Flying My Own Plane


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An Anthology of Poems

Compiled By his Mother, Christine Wilkie

ISBN: 978-1-84991-000-2
Published: 2009
Pages: 102
Key Themes: poetry, relationships, family, depression



This anthology of poems was written by the author throughout his adult life.

Many were found in his flat after his death scribbled on pieces of paper, written in diaries or typewritten. Others had been handed to family members from time to time. There are seven different categories. The poems inevitably reflect the author’s experiences as a person with chronic bipolar disorder, as well as his views on religion having studied Theology for many years. He was always questioning and never quite deciding to be loyal to any particular church, although he did see himself as a committed Christian.

His observations of life could be considered quite controversial, sometimes apparently quite flippant while on closer scrutiny deeply serious. He also writes with some humour about his relationships with the opposite sex and members of his family. Included in the anthology is a section loosely described as “songs”. Only the one bearing the title of this book was ever put to music and performed by him as a song but his intention had always been to break into song writing.”If only I was a better guitarist”

The intention in publishing this book is to pay tribute to his memory as a complete human being, with a big personality and a heart to match who had a message he wanted to give but unfortunately could not succeed in doing this during his life time. At the same time, if this book can help to highlight the plight of the mentally ill and the proceeds serve to contribute in some way to financing further research into mental health, it will have been a worthwhile exercise.

About the Author

David Alexander Edward Murdoch was born in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital on 21st January1965, the eldest of three children. He has two sisters. His parents divorced in 1984. Always a mischievous little boy, he was academically bright, good at sports and music. Throughout his childhood, he was full of enthusiasm and eager to excel at anything he tried. David attended schools in Stranraer, Ayr, Bucksburn, Dyce, Cults, Westhill and Ellon. He could claim to be a true Aberdonian however having spent all his adult life living in the City.

David suffered a period of depression at age 14 followed later by hypomania as a teenager and was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of twenty in 1986. The illness dominated his life and he struggled to achieve anything he was proud of. He did not respond positively to any of the drugs on offer and had difficulty accepting that he had an illness. He was admitted to hospital usually compulsorily all too frequently, until his tragic death in Aberdeen on 23rd November 2008.

As a boy and a young man he loved playing golf, tennis and football. He also enjoyed art, music and drama. He directed, co-produced and acted in “Macbeth” while at University. He also acted in plays such as “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Importance of Being Ernest” (playing Lady Bracknell).

David studied at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology (Physical Sciences) and at Aberdeen University (Theology) for many years but his illness adversely affected his ability to fulfil his ambitions. He eventually graduated with a degree in Theology at Aberdeen University, in July 2005.

During and after his years as a theology student, he befriended religious groups around Aberdeen. Among these were Mormon, Muslim and most recently members of the Baha’i Faith. He appreciated the friendship he received from these groups, but he continued to question all faiths, while returning intermittently to the more orthodox churches i.e. Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic. He joined the Catholic Church at one point and expressed the desire to study for the priesthood in Rome. He was baptised as a baby into the Church of Scotland while his funeral service was conducted as a full requiem mass by Father Emslie Nimmo in St Margaret’s of Scotland Episcopalian church, Aberdeen.

A close friend described him as “a hugely entertaining and much sought after social companion.” He was also capable of great kindness and caring for his fellow human beings. When presenting with mania, however he could be very critical of everything and was often somewhat outspoken and insulting to his closest family and friends. This lost him the friendship of several people (usually temporarily) and left him with mountains to climb socially when the mania left him and along with it his confidence to a certain extent.

He appeared to have a remarkable capacity to bounce back, however and we, his family and friends assumed, incorrectly that this would continue to be the case. Tragically, he was unable to do this after his last bout of mania in 2008 which was more prolonged and severe than any of his previous episodes. His loss is deeply felt by us all.

Book Extract

Who am I?

Among the proles another one of the lost souls
I’m most welcome with my bad jokes and silly smile
The intelligencia embrace me as curio and confidant
Nodding at my poetry, exchanging views of life

But I really want to win the workers
The ones who drink their wages to make work a challenge
I can’t find my corner and drifting makes me tired
Must I always be three people at once?
What if they all met?

That’s what I’ll do, I’ll be me all the time
And be no part of any group screaming for acceptance
I’m not one of you, or you, or you, I’m only me
And you will all see that me is free and functional

Can it be this simple, the answer to my pain
Or is every answer only a stepping stone
To a greater and greater level of solution
I hope I’m going forward
And not round and round
Or even worse backwards

4 reviews for Flying My Own Plane

  1. EMM OAG (verified owner)

    Definitely a five star from me … The content of these poems tell just how well read on LIFE the author was … Great pity he did not live to see his words in print … How cruel this Bipolar Disorder is to twist the minds of talented people … Having read only the e-Book I look forward to having the actual book to appreciate more at my leisure … E OAG

  2. Kaylin Greig (verified owner)

    David was really good at writen his poems, although I havent got my copy of this book yet as Im just away to order it, I know myself I will enjoy it, David showed me alot of his work over the years I had known him and it was always a good read! Im chuffed his book is out, means his memorys still lives on! David is sadly missed, David will always be remembered!X

  3. Bruce Milne (verified owner)

    Flying My Own Plane is a collection of poems describing ordinary observations, relationships, family and faith. The author had a vibrant sense of humour which shines through much of his work. There are a few references to the North East of Scotland which many readers will recognise. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a thought provoking collection of verse.

  4. EMM OAG (verified owner)

    Very impressed with the presentation and content of David’s book of poems … Have one on the coffee table to be dipped in to whenever and by whoever comes to call … David has written so many expressive poems on such a variety of his own true feelings at the time of writing (usually when ill or manic) … I particularly enjoy reading his dedications to his family and many friends from so many walks of life … EMMO

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