Searching My Soul – Vonda Shepard Oran Mor March 2009


Waking up with a sore head from the overpriced vodka and cokes, I wondered whether last night was a dream. I had spent many a night curled up in bed after a long day at the office with my Ally McBeal DVDs watching  Vonda Shepard sing in the piano bar downstairs, wishing I could join the Cage and Fish crew for a few drinks and a dance.
It was only three weeks ago, a friend of mine casually mentioned that he had seen an advert for Vonda Shepard playing at Glasgow’s Oran Mor. After a state of sheer exhilaration I just knew that I had to get a ticket and be there. The 3rd of March came all to quickly and before I knew it, I was sitting two rows from the front hardly believing I was waiting for Vonda to come on stage.

All dressed up, in a dress that had been hanging in my wardrobe waiting for the right occasion, fishnets and my favourite heels, the woman beside me commented about how I looked like I had just walked off the Ally McBeal set.

But I was too distracted by a flicker of blonde hair in the wings. Soon enough a stunning woman who hadn’t aged at all since her Ally days emerged, with long coliseum legs and a trendy chiffon dress that any Topshop woman would have been proud of. She flashed a beaming smile that could light up the whole of the Glasgow.

Kick starting into song with songs from her new album From The Sun, followed by some of her classic covers from the show. Including a hip swaying, soul strumming rendition of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Sweet Inspiration‘ and toe tapping ‘Some Day We’ll be together’ which got all the women up dancing.

Rounding off with some of her heart rendering piano ballads including ‘Clear‘, ‘Baby, Don’t you break my Heart Slow’ and ‘This is Crazy Now’. One couple so caught up in the moment shared a romantic kiss in the middle.

Finally finishing with the song that made her famous and everyone was waiting for ‘the Ally McBeal theme song ‘Searching My Soul’. And this time when she asked everyone to get up and dance, I didn’t give it a second thought. It was a once in a lifetime chance.

I shuffled my way to the front, dancing inches away from where she was playing. Every so often opening my eyes to take it all in. If you asked anyone I knew they would tell you I hate to embarrass myself.

But that night I was living my Ally McBeal fantasy and I wasn’t wasting a second of it.

After the gig, I made sure I was the last person to get an autograph and photo. Meeting my eyes, Vonda said Hi and that she saw me dancing. Cringing inside but laughing on the outside I said she had no idea what it meant to me.

It was at this time I took the chance to tell her the her music had helped me through the most difficult times. Her song ‘Soothe Me’ got me through a very painful break up. I wanted her to know that her music meant something to me outside of the McBeal bandwagon, it reached me in a time of need.

It has been eight years since Ally left on a jet plane to New York in the show’s season finale. But every time I watch the DVDs back, I smile knowing that for one night and one night only I lived my dream and danced in the Cage and Fish bar.


No-body’s Business

confused the bible with a magic 8 ball,

Ask it a question, shake for your answer,

Or the very ambiguous – ask again later.

At 13, stars and signs were my religion,

Buying teen mags to find out if my crush,

felt the same. I was too scared to ask him.


Dabbling with tarots, spells and candles,

Wicca was hard work, psychics are fickle,

Finally found a faith that fitted around me.

Some may say I’m lazy, but I know they’d

Understand walking in my shoes for a day,

Oblivious of my journey to this safe place.


I used to wander these empty unlit streets,

Dark, cold and alone, with no-where to go,

Naked, and battling the wind in just a coat.

Everyone has their own kind of confidence,

Either born or inherited during life’s events,

But I returned humbly home to Jesus Christ.


I don’t justify why – It’s no-body’s business

But Mine.

The Greater Good

Shirts, ties, skirts, black shoes, our formal office attire,

On approach, my cheeks flush, heart skip, dry throat,

We’re at work, behaviour, also follows the dress code.

Only two weeks, an eternity to me since we last spoke,

Milky pale or golden tanned, I’m attracted all the same.

Wide eyed, I straighten my bust, hanging for loopholes,

when listening about the holiday with your girlfriend.


Inviting you back for innocent tea, I could hardly believe,

When sitting on the sofa across, started talking dirty to me,

Could so easily slip onto your knee, let your hands roam free.

