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. 343

Friday 31 July 2020, 08:33

A Motorway Café for Birds

Roll up! Roll up!
Take your seat at Castle Loch.
There’s plenty to eat and drink
at this motorway café for birds.

Listen to the Warblers chatter
about whose turn it is to pay the bill.
Azure and Variable Damselflies
jostle over parking spaces.

Otters sneakily scamper,
playing peek-a-boo in the playground of rushes.
Swans show off by walking on water
while diving ducks wave their feet at passers-by.

Hotel rooms amongst the trees for rent,
with willing ants to carry your bags.
It’s where blue meets green,
at this motorway café for birds. 

Paula Nicolson

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. 342

Thursday 30 July 2020, 17:35

Mungo’s Legacy

Not your usual jaunt from East to West,
to Glasgow or to sainthood.
Thrown by royal Loth off Traprain’s cliffs,
cast adrift to cross the Forth,
storing up a trauma in the womb
to occupy a lifetime’s therapy,
Mungo birthed at Culross, and the rest
is history – or legend if you will.

They came back, Mungo’s bairns; re-settled
post-war streets in Haddington,
where they could nod to Traprain’s bulk,
choose their own voyages of life and love,
without benefit of monks or ministers,
play leapfrog with the memory of Knox,
play catch up with the country folk
who know the score, and name each hill.

Here SNP and Labour vie to throw
each other’s yoke off, fight or argue for
that Holyrood control, the saintliness
or ugliness of power – while Glasgow
maybe still remembers Mungo, with
his godly therapy, his special words
to calm the storm and cross divides,
his goodness spite could never kill.

Jock Stein

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. 341

Thursday 30 July 2020, 11:20

Loch Voil, Dhanakosa Retreat Centre

The waves are galloping west
full length of the loch, white manes tossing,
racing each other then sinking.
I remember the kelpies of myth,
horse-headed and fish-tailed who, singing
lured travellers to their death.
There seem to be footsteps following –
but it’s only the prayer flags, clattering
as they are whipped by the wind.
This morning the heads of the hills
are turbaned in scarves of grey mist
but the young leaves and clover-strewn grass
gleam as green as a goblin’s eyes.
Here is a place to regain childhood’s belief in fairies,
though it makes no promise that nature
will progress in order, or sunshine
appear when summonsed, but rather
offers joy in the unexpected –
red clouds of sunset at midnight,
a rainbow half as high as the sky.
Magic must be caught on the wing:
like the swallows’ evening flight
chasing insects; in an image of ripples
flowing around reeds and boulders;
in words that fly and sing.

Anne Ballard 

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

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

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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 340

Wednesday 29 July 2020, 11:01

A Waterfall’s Voice

The rain falls down on the world, gentle and soft.
Water drips down the pines, slowly, from aloft.
After such prolonged showers your voice grows fierce.
You shout; flow increased, emotions stirred, sounds pierce.

How can a roar be so relaxing; bring calm?
An elemental force; a soul healing balm.
Your path erodes, carves away both rock and stone,
while your ceaseless cadence cries aloud…alone.

Even from afar, your murmur can be heard.
Blending with the songs of all the woodland bird.
Even your whisper can command true respect.
For your resonance and being, still interject.

Such is the way of the primal waterfall.
It draws a person in with its mighty call.
For who can ignore a voice that drowns out all?
With a presence to match; nature’s fluid wall. 

Kieron Baird

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

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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. 339

Tuesday 28 July 2020, 18:00

Sixty-Seven

I toddled up the glen the other day,
for the first time since sixty-seven,
past the grassy bank
beside the shallow burn,
where men in white vests lay,
alone or in pairs,
perhaps in threes,
smoking and joking and sleeping,
while bare footed women,
in sleeveless floral cotton frocks
laughed together
and sang together,
and made good things
to eat and drink.

Stewart Ennis

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

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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. 338

Tuesday 28 July 2020, 11:42

A Stone’s Throw from Easdale                                                                     

Crossing the Atlantic Bridge, its south side awash
with fairy foxglove, the call is strong. A lifetime ago
a minibus re-fuelled opposite the Tigh
an Truish. You ate plastic toasties, drank warm lager.
Then, you sought to read the rocks; indigo foliated slates twinkling
with millennia of micrometric mica. Weeks of mapping, skimming
plotting; a bucket of stones, a dusty rock hammer your spoils.
Discarded, one by one, as you grew, moved, changed,
lost, contracted. Just one remains. In your hand, it tells the
human stories of people and place. Formed in
Palaeozoic pressures; split by erupting fault lines,
raging subterranean currents; torn along fragile
grinding tectonic plates; scree wind lashed into silicate
and clay – until Rodinia ruptured. Rains raised Ancient Iapetus;
shores re-shaped by volatile cycles: collisions; divisions; melting;
freezing and melding. Morph in claymation.
Formed, re-formed, bent but not quite
broken.

In ’45, the Campbells, Netherlorn men, came. Not for princes
or crowns, but rock cleavage and silver pounds.
Castles consolidated with borrowed brides and ransom spoils.
They paid for honest toil, modernised and mechanised.
500 men quarried, split, napped; wedged in watery clefts
on denuded crags, creaking joints engorged as they hewed out
five million princess and duchess-cut tiles, roofing castles
and cathedrals in worlds old and new, building communities.
Spoil filled causeways melded island to island.                                                        

One stormy night, its defences breached, core sucked, dreams
submerged, livelihoods cleared by nature’s rage, returns declined,
meagre livings scraped.
A few endured. Heart still beats
to a new tempo.

Now coaches cross the old stone bridge daily. Disgorged tourists
savour tasty fare, buy postcards not petrol, try on the kilt,
giggle in Highland Arts. Plinkety-plink pipes and fiddles
tweed, tartan tat, tablet, warm shortbread and impotent art.
They bounce in fast boats to exhilarating whirlpools, cheer
World Stone Skimming Championships, wheel possessions
in colourful barrows from the tiny quayside.

A bowl of seafood, glass of Chablis, white-washed
holiday lets at your back, you caress the stone one last time
then skim it back into its inky womb.

Carol Shea

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