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. 403

Wednesday 30 June 2021, 16:55

stickleback inspector

tall reeds and sedges assemble
the loch unlades to its ally river
through rising, clinging mist

grey neck glimpsed by keen alert eyes
nearly hidden, but only nearly
statuesque in knee deep loch

peeking over long, spear like, neb
laser vision to the water
set to detect silver flashes

the imperceptible dip before the launch,
extension to a taller creature, water diamonds
sparkling, cascade back, to plenish the loch

shape shift from parasol to flapping cloak
a professor accentuating a point
casts a black shadow over the water

a flap, or two, maybe a glide
long legs trailing in flight
then undercarriage deployed

feet pushed forward, defence like,
articulated landing gear to the fore
settles by the opposite bank with nary a splosh

the stickleback inspector is changing her beat
stowing her cloak to parasol watch
stoic and Zen and Heron like

Ian McNeish

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. 402

Monday 28 June 2021, 17:00

Doune

Dusk falls sudden over Doune
A garden shed, house-high antennae,
catching the fly-by of short-wave.
Cocoa and call signs; the world is talking,
and this glow of a shed responding.
Crammed village, the draggle of a castle
so ruined its stones were not worth looting.
The wealth stilled, pooling here:
a gunshop, its finest worked metals,
stocks sanded to the scalloped shoulder.  

Michael Murray

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. 401

Friday 25 June 2021, 17:03

Normal Service Is Resumed
(12th June 2020)

MacCallum’s fishing boat is out again
trawling Ayr Bay
for the Catch of the Day
to be chalked on the board
in the Wee Hurrie takeaway,
which last Thursday re-opened its door
against the prevailing conditions
of Covid-19 and a strong sou’wester,
and if anyone knows about the patience of queueing
it is the customers of the Wee Hurrie,
who come from all over West Scotland
to queue for their suppers
fried fresh to order. 

HADDOCK and COD
WHITING and HAKE
SALMON, SEA BASS
MONKFISH and SOLE
FRITTO MISTO and CHIPS 

For twenty, thirty, forty minutes
they stand in a socially-distanced line
from the door, on pairs of yellow feet
painted on the concrete,
past the Oyster Bar
along the harbour that’s packing in braces
of furloughed fishing boats
patrolled by Grey Seals
with their dog-like faces,
who eye the daily queue then
disappear, arcing a sleek dark back
into dependable waters,
and pop up next to the ice factory,
the RNLI Trent-class lifeboat,
or in a corner of nestling trawlers -
to the delight of folk
who’ve been waiting so long
for their favourite fish suppers. 

Beag Horn

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. 400

Tuesday 22 June 2021, 16:36

Return to Stranraer

Long before seatbelts were a thing
we made the annual trek
up the West Coast to Stranraer,
its stony face nestled on the cliff edge
as if the very bones of it may crumble.

We camped within Aunt Stella’s walls,
the graveyard clearly eavesdropping
on ghoulish tales told by torchlight
while Lock Ryan hissed and roared
his disapproval, sharp as Stella’s eye.

Mostly, I remember rain, insistent,
drumming on canvas like an intruder
dressed in gabardine grey,
his spit and spat grumbling
at ankle socks and summer frocks,

at giggles of tourists spilt across Toon,
dining on harbour and Galloway charm
while The North West Castle,
perched on high, nodded sagely,
arms laden with tattie scones.

These days I meander up by train,
enthralled by rugged, coastal path.
I check in, take in the litter now
replacing a town’s fading smile,
place petals in Stella’s Kirk, return.

Kate Young

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. 399

Monday 21 June 2021, 16:49

An Teallach
(by Dundonnel, summer ‘95)

Heat curled white cloudy fingers around my legs
and we vanished, the dog and I.

Her nose found the path, we rose up
the long slope to shelves
like giants’ stairs, with rock solid wide slabs
deceiving the eye searching for the walker’s friendly cairns;

often, the ghost of a sleakit silence would take form
and envelope all the ear’s mind, blanking
the inner bield, thoughts gone walkabout, then

an Teallach folded out into the giant’s cupped mitt

with the black lochan the giant’s spit, smack in the button-
avoiding the east ridge to save the dog, and
my dog-weary pins, we scrambled down the green stiff
drop to the dark lochan’s soft lip,

whistling and calling, every echo from the stacked rocky columns
ridged about the giant’s palm

boomeranged back in a long ripple, leaving
the long open bowl feeling more deserted still-

Sgurr Fiona, I’ll sup with thee again
thy red wine was sweet, thy rolling slopes so fine.

Roddy Scott

Note: an Teallach is Gaelic for ‘the Forge’, Sgurr Fiona: ‘hill of red wine’

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. 398

Sunday 13 June 2021, 10:44

The ‘conservation nightmare’ of the Ballachulish Goddess

Wit the fuck huv they dun tae ma heid?
I leuk like yon Norwegian wifie wailin oan a pier!
I uised tae be bonnie, wi’ a bit o’ brawn oan ma banes.
Noo I’m jist a rickle o’ banes… aw wizzent!

See yon label – haiverin’ oan aboot me haudin’
some ‘phallic symbol’ in ma haund?
Wit havers! Can theym high-heid-yins no’ see
it’s a spurtle fur ma parritch?

Gif I’d been yon bowsie bugger Odin, or yon
auld bastart Thor (he hud a mooth oan him that wan)
they’d huv ta’en guid care o’ me fur sure!
Wudnae huv let thair tadgers dry oot!

Aw ma bits ur yeukie an’ raw – ah’v been needin’
a guid claw, a guid drouk, a guid shaggin’
fur centuries! Yous look a poustie laddie, ken.
Aye yoo! Dinnae look awa’ – I’ve got ma wee

quartz e’en fixit oan yur braw bahookie
and ma big scrabbilit fingurs’ll be gi’in yoo
an affi guid feel – soon as I bluiter oot this gless.
Whoar ur yous gaun?! I’m needin’ ma hochmagandy!

Char March 

Note: The Ballachulish Goddess was dug up in 1880 on the shore of Loch Leven at Ballachulish, Nether Lochaber from under deep peat. She's been radiocarbon dated to over 2,500 years old. Read more via the National Museum of Scotland (where she’s now displayed): https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-collections/stories/scottish-history-a...

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