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. 248: Tantallon Castle

Tuesday 29 December 2015, 07:43
Tantallon
 
An East Lothian tricolour
wheaten gold and pale sea blue
below a whitened summer sky
and in the middle
gaudily escutcheoned
blazes a bright red castle.
 
A wavecrash rhythm
'ding doon, ding doon'
rises on the basalt cliffs
past fossilised coral
and ricocheted shot
and arrowheads that fell too short
 
to where these walls still stand
having turned a teenaged king
and a middle-aged protector
into poor and foolish gadsmen
vainly prodding at a sandstone curtain
strong as an eight of oxen
 
that look up for a moment
at the screichs and noise
before bending back to the plough
overturning and renewing
these
our fresh black fields.
 
David Eyre

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. 247: Ardbeg

Thursday 24 December 2015, 06:53
Passing Place
 
At the bend in the road
where tyre tracks in wet grass
mark out the passing place,
the fall of leaves reveals the bones
of an old weathered wall.
Embedded in it, an ancient bell,
silent, rusting.
 
Beyond, a hollow house, encroached
by reaching bramble. Stains
of over-ripened apples
against pallor of stone
where what was once a cottage garden
now crowds in.
 
This was a main street, before
the coming of the wagons
gouged the passing places,
crumbled walls to sand.
Boys on oily bicycles
rattled through drizzle,
their flat-capped fathers hauling loads
of malted barley from the pier.
The ring of the bell
summoning them to school, to prayer.
 
It was a gradual fading.
With each new storm a cracking of roofs,
a rot of timbers. One more family
uprooted. Only the bell
in its skeleton frame
now marks each raindrop,
each shiver of gale:
a passing, a fading,
a forgetting.
 
 
 

Previously published in A Long Way to Fall (2013)  

 

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. 246: Colinton Mains

Friday 18 December 2015, 05:43
In Suburbia
 
One of the first things to become familiar was the pair 
of  mop-haired brothers who unhurried delivered
the Evening News to the old man opposite
in  their school clothes and sneakers around 5 o' clock 
sack straps across their left shoulders and fluorescent 
under their right arms they would walk calmly up his path 
and down again then turn right off the Drive
out of sight along the lane around the back before
appearing again on the bridge down the cutting
and onto the Loan. 
                                  It cheered me to see them through 
that first sad summer then the turning back of the
clocks and the heavy snows and my first spring here
and sometime before the second winter the smaller
boy was gone and his brother already a close-cropped 
young man did the paper round on his own at the same pace.
Next season the old man stopped cutting his own lawn
one of his neighbours went into  residential care 
the other side had a second child by which time I had  homed in 
on  the best places  to find blossom 
                                                           bluebells
                                                                            autumn leaves.

 

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.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 245: Dunotter

Wednesday 16 December 2015, 17:47
No News From Dunotter
 
No news from Dunottar,
stronghold of Picts,
mute refuge
of Ninian’s followers.
 
Target of Vikings,
dumb when invaded
by coachloads
of Saga trippers.
 
Tightlipped ‘No comment’
from military spokesman,
ashen victims
of Wallace’s fire-power.
 
Inarticulate sea-nook,
sturt and strife ridden
last refuge
of royal regalia.
 
Marischal’s fortalice.
Covenanter’s durance.
History dumbstruck.
No news from Dunottar.
 
 
Peter Wyton

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. 244: Castlebay, Barra

Sunday 13 December 2015, 06:50
'It doesn’t get dark; it gets blue’
(with thanks to a Barra man)
 
‘It doesn’t get dark; it gets blue’
Inked in darkness
To hold the summer night
Fast for these quick days
 
It doesn’t get dark; it gets sound-light
With the curlews keening
For sleep away from
Shivery bright-dawns
 
It doesn’t get dark; it gets restless
With the absence of spirits
In the haze glare of mid-night,
Hiding behind shadow-fall
 
It doesn’t get dark; it gets sommer-licht
On days when stillness holds
Insects to skin and grass
Tastes sugar rich
 
So it didn’t get dark; it got blue
Soon it pulled back,
The hours of colour carrying us through
Muffled dubh-dark nights.
 
 
Susan Elsley

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. 243: Easter Road

Saturday 12 December 2015, 06:09
The Easter Road Chronicle
 
Every shopkeeper is a philosopher
on the road that is Easter.
Every charity shop a witness
to the second hand moving.
Every cafe smoker
optimistically outside
in all weathers and traffic.
Every dog owner and their
carrier bags, though gifts
are often left on pavements.
Every day on the chewing gum-
speckled-tarmac the pigeons peck.
Gulls raid the bin-bags,
honk at the cars as faces old
or new move upstream,
downstream, cross-stream.
Every homeless person at home
outside of the supermarket.
Every hairdresser gazing
out of Wednesday windows.
Every police horse
watching the supporters
of invading tribes in their
clan colours.
Every bus stop
and take away coffee,
leading away.
Every day the same
play, with new dialogue.
 
 
Kevin Cadwallender

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