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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 413

Saturday 24 July 2021, 14:33

Lumphinnans!

Atween the Tollie Hill an the auld coal bing –
Lumphinnans!

Atween the Swans’ Pond an the Foulford Burn –
Lumphinnans!

Atween the railway line an the main road –
Lumphinnans!

Atween Cowdenbeath an Logelly –
Lumphinnans!

Atween black clouds abune, black coal ablow –
Lumphinnans!

Atween the prefabs whaur I grew up
an the ‘care village’ that they’ve built there nou –
Lumphinnans!

Atween Heiven and Hell –
Lumphinnans!

Atween youthheid and eild –
Lumphinnans!

Atween whaur I cam fae and whaur I’m gannin -
Lumphinnans!

Atween memory and the end o memory –
Lumphinnans!

Atween life an daith –
Lumphinnans!

Robert M Duncan

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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 412

Friday 23 July 2021, 17:00

You Cry Your Name

Kittiwake, kittiwake, kittiwake

under a mackerel sky –
gray scales flaked and flung
that speak of change

above the sea –
the wild wet prairie that you skim
mile after mile
while the wind scythes white spray
off the black-tipped waves

and you harvest the rising inches
of sandeels
slim, slippery strands to feed
the memory of wide raucous mouths
back on the narrow ledge
sparse horizontal
on the cliffs’ stern vertical rise
and rise

and ask

this year?  this year?

black-tipped wings
return mile after mile
and from that sweet face

you cry your name again, again
kittiwake, kittiwake, kittiwake

Joan Lennon

Note: This poem arose from a month's writing residency on Fair Isle. It is featured in the 26 Wild project, which asked poets to write about animals under threat: https://26project.org.uk/26wild/about/

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Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 411

Tuesday 20 July 2021, 15:01

Skye Has No Limit

“Highlands and Islands, we’re on our way”,
As Motorail dropped us at the break of day;
Our first time in Scotland, what would it bring?
At the first glimpse of scenery, hearts started to sing

We’d booked ourselves a remote spot on Skye,
Hoping the midges would not wish to fly;
By Kyle of Lochalsh and the winding coast road,
We finally arrived at our first night’s abode

In the lounge after dinner, we joined a sing-song,
Which turned quickly into a right old ding-dong;
Next day through our window, we saw part of the view
And it wasn’t too hard to decide what to do

“Let’s climb the hill”, was what we both said,
“The entire scene before us will soon then be spread”;
So steep was the climb that ten minutes was enough;
Yet still by then, we were all out of puff

The whole of Loch Snizort was there in full view,
The sunlight was dappling the waters so blue;
We could see where the loch entered into the sea,
The shape of the loch formed a slim letter V

“See that bird on the chimney, so far below?
“It’s not moved for ages, must have nowhere to go.”
Later we found why the bird had not flown…
‘Twas a well-crafted ornament, created from stone

“Do you hear that?” “Can’t hear a thing”.
“Exactly; around here, silence is king”
Tranquility such as we’d ne’er before known
Feels almost as if we’re completely alone

Next day, on the way to the big Harris ferry;
How much had we enjoyed the Isle? Very!
Our hopes for the rest of the trip were now high
But we already knew we’d return soon to Skye

Alan Richardson 

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. 410

Friday 16 July 2021, 16:21

Cathkin Braes, September 2020

Red-stemmed dock beside the paths
stand tall and straight as children.
On Big Wood's barely shedding trees
bone structure starts to re-emerge,
broadened by a season's show
of wry, adaptive growing.
Two months from now these colossi
will rear in stripped and pliant strength,
prepared for winter's beating.

Arcing up from Castlemilk
a siren's arrow splits the air.
Others loose their voices too,
some far, some near, a dreadful fugue
of chasings to disaster. Whinchats
startle from a dying ash, dart
and duck and whirl about,
gather back, tuck ruffled wings,
settle to consider.

The quiet after stays alert,
quivering in unthought prayer.
The turbine's triple blades describe
a blank indifferent carve of time
while walkers pause,
let others pass,
nod rueful recognition.
Slant against a thistle stalk,
resilient to the breeze's stir,
a spider's architectural web
sly-buttresses the future.

Denise Steele

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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 409

Thursday 15 July 2021, 12:29

As seen from Cannon Hill

Cannon Hill affords a panoramic view
Fields of green with sky and sea of blue
Rooftops clad in many coloured slate
Clouds all billowing t'wards their fate
The castle, built of sandy stone
Perhaps once a king sat on his throne
Great trees in various states of dress
Gently swaying to the wind's caress
Woolly sheep eat in huddled flocks
As the Arran ferry leaves the docks
Sunny Saltcoats shines like a new pin
In silence far from the madding din
A tiny winged and multicoloured moth
Heads for the turbines out to the north
Then, the wondrous sight of Irvine Bay
Shimmering at the very close of day
This and more as seen from Cannon Hill
Amazed me once and does so still.

Angus Shoor Caan

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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 408

Wednesday 14 July 2021, 11:54

Ben Gulabin
(Glenshee)

Snaw crooned ben
toorin abuin,
still as a stookie,
nae wun skirlin.
Hairst's gowden chaff
keeks thru the white
an the brig, quate as the sabbath,
stauns wi the gates snecked ticht.

Angela Blacklock-Brown

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
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