Poetry Map

We all know poems about Scotland but can the shape and nature of Scotland be drawn entirely in poetry? StAnza has set itself the challenge to see if this is the case. Find out more about the project and how to submit your poem by clicking here, or browse the poems using the map. Latest poems are listed below.

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 291

Sunday 1 December 2019, 10:39

North Berwick Law

The wind gasps, exasperated;
scattering my seaweed curls,
the waves scraping my cheeks,
obscuring endless views so blue,
a map that unfurls on and on.
The guttural gorse scent,
overpowering below, blasted away
by the salted gust that whispers
tales of hermits, wars and prisoners –
histories woven in its midst.
My voice sings out, swallowed instantly,
anonymous and fleeting
in this lyrical landscape –
an uninhabited island forgotten
in a beautiful immensity.

Kirsty A. Niven

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 290

Sunday 10 November 2019, 12:45

The Iolaire

After four years of brutal war eager to board the Iolaire
The boat laden with too many homeward sailing for Hogmanay

The fires were bright, their clothes airing food prepared, all for welcoming
In sight of home broken on rocks dragged down by sodden great coats

A wailing began as news came on carts we brought their bodies home
One lost her words, was mute, silenced we could no way be comforted

Religion gave the only grace singing psalms a keening in waves
It is why we are the way we are not easy for the survivors

Homeward sailing for Hogmanay the boat laden with too many
Eager to board the Iolaire after four years of brutal war

Mary Thomson

The Iolaire left Kyle of Lochalsh on 31 December 1918 for Stornoway, carrying naval reservists coming home on New Year's leave or demobbed from the Royal Navy. Early on the morning of 1 January 1919, approaching Stornoway in the dark, she struck the Beasts of Holm and was wrecked, with the loss of some 205 lives; only 75 passengers survived. Some of the words in the poem are the islanders own, taken from the BBC TV documentary “In Sight of Home: The Iolaire”

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 289

Saturday 2 November 2019, 14:13

Argyll November

 

The creel boat races before the whitecaps
The wren clings to the skeleton bough
The stars gone from the skies rammed black
Tonight we hear an older world growl
 
The cattle are come down off the high ground
The paths scoured bare by stiff leaves
The wind hammers through hard from Ireland
Tonight we may know little ease
 
The broad gusts are outrun by the rainclouds
The waves dissolve the sea to ragged foam
The loch washes up over the shore roads
Tonight we stand together alone
 
The forked coasts of the unflinching margin
The season remorseless in relentless change
The time for respite in safe harbour
Tonight we are at the end of our range
 
The haven reached and lone wreck overcome
The shelter shared from the gales and rain
That older world tells us through the trees and stones
Tonight we must put the stars back again.
 
Peter Russell

 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 288

Sunday 13 October 2019, 13:34

Rose Moon from Portobello Beach

Four old women crane their necks
staring at the moon
rising blood-red from the sea
into the setting sun.

This is what it does
every fifty years or so
at summer solstice.

Last time they were young.

Sue Bard

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 287

Thursday 12 September 2019, 09:56

Dear Edinburgh,

You cannot visit yourself and that is sadness.
Your sky is nice. Your sky is old lace over a lamp.
Instead download my brain tape.
You are full of corner shops, castles, print piles.
 

You never ring on Sundays to have supermarket conversations.
You are just here wearing no knickers
telling all about your once volcanic disposition,
how once a year you night bus and dress in posters.
Teach me how to wear so much weight on one wrist.

Next year, at midnight, we will scale Arthur’s seat.
I will bring the drinks.
It will be strange for you to look down at yourself,
your outline, a surgery scar
dimming from blush to taupe.

Admiring.

Hannah Jane Walker

 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 286

Sunday 21 July 2019, 14:42
SKYE BLUES
 
the constellation of Mallaig
turns on its harbour lights
and sends silver filaments
across the Christmas water
like lost strands of lametta
 
the Ardvasar Hotel gives up
its obligation to celebrate
 
brown untidy bungalows
provide a kitch spectacle
of bruised plastic snowmen
and sparkle-eyed reindeer
leaping electric blue icicles
 
dwarfs climb a snow-ladder
looking whisky malicious
and ready to snatch back
any gift Santa might offload
 
we’re a couple of silhouettes
in front of a neon sleigh
warming ourselves on disdain
 
our New Year was a duty
and we are tired of caring
 
sorry for our bad temper
and what we failed to do
until the night hushes us
with an abracadabra of stars
 
 
Robin Wilson

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map