Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 5,789 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

10 Scots Songs From The Speerit Hoose - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

1.The Maiden
A maiden stude in Embro toun
She kissed the necks o mony
The High Street wis her favourite staunce
An she wis cruel bit bonnie

The weemin booed as they wauked by
The maiden, staunin stinch.
The menfowk doffed their bunnets low
Tae venerate the wench

At ten feet heich she gart ye pause
A steel mou, sherp an bricht
Her sides war aik, her jaws war mair
Than siventy pun in wecht

Twa centuries thon maiden served
As Scotland’s guillotine
She heidit lairds an commons baith
Daith’s skeelie killin queen

She heidit fowk for reivin shelts
For incest, treason, murder
For forgery an sic like ploys
Like aipples sliced asunder

She killt a rowth o Reekie’s fowk
A meenister, a baker
A marquis an a belted Earl
A housewife an a tailor

‘The sweetest maiden I hae kissed’
Sae Archie Campbell said
(The 9th Earl o Argyll, as he
Lay doon, as if tae bed)
The maiden drapt her gantin mou
An ower her briest he bled

They say she’s flitted ower the toun
Tae Scotland’s Royal Museum
Dis she ay thirst for human bluid?
I’d sweir she dis, the bizzem, !


2. Granite
This is the wye the toon wis biggit
Granite steens for hoose an haa
This is the wye the toon wis biggit
Tholin the sleet an snaa

Doon in the quarry hole they howkit
Quarriers aa, quarriers aa
Doon in the quarry hole they howkit
Tholin the sleet an snaa

Blast o explosives birthed the cassies
Statues braa, hames an aa
Blast o explosives birthed the cassies
Tholin the sleet an snaa

Noo the days o the quarry’s ower
Dwinnlit awa, dwinnlit awa
Its granite steens staun hard an glitterin
Tholin the sleet an sna


3.The Wyceness o the Wids
The wids hae wyceness, learn it weel
Fin Winter’s breezes cauldy showd
Their branches, aa their treisur’s scaled
There are nae pooches in a shroud
Letting the little birds of chance
Perch on my withered handle
Like a Norse ship’s prow.


4.In Praise o a Heilan Ben, Aiberdeenshire Heilans
Slidder an scree, the smush o granite
Crummlit tae grit bi the Winter’s teeth
Clouds abune. See-the erne is sailin!
Fit care I fur the boats o Leith!

Bummers are heezin ower the heather
Wechtit doon bi their rypit prize
Pine an fir & the spruce tree fusperin
Brawer then Glesga toun’s high-rise

Here’s bog-myrtle in boggy boorichs
Cotton girse an the tang o thyme
Lichen, asphodel, spottit orchis
Better than Ayr far the gowfers dine

Juniper, larick, birk an rowan
Jewelled aidder, a stag at dawn
Stampin his forefit, antlers branchin
Dundee keelies…can ye match thon?


5.A Prayer for Aiberdeen
O Lord, luik doon on Aiberdeen
May aa its projecks thrive
An tae thon fowk fa wish it ill
Gie clap an bellyrive


6.Ownership
G’wa craiked the craa, I ain this park
His feathers, a warlock’s cape
An hobble-dee-cobble-dee ower the girse
He pyked at the sheetin brake

The gamie held the craa in his sichts
Twa barrels gaed bang thegither
An aa that left o the bigsy craa
Wis puddens an hauf a feather


7.Bawd
Lately, ma hairtlans are islands
Ma kind are hickled awa in reservations
Ringed roon bi hooses an tarmac

We fyew remainin breets
Coorie thegither an chitter like dried leaves

Ae day we’ll be a fitnote in a buik
‘This craitur wis a bawd
Speerit o Corn. We didna need it noo
Aa men ett couscous, or peels wi jist
The richt nutritious additives.’


8.Granminnie, Lowe, Hair
Her hair wis siller, her broo wis mither o pearl
Her moo wis blueberries, wi a hint pink
An fin she lowsed her hair frae its nest o preens
It tummlit doon like a skinnymalinkie linn
A saft drappin atween the steady boulders o her showders

The tortoiseshell caimb catched a yowedendrift o taigles
In its tabby teeth. Her fingers wyled the sheddins in a cloud
An offerin tae the lowe’s reid, hungerin flame

The siller hottered in Daith’s alchemy
Shrivelled blaik an horrid up the lum
Like a deevilock birsslin in the stangs o hell

Eftir the hair, the prayer
The grissly knees creaked doon tae touch the fleer
The wrinkled palms, knittit in contemplation
‘Oor Faither, ’ she murmured….wirds like an incantation
Doon tae the Amen
An the lowe in the hairth brunt normal
An bricht again


9.The Speerit Hoose
I bigged a speerit-hoose in a neuk
At Halloween. In the derk, I wyted
Aneth the meen they cam flichterin back
The quick an the deid, lang separatist
Wi tang o leather an heath, ma faither
Wi stank o poother an peint, ma mither
Granminnie’s guff wis fusky an mint
An Chae, ma brither brocht in bear-scent

Like rikk they furled in the darksome hoose
Aa thegither, we’d lang bin sundered
An I thocht wi a grue o fowk lang gaen
The hinney o luv that daith hid plundered


10.The Birk Trees
The birk trees cercled Birkenau
Witnessin bodies burn an shift
Sae mony deid, sae mony lives
Furlin as rikk intae the lift

Sic bonnie trees, sic eildritch trees
Did aa their pouers dwine tae nocht?
Blin, deef an dumb tae peety’s wints
Gied nae remeid tae sanctuary socht

The birk trees cerclin Birkenau
May leaf an bark an sap catch blicht
Foo can ye thrive, fin anely ghaists
O victims, maen in eynless nicht?

Topic(s) of this poem: nature


Comments about 10 Scots Songs From The Speerit Hoose by Sheena Blackhall

  • Douglas Stewart (10/29/2015 3:29:00 PM)


    Wow! I was unaware anyone was still writing in the language of Scotland's Bard and doing doing it so well! I tip my glengarry to ya, lass! My favorite was 1. The Maiden. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 29, 2015



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