Showcase: Harry Giles – Tae a Cooncillor


Tae a Cooncillor appears in Oam: Poems fae Govanhill Baths, published by Stewed Rhubarb Press, lenchin at Govanhill Baths, 99 Calder St, November 27th at 7pm. The pamphlet wis wrote as pairt o a residency wi Govanhill Baths, a yinst n futur sweemin puil (n steamie n slipper baths n Turkish baths n mair), closed by Glesgae Ceety Cooncil in 2001, occupeed n fendit by a strang community campaign, n nou reappent as a community centre, suin tae be a sweemin complex agin.

Tae a Cooncillor

Wee glaikit, skybald, fashious bastart,

whit unco warld maks ye wir maister?

Whit glamour has ye risin fester as

projectile boak?

Hit’s time tae gie yer feechie fouster

an honest soak.


Hit’s fowk like ye will aye tak pouer,

houiver sma, tae reassure

yer scrinkit sowel ye arenae puir

like aw aroond ye;

n when yer perk is quite siccar

thir wrath astoonds ye.


Sae ye bou yer pus tae gods like profit

the mair tae rax the troch n scoff hit,

the mair tae mooth the needfu: “Tough! It’s

a striver’s Scotland.”

Ah’m here tae lairn ye nou, come off hit,

yer patter’s rotten.


Ye n aw the fowk wha’s like ye,

the schuillyaird bangster wi mankit psyche,

the polis runnin a schemie reich wi

“Protect n Sairve”,

the mid-heid-bummer whit sneists his spiky

“Mair’n ma joab’s warth.”


Ah’d think that rogues wad hae ambition,

wad aim fer a CEO’s position,

wad be PM-type politicians,

the mair tae plunder;

but ye’re content wi shilpit visions

n nochtelt wonder.


Ah ken that we shuid haud wir laith

fer duimsters whit are warth wir braith;

but maugre o yer pickle stouth

ye’re muckle gruesome:

ye’ll cut the leebries, cut the baths,

cut aw that’s luesome,


cut aw whit fowk hae cam tae tresiur.

Yer life’s sae tuim yer anely pleisur

is crousely usin rules n meisurs

tae cut whit vieve

ye cannae unnerstaund, whit leisur

we need tae live.


(Ah’ll tak a spell afore concludin

Tae sae ma flytin’s no includin

the folk in Cooncils no colludin

wi yer fustian rule,

who tak thir pouer n spreid hit, provin

they’d jyne the puil.)


Sae ken ye nou, wir teen’s expandin;

we’ll pind whit’s oors an, notwithstandin

the wheen wha’s leal, we’ll lauch, disbandin

yer pack n aw,

n tho no first, ye will be standin

against the waw.


Gin marounjous wirds seem awfie sterie,

a  weird whit’s oot o whack, a theory

owergane – yer wrangs war peerie –

Ah’ll wiss insteid

Ye see yersel as ithers see ye:

awready deid.


Ye’ve wan chaunce still tae reest yer ghaist –

yer seilie fer that’s mair than maist

will get fae ye – sae mak yer cast,

Ah’m yet gey steamin.

Nou, Cooncillor, resign yer post

n get tae sweemin.

Harry Giles
National Collective

Photography by Paradasos.