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. 331

Wednesday 22 July 2020, 13:37

The Stane in the Fish in the Boat in the Bay

(A poem/song in Scots for five voices)

1st Voice:       

Oot in the bay,
the pearl-grey bay
there’s an auld fisher boat
a-rockin’, a-rockin’,
a-rockin’ a’ the fair-weather day
in the pearl-grey bay.

2nd Voice:

In the auld fisher boat
that will ever aye float
there’s a ticht green net
a-stretchin’, a-stretchin’,
a-stretchin’ like a wee kitten’s coat
in the auld fisher boat.

3rd Voice:

In the ticht green net
that’s ever aye wet
there’s a siller-blue fish
a-wrigglin’, a-wrigglin’,
a-wrigglin’ in a fast dance set
in the ticht green net.

4th Voice:

In the siller-blue fish
that will grant ony wish
there’s a mottled moonstane
a-gleamin’, a-gleamin’,
a-gleamin’ like a bone china dish
in the siller-blue fish.

5th Voice:

In the mottled moonstane
as bright as sheep-bane
there’s a pearl-grey bay
a-sparklin’, a-sparklin’,
a-sparklin’ like a star a’ alane
in the mottled moonstane.

All Voices:

Oot in the bay
the pearl-grey bay
there’s a new fisher boat
a-rockin’, a-rockin’,
a-rockin’ a’ the fair-weather day
in the pearl-grey bay.

 John Rice

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. 330

Tuesday 21 July 2020, 14:14

Glen Muick

Drizzle smirrs the hill, swells
grey air with the stink of smoke.
Dogs shiver in disappointment.

Mountains huddle under wet shrouds
and seaweed bracken straggles
our braeside pathway

bur red deer, exultant in their
Christmas crowns, gather under
the lee of the hill, heedless

of our intrusion or
the fine rain.

Jean Taylor 

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. 329

Monday 20 July 2020, 11:57

Cry of the Celts

In the pinch of a late winter
that should have flown north by now
to leave a southern spring,
she moves down Sauchiehall:
then sideways into snarling alleyways
& slipshod streets.

A piper in full Highland dress,
his cheeks florid, cap askew,
scarlet tartans flapping
in the skirling wind
plays “Flowers of the Forest”,
“The Water Is Wide”—O Waly, Waly!

She listens inside her hands & feet
& deep in her breastbone:
so many fluttering pennants of liquid song
rolling & unscrolling in thin rivulets & tendrils
to inundate her heart,
ensnare her soul.

His music blindfolds her to shoppers, cars
& blathering shop windows; so now through muffling tears
she hears instead only the blood-red-curdling
ribbon uncurling melody swirling
scalding purple stain
from lost ancestral glens & crags.

The plaint & wail of pipes pours out,
overflows the heather air;
then raises her, sweeps her
over paving stones,
lifts her, free of weeping,
light as dancing, to float forever away.

Lizzie Ballagher

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. 328

Sunday 19 July 2020, 18:41

shoreline

my fugitive self shuffles over periwinkle beads of discarded shell
beneath stretched clouds of cotton threads, a cathedral naves a soul-lifting lustre

scuttling oyster catchers sand potter, long beaks reaching, sweetness searching
gulls scream a gallantry as kittiwakes guard languishing rock pools
of lamenting weed, hiding scurrilous crustaceans

bobbing fishing boats flake paint of oak-beam memories
as a foghorn voice of sea haar swells a sea-monster’s armour

bedrock of my hometown, bequeathed to me by forbearers
of mills and railway tracks, cobblers and fisher folk, spinners and strugglers

I have judged you harshly, absconded in my youth, from your safe havens
and I realise that I have run from this, covered myself in my brigandine
while this shanty soundtrack has played within me

Irene Watson

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. 327

Saturday 18 July 2020, 09:37

Davaar Cave – Mull of Kintyre

In this headland cave water drips on multi-marbled rock and here folk
have laid their crosses. Twists of kelp and twine and wood all washed up
on the drift of time. Here someone stretched and scrunched his bones.
Made a stone-bright image for those who trek between the causeway tides.

We’d come to watch the boats, hear the see-saw rasp of oystercatchers’ calls,
find a sleek of seals recline blue-black, sunbathe on a thrust of rocks
laid bare by the out-race of the sea. Asleep with one eye at the ready
for the curiosity of strangers.

Buried deep among the local flyers I had found the name Davaar. So like
the sound of that uniquely Hebrew word Dabar. The complex universal
let there be of biblical creation. An extra spur to see what we could see.

Not some discovery of ancient marks scratched on the endurance of stone.
No. This was recent art invading caverns, folds, the gouges of millennia.
My camera fought the half-light, tried to capture it in vivid pixilation.

How many secret trips it took to execute this crucifixion no-one will ever
know. But it exists as icon, talisman, the painter’s rainbow prayer.
A fare-ye-well at the yawn of the tide that spills folk out past the Mull
into the swell of the Irish Sea. A Fáilte to the homeward bound.

Anne Connolly

Note: In 1887 a local art teacher, Archibald Mckinnon, had a dream which inspired this work, kept secret for many years. Learn more: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/argyll/davaar-island.shtml

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. 326

Friday 17 July 2020, 10:42

The Barras

This college land is some skin job hallucination.
Bright lights that white was shite,
Glasgow swallowed the red pill
and will cough it up come Sunday.

I trod on floorboards last night.
Counted ceiling stars a twinkling
in the ballroom night.

I shared a roller disco with Rock Gods
and serial killers alike.
Washed them down to Rebel Tunes
in a dying marketplace.

Head held high I think of her.
How she said we shared a cityscape.
How she writes about Mark Twain
while I talk about life, mate.

She chose to be here
when all I can do is stay. 

Victoria McNulty

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