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. 385

Wednesday 10 March 2021, 14:58

Black Cuillin

On the ferry, Skye experts had advised that
the Black Cuillin range was best viewed
from the windy road to Tarskavaig
but the low cloud and rain today
make it impossible to see their splendour.
There are only fields, which could be anywhere
except for the woolly lava flow of sheep,
which envelops our car and slows us
almost to a stop.

We trail behind the daggy rumps for miles
the meandering routes of individuals overridden
by the determined direction of our leaders,
invisible to us, but taking the road we’d planned.
The rest of us, flock and car, mindlessly following on
with one dog rounding up the distant stragglers,
as we merge into the bleating and the mist,
shepherded along
at the gentle pace of the island.

Jane Lamb

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. 384

Friday 5 March 2021, 13:51

Topplin’ the Mannie /on Ben Bhraggie

Paddit benorth o' Inverness, Eastle seaboard bound
Spy the Duke on Bhaggie Ben askew o'er steenie grund
Gazing athourt to aither sea as far as teary e’e can see
Blaudit the day, bane on the brae
Nae dint o shame he'll e'er dree 

The vaunty Laird a clan chief ance wud fend ilka ane o crofters
But deil he dic'd at Westminster begowk'd his sons an dochters
A Judas kiss to hielan clan, Macbeth is ev'ry noble man
knife-stickit Scots the back o' Scots, sauld the flock an left the shotts
Man owerthraw'd his countryman 

Hag burns on shame-reek'd sypit land, bronze crottal haltit growin
Ling pit-past a waving hand, gurgle-burnie stoppit flowin
Daeless mist blurs o'er the moor, tears blear o'er wretch'd poor
Tae fleet or burn tae crulge or turn
Foul fa' wha sent the fog tae smoor 

Twa centuries on, the sheep lang-gane replaced wi’ moor-groosed leisure
The ghillie's world itsel replaced wi’ gowfin Preppers pleisur
The real Hielands squat in repose o’ dreichit fachie bungalows
Drachie morn, dark'nin dawn
Scots wha hae wealth as their foes 

The Laird cannae affard to bide when billionaires come leukin
An juist as those afore him died the Laird gets his ain hidin
Naebody drank the merrie foy o' the Chieftain's treason'd boy
Like a curling stane creepit, sloomit an sleekit
The malafousterin o' the hoi polloi 

An sae the tattie howkers howk aboot the Mannie’s rimie feet
An Mannie shoutit ‘Keep the heid! I wud cantily lie and sleep
But what good is to topple me, caw canny fae ye plan's ajee
Fae efter me, there's a queue tae feed the baggity beastie's mou
Wi pow'r, pow'r wrestl'd aff a ye’

As dries the scart by outstretched wing the Duke still casts a shaidae
but whither land or o' that ilk prescribit tha' they awe ye
They awe by awning a' ye ken, they awe ye women an ye men
It gars ye grue tae see it true
Tha’ Clearances will ne'er en' 

Jilly O'Brien

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. 383

Tuesday 2 March 2021, 16:36

When The Deer Come Down from the Moorland

As the last candle is dimmed from mass
a mile away we pass into Birkwood

One black dog on the hill called Barney
ghosts through the gate

Our feet find knots under the snow, soft
chests of heather, hidden rabbit doors

and there we come upon the saints, still
as a cloud, steam on their crowns, casting

a memory: a ballroom, a hall of skulls,
then Barney comes down and they scatter 

leaving a single note of snowfall,
a hymn distilled to its most hidden part.

Olivia Rafferty

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. 382

Friday 26 February 2021, 14:04

War Memorial in an Orkney Valley

On its weathered spire sings a blackbird
a near silhouette              sentinel
in false light of the moon
its sonar song                  scans the stillness of the fields
and a melody of melancholy
lulls the lowing beasts to sleep.                             

Then           a reply
from the dusky auditorium where night is born
like an echo
scored with imperfections
leaves the blackbird thinking
is that friend?
or is that foe?

Andrew Velzian

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. 381

Wednesday 24 February 2021, 17:56

Pictland

we love the land you walked
where you all talked around
and stalked the bear and deer
and feel in you fear coming
no seer spies thousands of years

and beyond of days unknown
days that now have little words

giving nothing to the eye
that cannot see our thought
or why it brings us back

Lindsay Craik

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. 380

Tuesday 23 February 2021, 12:46

On To America (a moment in the sea)

The grey flat of the bottomless sea in
to which the boy in yellow longs steps gin
gerly. Stretching out into grey sullen
? of possibilities. He is
only 9 years old, possible futures lie
Before him on the sullen grey and
on to America should he decide.
Are you going to swim, or not? She calls
Look! The dog is swimming. Look!
      He is on-
ly 9 years old. He is in the sea, in his
yellow Longs; alone; and she is filming. 

William Cowan

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