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. 415

Monday 26 July 2021, 14:35

"Slipway Frequencies," by Julie Laing

This is a concrete poem by Julie Laing.

Julie Laing, "Slipway Frequencies" (Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 415)

Note: The poem responds to the present and past at Queens’ Quay, formerly John Brown’s shipyard. From here the QE2 and Queen Mary were launched. Its format is inspired by sound theorist R Murray Schafer’s work on soundscapes.

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. 414

Sunday 25 July 2021, 16:18

Loch Voil Dance

slow trusting movements
sun on my face
my hand on yours
                                                                        guiding me through air
                                                                        through water
                                                                        eyes closed
river flowing
hands touching
following bodies
                                                                                                up and down
                                                                                                ebbing and flowing
                                                                                                feet on Earth

                                                spring green grass
                                                grounded
                                                total trust

my hand on yours
deep sense of peace

                                                                                                your hand on mine
                                                                                                leading
                                                                                                taking care

                                                slow body sways
                                                soft sweeping curves

lightness of steps
lightness of touch
contact so subtle
                                                heartbeat so fast
                                                direction unknown

feeling unsafe
afraid to go far
afraid of the speed

                                                as if in a storm
                                                I am calm

                                                                                    sun on your face
                                                                                    hands still for a moment

Loretta Mulholland

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. 413

Saturday 24 July 2021, 14:33

Lumphinnans!

Atween the Tollie Hill an the auld coal bing –
Lumphinnans!

Atween the Swans’ Pond an the Foulford Burn –
Lumphinnans!

Atween the railway line an the main road –
Lumphinnans!

Atween Cowdenbeath an Logelly –
Lumphinnans!

Atween black clouds abune, black coal ablow –
Lumphinnans!

Atween the prefabs whaur I grew up
an the ‘care village’ that they’ve built there nou –
Lumphinnans!

Atween Heiven and Hell –
Lumphinnans!

Atween youthheid and eild –
Lumphinnans!

Atween whaur I cam fae and whaur I’m gannin -
Lumphinnans!

Atween memory and the end o memory –
Lumphinnans!

Atween life an daith –
Lumphinnans!

Robert M Duncan

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. 412

Friday 23 July 2021, 17:00

You Cry Your Name

Kittiwake, kittiwake, kittiwake

under a mackerel sky –
gray scales flaked and flung
that speak of change

above the sea –
the wild wet prairie that you skim
mile after mile
while the wind scythes white spray
off the black-tipped waves

and you harvest the rising inches
of sandeels
slim, slippery strands to feed
the memory of wide raucous mouths
back on the narrow ledge
sparse horizontal
on the cliffs’ stern vertical rise
and rise

and ask

this year?  this year?

black-tipped wings
return mile after mile
and from that sweet face

you cry your name again, again
kittiwake, kittiwake, kittiwake

Joan Lennon

Note: This poem arose from a month's writing residency on Fair Isle. It is featured in the 26 Wild project, which asked poets to write about animals under threat: https://26project.org.uk/26wild/about/

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. 411

Tuesday 20 July 2021, 15:01

Skye Has No Limit

“Highlands and Islands, we’re on our way”,
As Motorail dropped us at the break of day;
Our first time in Scotland, what would it bring?
At the first glimpse of scenery, hearts started to sing

We’d booked ourselves a remote spot on Skye,
Hoping the midges would not wish to fly;
By Kyle of Lochalsh and the winding coast road,
We finally arrived at our first night’s abode

In the lounge after dinner, we joined a sing-song,
Which turned quickly into a right old ding-dong;
Next day through our window, we saw part of the view
And it wasn’t too hard to decide what to do

“Let’s climb the hill”, was what we both said,
“The entire scene before us will soon then be spread”;
So steep was the climb that ten minutes was enough;
Yet still by then, we were all out of puff

The whole of Loch Snizort was there in full view,
The sunlight was dappling the waters so blue;
We could see where the loch entered into the sea,
The shape of the loch formed a slim letter V

“See that bird on the chimney, so far below?
“It’s not moved for ages, must have nowhere to go.”
Later we found why the bird had not flown…
‘Twas a well-crafted ornament, created from stone

“Do you hear that?” “Can’t hear a thing”.
“Exactly; around here, silence is king”
Tranquility such as we’d ne’er before known
Feels almost as if we’re completely alone

Next day, on the way to the big Harris ferry;
How much had we enjoyed the Isle? Very!
Our hopes for the rest of the trip were now high
But we already knew we’d return soon to Skye

Alan Richardson 

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. 410

Friday 16 July 2021, 16:21

Cathkin Braes, September 2020

Red-stemmed dock beside the paths
stand tall and straight as children.
On Big Wood's barely shedding trees
bone structure starts to re-emerge,
broadened by a season's show
of wry, adaptive growing.
Two months from now these colossi
will rear in stripped and pliant strength,
prepared for winter's beating.

Arcing up from Castlemilk
a siren's arrow splits the air.
Others loose their voices too,
some far, some near, a dreadful fugue
of chasings to disaster. Whinchats
startle from a dying ash, dart
and duck and whirl about,
gather back, tuck ruffled wings,
settle to consider.

The quiet after stays alert,
quivering in unthought prayer.
The turbine's triple blades describe
a blank indifferent carve of time
while walkers pause,
let others pass,
nod rueful recognition.
Slant against a thistle stalk,
resilient to the breeze's stir,
a spider's architectural web
sly-buttresses the future.

Denise Steele

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