The Great Skua (Death of a Tourist)

I love bonxies.
They killed a tourist once
On Noss, or Bressay
Heart failure, it was said
Old age. It would have happened anyway.
Adventurous, alone
He stumbled through a nesting site
And down they came
Sirenless Stukas, grimly silent.

Unarmed, unlike the  
Stinking, spewing Fulmar:
A Maali leaves its reek.
If a Great Skua hits you, birdfolk say,
It’s a mistake. No beak
Has penetrated brain.
Just wave a stick or shirt
Retreat, the way you came
Signalling submission.

Pirates of the air
They’ll steal from, kill, maim
Any birds
Even the pin-up puffins
Drowned first, then eaten.
Brutal, brown, hefty,
Grim coastal reaper 
I’ve felt your slipstream
The whirr of feathers
Pass my face

As that trespasser
Fell, clutching  his chest
Did he catch your swooping eye
(Ruthless, implacable)
His vacation dream 
Of wilderness
Final and absolute?

It’s what they do
It’s what they are
Stern and menacing
Riders of the storm
Love them or hate them
(And I love them)
You have been warned


In a locked desk drawer
I found a camera
Leather ever-ready case
Green-moulded, cracked
It opened, stiffly
Carefully-capped, lens
Flecked with fungus, 
Viewfinder, last held
To a dead man’s eye

I lifted it to mine
And saw only ghosts
The focus ring
Locked to a lost face or landscape
Exposure set
One five-hundredth of a second
At f16
Some bright day 
A huge overwhelming light
My fingers found the catch
The case sprang open
On a forgotten film

Too slowly, I closed the door

On an obliterated past.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hand on Heart

This is not pain
It's merely a reminder

A grip, tightening
A warning

Muted by nitro glycerine
Under the tongue

Aspirin and whisky
Blessed whisky

Opening arteries
Thinning the blood

Prising off that
Cold hard

Hand on heart


Clattering tongues,
Chattering, nattering, flattering
Muttering, whispering
Raging and spattering
Buttering-up to batter down
Diminish and undermine
Chisel and chamfer
Split and splinter

Flicking, clicking,
Clacking, lacking

In the end,


Just a decade old: (I Love) Whulks. A song for gastropod lovers everywhere

This song was once performed, believe it or not, at a school choir competition. To much critical acclaim but, alas, little competitive success...