Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 138: Bressa Soond

Firewirks owre Bressa Soond
For Stella Sutherland, Shetland poet

Licht fades peerie-wyes i da simmer dim;
hills cut-oot, black on a egg-shall sky.
Toon lichts mirl, da Soond platt calm.
You hadd your braeth as Shetland sinks
her clooers athin you, beds her doon.
At da crack o firewirks fae da Bressa side
a sel skoits, dooks him ithoot a soond.
Rockets burst heich owre dark watter
een eftir tidder. Abön wis, da sky is
a swirl o cotts, a birl i da darknin.
Der somethin aboot beauty poored oot
at catches i da trot; aboot da prodigal
at laeves wis moothless, winderin,
laek wi da ocean, da lönabrak.

 

Christine Da Luca
Previously published in North End of Eden (Luath Press Ltd, 2010)

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licht: light; peerie-wyes: gently, slowly; simmer dim: season of long summer twilight; toon: town; mirl: shimmer; platt calm: perfectly smooth sea; hadd: hold; clooers: claws; sel: seal; skoits: peeps purposively; dooks: dips below surface; een eftir tidder: one after another; abön: above; cotts: petticoats; birl: whirling dance; der: there is; trot: throat; lönabrack: swell and surge of sea breaking

English version

Fireworks over Bressay Sound
For Stella Sutherland, Shetland poet

Light fades gently in summer twilight;
hills cut-out, black on an egg-shell sky.
Town lights shimmer, the Sound flat calm.
You hold your breath and Shetland sinks
her claws in you, beds down.
At the crack of fireworks from the Bressay side
a seal scouts out, slips under soundlessly.
Rockets burst high over dark water
one after another. Above us, the sky is
a swirl of petticoats, a whirl in the darkening.
There’s something about beauty poured out
that catches in the throat; about the prodigal
that leaves us speechless, wondering,
like with the ocean, the breaking surf.

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