Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 19: Ailsa Craig

Paddy’s Milestane

Beyond Culzean’s daurk cliff
Past Girvan Water’s urge,
The black crag o Ailsa soars above
The wild Atlantic surge

A seal head, thrust above the tide,
Clyde’s rush to integration,
A stane tae mark in silhouette
The lang sea miles o emigration.

The passage o the dispossessed
As Glasgow bound they sailed
Never tae return tae the Roisin Dubh
When the tattie harvest failed

For years men sailed across the Firth
Tae bring its granite treasures hame
Tae shape an polish them till fit
Tae grace the Roarin Gemme

When, bloodied frae the tangled nets
Hauns sair frae cauld an rain
Thanfu, the skipper tirns the wheel
Heads back fur shore again.

A lightness fills his weary heart
When ther across the Firth
The licht oan Ailsa’s soarin rock
Points the wey back tae his berth.

George McEwan

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