Mary Johnston has lived for the past fifty years in the south of Scotland, and hardly ever spoken in her native dialect during that time, but when she retired in 1996 and began writing, much to her astonishment it was in her first language, the Doric. Since then she has published several pamphlets of poetry, short stories and translations of German Lieder, and her work been published in several magazines and anthologies. Mary’s poems have been placed in many competitions. In 2014 her pamphlet The Angel and the Aipple, published by Perjink, won the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award.
Like tummelt sheets thrown throwder,
sna fite haps lie lown,
an icicles hing frae nyakit brenches
pearl mindins o thon time.
Waachlin throu wraiths is jist a jest,
a tychaave teen igither - maakin fun
o ain anither dis nae mair hairm
as snaw-baws in a snaw-baw fecht.
Bit nae for lang. Spirkit, yirdit haps
cuist haivless by, bigg up like bings;
spleeterin icicles are meanfu mindins
fen ye’re slaisterin throu sna-bree.
Sypit sheen mak for missaucrin words,
an sliddery waakies mak for mishanters;
thawin snaw crines anaith bushes,
thrawn an sweirt tae gie ower.
Oh gin Winter wid gie ower an forgie -
an healin Spring bleeze in!