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. 406

Friday 9 July 2021, 12:53

Longniddry Bents

Along the Firth of Forth
Between the headland rocks
Are strands of sloping sand.
Above the beach, low dunes.
Below, a shimmering sea
Under a changing sky.

Now blue, now grey, the sky
Is mirrored in the Forth,
On the surface of the sea.
We walk across black rocks,
Across the grassy dunes
Along the length of sand.

Yellow and coal-black sand
Under a gusting sky
Creates the crumbling dunes
Now blowing back and forth.
Remains of shells and rocks
Ground down by rain and sea.

A child runs in the sea,
After playing on the sand.
On waves, white seabirds rock,
Then soar across the sky.
Wind surfers venture forth.
Cars cluster on the dunes.

Grey buckthorn on the dunes
Pewter, like the sea,
As rain drifts down the Forth,
And glistens on the sand
Beneath a glowering sky,
While water pools on rocks.

Molluscs cling to rocks,
Samphire webs the dunes,
Gulls hover in the sky
Then dive into the sea.
Our footprints in the sand
Have washed into the Forth.

Black rocks hem the sea,
Dunes are green above the sand,
A mobile sky colours the Forth.

Morwenna Griffiths

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. 405

Wednesday 7 July 2021, 17:47

Silver Circle

Moored boats loll on their aquatic bed.
Air soft, the river’s millpond-ness lulls.
The sun glints off mast-tips
and flickers in deep-current tails,
            the single sign the river moves, twitching like a cat in preyer.

Away out amidst the shammed stillness,
Seamless blue of water cracks
            to ripple silver
As if around a sudden rising spit,
            its imprint,
            a phantom sailboat’s spoor on roiling surface.

It seems to rise from deep,
            deep, this formless form
spangled by evening’s sun.
The disturbance, lucent,
tumbles silver and platinum in the still surface of the tide,
            which itself, in miracle of turning, simulates stillness.

Could this be a shoaling of waves, far from land,
or a frothing of silver darlings,
            their ghostly presence?
Or a mermaid’s ring where, as with faeries,
                        parlous entry may cost untold sorrow?

I watch from over here, high on craig
People on the path below me saunter, cycle, swim
Oblivious to the sight beyond.

And then, the silver circle wanes, is gone,
            surrendered to water’s false innocence
like the promises you make.

Rhoda Neville

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.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 404

Sunday 4 July 2021, 15:45

To Bute...  

A deep hull cuts across silver,
Glints of life below, spurting up
Like salmon.  

I am on the upper deck.
There is wind in
My pockets and I’m holding
It tightly.  

Hills fall shyly into the
Town. Shopfronts gather
The slipping lines and
Print them on postcards.  

The vessel unfolds itself
To the island; cars and bikes and couples,
Children with pockets
Yearning for seashells.  

A gangway sings with footsteps.
I cannot hear you, but
We are smiling
And there is salt in my hair
Already.

Sian McCluskey

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. 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 »

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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.

Categories: Poetry Map

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.

Categories: Poetry Map