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. 10: Arran

Wednesday 23 July 2014, 12:14

A LASS OF ARRAN

Margaret Elfrida    late of this parish
today the sea was really nice
busy early with the yachts and
keeps her eye still beaded

The morse of oystercatchers skim
the bay    she wants us to be kind
took the ferry from the fifties
on her green bench    anticipation

Of coffee   spent life looking out
islanded the sea reflects the sky
reflects the sea    against the harsh
winters    a savory snack before

Pondering something dark in her cardigan
arbitrarily followed    who kept a brood
her washday hands      sometimes a rule
in morals and mutton    frees the mind

For thought who sat at the last in
her old chintz chair    watching a selkie
bob and dive    while the common gull
on its platform    one concentrate

Of attention    whose eyes see all how
in out in out    and waking in the
lovely molten silver    the tide's slide
morning is best    like God indulgently

 

Stephen Waling
First published in Captured Yes (Knives, Forks and Spoons 2011).

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. 9: Edinburgh - Auld Reekie

Tuesday 22 July 2014, 11:28

Edinburgh, February, Night

We stampede through the Cowgate, nicotine
And tar oiling our breath, Auld Reekie’s ancient
Burn lingering, centuries on. In new lungs now,
Blackening fast: we smoke her in.
To Nicolson Street, a meeting of jeans and tights
Around the two am ATM under
Bright lights pupils wide, cash out, move on,
Cross streets without turning heads, the
Heads on the bus for Morningside turn
To see us running by, side-stepping
Sidewalks, trampling the dotting lines of streets,
Vein fire jetting us forward, jettisoning our
Days into the blank of night, the
Blight in our heads crashing out:
No route, just forward.

Joe moans outside Tesco’s,
Shutters closed, pounds on the window
Ah jist Let Me In, Ah jist wanna fag Let Me
Barnacled onto the shop.
We leave him on the tide,
Press into the heavy air, sirens somewhere,
Not here, we won’t hear them.
Princes Street’s a mess of neon and mannequins,
The homeless breathing clouds, it’s
Winter but we haven’t felt it,
We have gills for this kind of air, smoke it in.
Heat rises from us: we’re the animals
David Attenborough couldn’t explain,
In our pack, hunting maybe, gathering
Night in our pockets, eye sockets
Pounding now, heels pounding ground,
Let Me Let Me Let Me—

We summit Calton Hill, stop.
Arthur’s Seat looms,
Exhausted by dead fires.
The others slump onto the monuments as
I fumble my feet up, hit my knee
Hard on the half-erected Parthenon.
Scotland’s Folly.
Over the Firth the dawn dons her glittery robes,
Takes a drag of the new, shimmering sky.

We sigh, breathe her dewy scent into
Our singed lungs. Let her in.

Kathryn Ailes

Continuing our tour of Scotland in poems, we move on to Edinburgh with a flavour of the night life there.

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. 8: Turnberry

Sunday 20 July 2014, 19:57

evening shadows

we leave the links land

to the hare

 

Simon Chard
from The Haiku Calendar 2014  (Snapshot Press, 2013),

We've had a great response to our project to Map Scotland in poetry. So far, in just two weeks about 130 people from all across Scotland and as far away as Canada have sent in poems, and more than 100 of the poems sent in are now pinned on the map. The poems received have been wonderfully diverse, not just in terms of geography, but also in structure and tone. So do keep them coming in. We''ll pin them on the map as fast as we can and post one of them in full on this blog every day or so.

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. 7: St Andrews Harbour

Sunday 20 July 2014, 10:56

St. Andrews Harbour

The tide goes up and down against these walls
whose stones, unmortared, have withstood the years
of constant washing. Water rises, falls

with measured regularity, giving the piers
a shifting look. The tangled veil, now dried,
now soaked, of bladderwrack appears

and disappears according to the tide.
Herring-bone sand reveals its presence, then
submerges. Here, where land and sea collide,

one could fall off the edge. The elements
feel stronger here: air, water, earth and fire
distilled by wind as salt and oxygen.

History lurks, buried in sand and mire,
drowned sailors, rib-cage ships, dismembered dreams,
now lost in sea and sand, a world entire
where all is clear but nothing what it seems.

Lyn Moir

 

Where better to visit on a sunny morning than St Andrews Harbour, as our next stop.

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. 6: Stromness

Saturday 19 July 2014, 10:04

Stromness

A sound that rolls
like pebbles off the tongue. Stromness.
The moon here wears its clouds like a moustache
on a bleached skull, a face that’s pinched
in pique at the lone walker and three felines
who have come to bear witness to its lightshow
on flagstones, smooth and new.

The street narrows ahead, forms a horizon
of slanted stone. Van Gogh would have been proud,
here we have a black and orange road winding treacherous,
slippery into an unknown. And suddenly I am
my feet, they are a metronome.
The old sky-relic tugs at my knees
like I am a marionette. There is no room for error
in this place, the scowling sky will not allow for it.
‘Don’t you dare,’ it tells me, ‘Fall out of rhythm.
Respect the silence, child.’
And so I respect the silence. My steps fall
like the peel of stone bells.

Ingrid Leonard

 

Continuing our tour of Scotland in poems, we travel by sea round to Orkney, to Stromness. Ingrid Leonard wrote this poem on the St Magnus Festival Orkney Writers' Course and it was published online as part of a compilation of poets' work.

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. 5: Uist

Thursday 17 July 2014, 16:05

Uist

There is nothing here,
in all the wide ocean
to stop the wind
that frays the edge of the land.
On the foredune,
dry from the long sunlight and the sea breeze,
sand slips.
In the slack behind the dunes,
the brown bird lies low
in her nest among the grasses:
even here, sand moves, held in nets of buttercup roots.
When the storm comes,
sand flows like water, stings like hail -
air eating the earth -
small white houses
grip the soil of the machair,
one window gleaming all night long
to light the way home –
though some will not return.
Up on the hillside,
thin sheep graze on rocks,
and there the Lady stands
looking past the ocean
out to the furthest West
from where no one of us returns.

Angus Dunn

 

Continuing our tour of Scotland in poems, this one stops off in Uist, thanks to Angus Dunn. Our Lady of the Isles is on the West side of South Uist, on the western slopes of Ruabhal Hill Coordinates: 57.342731°N 7.360725°W

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