Waited in line, ready for the ride, but the seatbelt is too tight

Red lights flash, a school alarm bell goes off in the distance,

My imagination? Because you haven’t noticed anything.


Frustrated, I close the door, getting on with my delayed chores,

Silence. No streamers, cheers, parade, trumpets or trumbones.

No-one will ever know, I turned you down for the greater good.

I don’t know her name, or where she lives, but that she exsists,

A woman who trusts you with all of her mind, body and soul. 


Devil’s Advocate, or an aged old question – Like Hester in the Scarlett Letter,

Man’s decision to cheat, should a woman be branded just is a woman just as guilty,

for being the accessory? Do I owe anything to this person?

Period Times

In one universe, in a cold, locked cubicle, a teenager, waits in angst

for its presence, To avoid the duty of admitting to her parents, normal

A-grade student, along with panties and dignity, has lost her innocence.


Her eleven-year –old sister, writing to a teen magazine, willing it to arrive,

Feels abnormal, that the rest of her friend’s have had theirs, when’s her turn?

Unaware of forty -years annoying tampon changes and cramps years to come.


Meanwhile, a housewife across town, over the wall or even a few doors down,

Whose ready for a baby, paces the polished floor of her dream suburban home,

Picking names and paint colours, prays that nasty aunt Period will be kept at bay.


What would I do if it were me that was not ready?  So in love but not the right time,

Dreams unaccomplished, not financially stable, steadily running out of excuses not to,

What if after the A, I couldn’t when I was older? Is there ever a right time to have a baby?



The Devil with Red Hair

The devil with red hair, whispered something in my ear,

No-one will know, our partners none the wiser, our fun.

Seemingly innocent blue eyes, with a touch of shyness,

Ignited by excitement because you know I’m interested.

You know my weakness, a curled up fetes, alone in bed,

Intuitive to my needs, horny radar hones in the distance.


I know you feel guilty; I’m not forcing you into anything,

Just in the neighbourhood, thought you’d want fulfilling.

I’m on your street, in the car park, buzz me in, hurry up,

It’s freezing. Car keys clank, jacket rustles on every step,

As you get closer, the more I want to shy into darkness.

Is this happening? Am I really going to be this person?


An unexpected guest, I apologise profusely for the mess,

But your thoughts in the dim light are fixated elsewhere.

No shoes on the bed I jokingly warn, as belt unbuckling,

Oh don’t worry; I won’t be here long to get that comfy.

Lie back. Relax. And suck on this to calm your nerves,

My bedroom, now a doctor’s surgery, it’s all so clinical.


Lonely Suit

Last train home,

A late night suit

Tries to sleep.

Slumber’s brief

And he’s awoken

By a phone that’s

Not his own.

Drunken hens and

Football fans disturb

His Zen.


Listening to chants and

Old school karaoke,

From days of freedom.

Now numbers, figures

And emails only meet him.

Anger is jealous in disguise.

When was the last time

He’d gone out with the guys?

Picking up his prized iPhone,

He checks to see,

Another day,

Tomorrow’s hectic,

I just need some sleep.

Shop Boy

Shop boy,

By buying a forgotten loaf, you changed my world.

The sticking plaster over a wounded heart,

A chat-up line, cheeky grin, calling me gorgeous and

I was hooked in.


I spent hours guessing your name, maybe a David

Perhaps a Paul, finally deciding Jamie.

Discovering it was Danny, a perfect fit for such

A charming personality.


Standing above me behind racks of liquor, fags and

Condoms – other people’s vices before

Your own. The bell rings, passing through convo

Coming, going, Forgetting.


But I thought of you though the day, walking, working,

On the train, wondering what you’re reading,

the stretches of your imagination as I picture your

face before sleeping.


One day, it was replaced by that unknown. Flushing,

As I am caught searching the window

Maybe you’re on holiday but weeks after I resign you’ve

Gone to pastures new.


Working all hours, living quarters above, you couldn’t go.

Freedom and happiness, were all I wanted for you.

But I regret that I never got to say goodbye or thanks for

Being my Shop Boy.