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. 276: Stromness

Sunday 4 December 2016, 16:12
Beachcombing, Stromness
 
A lighthouse beam swings over the shore,
takes account of the mess. Another
seafarer wrung
by plastic around its neck. I count feathers
 
on its spackled breast and imagine each
feather’s another body taken
from desert to sea. The ones ejected
from cities they were born in, and the ones
 
with gunpowder in their veins,
and the ones who asked for mercy and
didn’t ask for mercy.
I count in my numbing head
 
Thomas Minogue
 

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 275: Leith Walk

Tuesday 8 November 2016, 21:46

The Foot of the Walk

He is an old skeleton of a man. Stranded somewhere in his sixties. Stubble tough as sandpaper. Stubble cement grey. His eyes bloodshot and ghosted like a man who has been taken over. He whispers to himself.

He carries a bottle of wine haphazardly under his arm right which spills as he tries to settle it. A hat sits crookedly on his head. His short coat is dirtied by grease and sick mess. His trousers hang loosely around his waist. By all accounts one gone quite mad.

He walks stiffly like a boy who has defecated in his trousers. This is no simile; a sewage leak has stained through and dribbles down his right leg. He mutters to himself.

At the junction he edges awkwardly round the corner. We cross the road, walking farther into our lives and further away from his; averting our eyes from the suns glare.

Colin McGuire

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. 274: Dunning Den

Wednesday 10 August 2016, 14:40
Dunning Den
 
Yesterday, by the blackthorn bank,
I stopped under the sparkling boughs.
Frothy white against a pool of sky
and warmed by the nearing sun,
they dizzied me with their musky scent,
loosing me from winter's grip.
 
Yesterday, under the crumbling crag
I gazed up at the sentinel pine.
A head above his bare companions
with toes clasping the broken rock,
steadfast he rode his stance,
holding the valley in one piece.
 
Yesterday, through the wild garlic
I stepped down to the riverside.
Riffling over the pebbles
and surging against the rocks,
the water dissolved into sound,
carrying all life in its melody.
 
Felicity Martin

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. 273: Raasay

Wednesday 3 August 2016, 19:55
Rainy’s Wall
 
*
 
Tatooed by lichen, a wall struts
over twisted rock and the thin soil,
dips and buckles – almost –
 
with its burden of stone, a
bulwark, bully, and boundary,
that it is too high to leap over.
 
It divides the living and the dead,
field from pasture, and the bond
between the horizon and the sea.
 
*
 
With a handful of grass in my hands
I felt the past cut across my palms.
The loops of grass were like the lock
 
of your hair I once held between
my fingers. Those precious black strands
I let go to give the wind its due.
 
*
 
Now, the heavy lifting work continues.
Beetle, moss and fern are busy
in the crevices, and the soft ground sinks
 
with the slow justice of this wall’s decay.
 
 
Mark O. Goodwin

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 272: Renfrewshire

Sunday 31 July 2016, 11:44
Benediction 
 
From Caplaw Dam –
Old Patrick Water 
 
ravens down the Braes.
Brakes in sodden meadows
 
by Leitchland Farm
then stumbles onwards.
 
Pushing wooden wheels
in the dream world
 
where carpet factory thrived and
slab boys became old hands.
 
Slides under the road away 
from Stoddards and skirts
 
green reedy pond. Rushes 
loudly now. A plastic pail
 
slaloms as I watch and then
wings off along a touch-line.
 
Hurdles the sticks through 
secret tree-lined tunnels, 
 
plashing ritual drops of burn 
on trailing branches. And
 
then, when service ends, 
heads for the Black Cart.
 
Pete Stuart

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. 271: Kilmacolm

Sunday 24 July 2016, 19:34
15 and a jar of instant
 
There’ll be no thirteens on this estate
so here’s a baker’s dozen, plus one, plus one:
lawn proud and redchip, horseshoe and geraniums.
 
We are talking Great Universal,
Avon and denier.
This is yoghurt, vinyl,
the age of the wagon prams.
 
(A third boy’s five fivestones,
sill-high on the outside
glimpse a jar of instant –
fall back, smack
into his hand,
the winning catch.)
 
There’ll be no thirteens on this estate,
so here’s a baker’s dozen – plus one,
plus one.
 
Richard Price
 

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