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. 367

Monday 18 January 2021, 11:59

North of the Border

It’s been thirty years. Next time I come
it may be to Crieff.
I will try to find Sauchie Road
and look out for Torleum View

like searching for a childhood home
I’ve forgotten the way to.
I won’t be able to go in,
its new occupants won’t welcome me,

I fear they may already be there.
You couldn’t come to the station
to meet me from the train
in your purple car as you did in Burnley.

Perhaps I will stay in the B&B
you were going to book for me
when you could afford it
and I could afford the rail fare.

Peter Donnelly

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. 366

Sunday 17 January 2021, 10:28
Robbing Burns
 
Springtime in Angus
Halcyon days for youth of Britain.
Bees en pursuit of heather
Tadpoles metamorphosing in burns of
Torrent down to a trickle
In just one generation
Through dens towards Kirrie
Over flat sandstone pebbles, caressed
By river jelly lichen
Under boreal woodland
The alder in leafage
Shady horsetail, purple orchid
Four leafed herb-paris, flowering
In the domain Cortachy.
Water drying up year on year.
Is this global warming?
 
 
Alun Robert

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. 365

Thursday 14 January 2021, 12:31

Gales are dialect raps

A kettle boiled gale force
Pours sea over the dock
With bones spit from a main course
Hour glasses level rocks

Boats traverse the trails of shoals
Upon layers of maps
Isles are tins, cups and bowls
Gales are dialect raps 

Waves lather stone to soap
Nets are spun like webs
A coral kaleidoscope
Strobes floodlight the ebb

Chris Tait

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. 364

Monday 11 January 2021, 09:33

Cliff at Noss

They say this wet rock reaches
as far down into the sea
as the cliff stands dry above.

Staring into the drowning dark,
under the glassy slip and swell
of its elastic skin, I see what
could be plankton, ocean-drifters,
named for the wandering planets.
Or is it no more than a fine land-dust,
endlessly falling through unbordered black?

Does the cliff drop sheer, a mirror
picture of its twin in upper air?
Or is it loose, stepped and slabbed,
bottoming in a shifting rubble field,
tide-stirred, worked smooth by storms?

Gannets, saffron-smudged,
their tails stiff as whittled wood,
bank on ink-dipped wings, hang
as if strung on wires, plunge
in arrow-showers, seeing what
I cannot see: the silver-flashing
shoals, rock-anchored urchins
and soft incurled anemones.

Each bird rises from its narrow
ledge, dives, a sea-forager,
returns and dives again,
water and air its single element.

Imogen Forster

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. 363

Wednesday 6 January 2021, 11:57

Tay Reflections: A Flying Boat Renga

1
Rain mizzling, a St Ayles skiff
cuts jabbly water,
trailing pink and blue upriver. 

2
Flying forwards, gliding
to pass old ribs that held The Diver.

3
Oars dig deep, catch and pull,
plough through roiling eddies.
Eyes climb in awe

4
to aged iron girders,
cathedral spans over water.

5
Slipping past the bay's soft curves,
a silken-headed seal surfaces ―
rhythm companion across the void.

6
A watery sun peeps through clouds,
glints on the sandbank furrows.

7
Surging westwards to Jock's Hole,
Old Kilburn wreck in view,
Fife's green hills behind.

8
Flisk Point lures the hungry ashore,
Bodies rest amongst the pebbles.

9
Tide on the turn, return leg beckons;
spray somersaulting on shifting winds,
bow rides high, surfing a lathering tideline.

10
Oars slap water, plash,
train toots a greeting from above.

11
Homewards bound, under the bridge
water swirlin and birlin;
smirry rain on warm faces.

12
Powered by light, each image traces
a line leaving something of itself behind.

Tay Reflections linocutSandra Charles
Evelyn Hardie
Alex John
Gail Low
Heather Marriage
Ruth Morrison

Sarah Leenhouts (linocut artist)

Note: During lockdown, some of the women in the Catalina rowing club, based in Wormit, wrote a collaborative poem modelled on a renga. It's about rowing upriver on the Tay in a skiff called "Flying Boat". The renga form was inspired by Bill Herbert's Dundee lockdown rengas, and it enabled all of us to keep in touch with each other. 

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. 362

Tuesday 5 January 2021, 17:17

Glasgow Pride, 2017

Raindrops fall on neon faces
Colours run together
creating a crowd of tie dye delights
Glitter sticks stubbornly to skin
The dullness of the day
will not rid us of our sparkle 

We huddle together
L G B and T
A queer umbrella
shields us from the misery
and unites us under its bright banner 

On stage, four men
create magic
with their mouths 

Somewhere... over the rainbow
...blue birds fly  

Harmonies
melting over us 

And the dreams that you dare to dream
Oh why, oh why can't I? 

Lyrics echo, behind hopeful eyes
as old thoughts come caving in 

Why can't I
be normal?
Why can't I be straight? 

but we keep singing
Louder and louder
drowning out all that quiets us 

The music swells
as if to say 

Dare those dreams
Dare to love
whoever
You Choose. 

Almost in response,
the sky opens up
offering hope from behind the grey clouds 

A thousand faces seem to gaze up at once
Laughs and shouts ring out 

Laid bare before the eyes of the community,
like God themself was flying our flag 

A Rainbow! 

Beside me, a friend chuckles
and looks over, beaming 

Ha! she says
Maybe God doesn't hate us.  

Kirsty Anne Watters 

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