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.

Poem Map of Scotland: poem no. 347

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 12:16

This Summer

I'm going to walk with the Ramblers, traverse
footpaths inked onto Ordnance Survey maps
by unknown cartographers. From the terse
calligraphy of contour lines perhaps
I'll glean a sense of recognition, feel
that here, beneath my walking boots, at last,
this heather, peat and granite—all is real,
my future thus connected to the past.

I've planned four walks, and all to parts unknown
except for the last that ends in Dunbar
where I've been before, teenaged and alone,
and watched the night fishing fleet from afar,
bright lights strung from the masts—forming a great
constellation by which to navigate.

Su Brown

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

Poem Map of Scotland: poem no. 346

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 12:12

When I Return

When I return
My fondness won’t fall short.
And though stiff joints and weakened calves will surely slow me,
Straps tenderising rounded shoulders and lungs fit to burst,
My resolve, I’ll will to remain.

And we’ll hug like old friends,
The red rhyolite; bone dry,
forgiving and welcoming,
But demanding my unsullied attention
in marshalling me northwards,
By buttress and crack line
companioning my revelation,
With firm footholds, familiar and long standing,
Our common trust re-joined.

And then rest,
Feet overhanging,
Appetite sated,
Parity restored.

Bobby Motherwell

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

Poem Map of Scotland: poem no. 345

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 12:06

Writing about Tiree

Mining the landscape for words,
they’re piled for now above the tide
where, although they’re unlikely to get washed away
they are already drained of meaning.

This method doesen’t work.
It needs a painter
capturing in swift unbroken strokes
fine-stranded lady’s hair
ink washed, wet-on-wet,
and the bare bones of wreck, seeded in the sand
tossed there by Skerryvore..

And someone to properly explain
the stones with no beginning and no end
that come into their own
in the absence of distraction –
just the wash of surf and unimpeded light:
pink granite-banded gneiss,
a globe of sandstone smooth and fine-grained as an egg,
white marble flecked with green serpentinite;
each one fits cool and dense into a human palm.

Sue Bard

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. 344

Friday 31 July 2020, 17:22

Girvan Beach

The sea slackens. Disturbs
long rumpled ribbons of kelp.
Sometimes the moon. Mountain pale.

All that light going out.
Then only the sea. Always arriving.
Wave after wave plunges a muted roar.

As a boy I'd think:
let there always be time for this.
Meaning more time for me.
Now I am here. Changed. Unchanged.

This is the sound of memory.
These the surfaces of remembrance.
Thoughts like stones skip and drown.

Mark Gallacher

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. 343

Friday 31 July 2020, 08:33

A Motorway Café for Birds

Roll up! Roll up!
Take your seat at Castle Loch.
There’s plenty to eat and drink
at this motorway café for birds.

Listen to the Warblers chatter
about whose turn it is to pay the bill.
Azure and Variable Damselflies
jostle over parking spaces.

Otters sneakily scamper,
playing peek-a-boo in the playground of rushes.
Swans show off by walking on water
while diving ducks wave their feet at passers-by.

Hotel rooms amongst the trees for rent,
with willing ants to carry your bags.
It’s where blue meets green,
at this motorway café for birds. 

Paula Nicolson

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. 342

Thursday 30 July 2020, 17:35

Mungo’s Legacy

Not your usual jaunt from East to West,
to Glasgow or to sainthood.
Thrown by royal Loth off Traprain’s cliffs,
cast adrift to cross the Forth,
storing up a trauma in the womb
to occupy a lifetime’s therapy,
Mungo birthed at Culross, and the rest
is history – or legend if you will.

They came back, Mungo’s bairns; re-settled
post-war streets in Haddington,
where they could nod to Traprain’s bulk,
choose their own voyages of life and love,
without benefit of monks or ministers,
play leapfrog with the memory of Knox,
play catch up with the country folk
who know the score, and name each hill.

Here SNP and Labour vie to throw
each other’s yoke off, fight or argue for
that Holyrood control, the saintliness
or ugliness of power – while Glasgow
maybe still remembers Mungo, with
his godly therapy, his special words
to calm the storm and cross divides,
his goodness spite could never kill.

Jock Stein

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