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. 358

Sunday 27 December 2020, 16:40

Four Young Trees

They had a certain calmness
Those Scots pine trees
That stood together
On the edge of Stewarton

Four young saplings
standing strong
against the weather
And all its moods

Each year they survived
The four seasons
By standing together
Never falling down

Violent storms and heavy beatings
Bitter rain and Autumn winds
Leathered against their bark
But strong they stood

Not rigid, never pushing back
But bending with the blows
Swaying from side to side
They held their dignity

They grew stronger every year
Supported by the joys of nature
The trickling stream, the rising sun
Every happy creature

With Mother Earth, they stood proud
Their beauty plain to see
But man came beneath a cloud
and cut them down

No one heard their screams
As they dragged them into town
Four young trees
Slaughtered in their prime

They stripped them bare
Fed them through a Snedder
Severed their young limbs
Leaving just their stems

They stood them up against the wall
Those four young trees.
Naked wood for all to see
Stripped of their dignity

They tagged a price around their heads
And put them up for sale
Once proud young saplings
Now commodities

Lainshaw High School purchased three
My brothers gone left only me
Alone I stood
My dreams and me

Chain saws cut my brothers up
Young boys with knives and chisels
gouged out their wooden hearts
In the local woodwork class

They roughed them out, against the grain
Chipped away their soul
Beat them up with mallets
And shaved them into shape

Young hands carved them
Planed them, veined them, stained them
Into ornamental carps
Wooden fish that would not swim

Three fish in a school
Their fates would ever be
To adorn their creators’ mantlepieces
But never go to sea

But Saint Wolfgang had a different plan for me
Separated from my family
A boat-builder bought me whole
And saved me from that school

With the skilled hands of an artisan
And love and care, he crafted me
Into a model fishing boat
And launched me out to sea

I bobbed upon the ebbing tide
As the current took me from the shore
A solitary sailing vessel
Carrying the dreams of four

Ian S Goudie

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. 357

Wednesday 23 December 2020, 11:27

Troon Beach in Snow

Collie-coloured with snow and seaweed,
the beach plays fetch with the winter crowd.
Snowy hackles raised by last night’s frost,
children tug the fur to snowballs,
or smooth it with their sledge,
parents always close at heel.
Teenagers romp in puppy games,
throwing themselves like sticks
through a ruff of waves,
their flesh driftwood-pale against a litmus sky,
where the heavens blend to sunset.

Rowena M Love

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. 356

Wednesday 16 December 2020, 18:01

La Belle Vie Sans Merci

I listen to your La Belle Dame Sans Merci,
to the classroom antics of a Lanarkshire Grammar,
drilling in the canon. Only, you liked what you heard;
your clever-girl head engaging avidly
with Keats’ meaning - his poetics.

Now, you are 70 and adapting to
those inflictions on the body of living in time.
From the room of your own, you don’t need
the services of a drone to offer perspectives
on a changing life, you can see them for yourself.

You just want the feel of the auld life back,
but ye ken well this cannae be,
regaining what is truly lost. You will renew
auld acquaintances, if willing, and imagine
new ways of being in the spaces that remain.

William Hume

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. 355

Wednesday 9 December 2020, 09:38

Vikings in Uig Bay

Carved Queen,
do you contemplate
this King’s demise,
like the culled Hebrideans?
Your porous hand caressing a chased cheek,
as artisan horses flank your position –
he pushes you into the open.
Finger pinched towers silhouette against
the gannet laden sky, defending
a Nordic horde.
His Berserkers bite
the tops of cuneate shields,
ordered to drown in lust and ash;
coming on the Bay tide.
From the white sands,
the pagan bishop’s sermon stains
perennial grass in the name of Tyr.
Another indigenous line desecrated
on a chequered sea, where
the longship sailed.

Robert Nesbitt

Author’s Note: The poem relates to the Lewis Chess Pieces, Uig Bay, Isle of Lewis, and linking us to the Vikings. 

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. 354

Monday 7 December 2020, 06:40

Firhill, Glasgow

The line I unwound ties me to a
football ground 460 miles away.

Where Chic hooked one over
the wall leaving Martin scratching air.
Clearances sclaffed. Albert ghosting
into the box to finish.

Folding plastic seats where once
there was a terrace and a shed.
The university wagged its tower
at me over essays unwritten.

Sometimes, howling through a
ground glass throat, or in falling
snow smothering the game in
the first half, or freshly hoarse and half
cut from the anti poll tax march.

Gossiping contracts, transfers,
players’ gambling debts, petty crime,
pigeons, samurai swords and
unconscious players
told they were Pele.

The line stretches from the early 90s.

Now I’m thumb scrolling for
updates, insights on Twitter,
tapping refresh a thousand times,
clinging on till the blue boxes turn yellow
unchanged. Or not. BBC Alba feeds and
choppy YouTube highlights.

Til I can reel it in back to the source again.

Andy Breckenridge

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. 353

Tuesday 1 December 2020, 14:10

Cailleach

last spring when the trees began to lift up their trembling cups of green
I was  the ghost of a virgin moving softly among
my tall sisters but now after the warm nights which have left
of the snowfall only a tattered shawl on the ground you
will see me as a roaring  cailleach with wild hair streaked with earth leaping out
from the rock-cleft far over the receiving pool where in
black knees and elbows smashed fallen branches drown

Simon Weller

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