The Witnessing; Scots Poems Poem by Sheena Blackhall

The Witnessing; Scots Poems

The Druid Stane

A scutter it wis tae ploo the grun
Roon rock wi its granite grain
Far better, he thocht, tae howk it up
Sae he liftit the Druid Stane

He flittit it tae a nearhaun wid
Fowk queriet fit he'd dane
He lauched at thon fur the styte it wis
Thocht nocht o the pouer o stane

The cheil fa chaunced his life an luck
Bi shiftin the Druid Stane
E'er three short years had passed an fled
His fortunes gaed on the wane

E'er five derk years gaed ower the lan
His banes they lay alane
A warnin tae aa fa'd raise the wrath
O the ghaists o the Druid Stane

Spree Book Offer, Evening Express: Half Leg Waxing for £10.00

I wauked the streets o Aiberdeen
(Ae hairy leg, ane bauld)
A chiel cried ‘Quine are ye fur real-
Dis ae leg feel the cauld? '

I sat doon by the Mither Kirk
(Ae bauld leg, an ane hairey)
‘It's alolpoecia, ' some said,
‘It's hermless, tho it's scary.'

A bizzim in McDonald's, quo
‘Thon bauld leg wi ane hairy
It makks ye luik, I hae tae say
Like some hauf-shaved canary.

An noo I'm savin up tae buy
A wig, fur my puir bauldy leg
An nere again will I be seen
Wi ae bare-nyaakit peg.

Winter Beach

Win-cairdit clouds blaa ben the cauldrife lift
Syne quaeten. Hog-reek hunkers in san-dunes
Grey mirled watter-lumps o jeelin waves
Splooter tae smush like Norseman's drappit runes

Bedrizzled scurries skreich abeen the tide
A glaisterie foreneen, , snaa draps weety doon
The stran is teem o aa bit fish an birds
As ane bi ane, the meenits pass, an droon

Scots Owersetts of Vietnamese Poems

To Love: Ngô Xuân Diệu

Tae Lue
Tae luv is tae dee a thochtie in the hairt,
for fin ye lue, can ye be sure yer lued?
Ye gie sae muckle, sae little ye get back -
the ither lets ye doon or luiks awa.
Thegither or apairt, it's aye the same

The meen turns fite, flooers dwine, the soul's forehooied,
for fan ye lue, can ye be sure yer lued?
To lue is tae dee a thochtie in the hairt.

They'll be tint inbye a derk dowie lan,
thon passionate sowels fa gang in search o luv.
An life will be a desert teemed o blytheness,
an luv will tie the knot that hauds tae sorra.
Tae luv is tae dee a thochtie in the hairt.

The Dress Of Ha Dong Silk: Nguyen Sa, (1932 - 1998)

The Dress o Ha Dong Silk
In Saigon heat o a suddenty I feel cweel
because ye weir a dress o Ha Dong silk
I've aywis lued thon colour in a dress -
ma poems are still vrocht o raw fite silk.

I still can mynd ye dowpit thonner, short-haired,
whyle aa aroon me autumn seemed sae lang.
In ma heid I drew yer portrait there an then,
unsteekin yetts, I displayed it in ma sowel.

Trystin wi ye aince, I fand it perfeck blytheness
trystin wi ye twice was heiven for ma sowel.
Ma student poems, like a knowe, grew up- -
yer een becam the wine tae makk me foo.

Ye spakk nae wird: I heard a tune.
Ye gied nae a glisk: I saw a braid blue lift.
Upwird I luikit tae ye, wi prayerfu een,
an in pure barderie raxxed for yer fite sleeve.

Ye cam, ye gaed - nae warnin. Aye, I ken
that it will rain or sheen wi nae excuse.
Bit foo takk aff wioot a wird? I'm left
tae caa ye in waefu poems, echoed souns.

I'm left tae bann ma een that didna spikk,
tae misca ma poems that said eeseless wirds.
Yer gaen- -regret noo fuspers on ma lips,
an on ma shouders days wye wechtier yet.

Far are ye noo, ma autumn wi short hair?
For me please keep the dress o Ha Dong silk.
I've aywis lued that colour in a dress -
please keep it, ma luv poem o fite silk

Oh Stone: Nguyen Do (1959-)

Ochone, Stane
I staun in meditation afore the smush o Ankor,
Gin stane can be blootered like thon, shattered, fit aboot human life?
Ochone, stane,
let me etch a plea for peace.

In the eyn, in ilkie war,
faiver wins, the fowk aywis lose.

Tree Colours Throwe Rikk: Hồ Dzếnh (1916-1991)

The Tree Colours Throwe Rikk
Wechty wi memories on ma wye hame
I saw the gloamin slawly smore oot the sun.
A waefu maen echoed amangst the clouds.
An the birdies still devauled in the wids
While blin-foo wins were stapped wi blythesome luve.

Is this the age-auld stang o grue
That drives ma sowel deep doon the nicht?

Jist as a gangrel I am
I fin nae comfort in the derkenin hues.
Takkin ma hairt tae be the wids,
Thinkin ma sowel maun be the lift.

Hamedrauchtit, syne, I kinnle a smoke
Lattin blae plufferts rise tae the trees.

Scots Owersetts of Four Yiddish poems

.Where Do The Words Disappear?
By Reyzl Zhikhlinski,

Far dae the wirds gae
O the fowk fa spikk tae thirsels
On the streets o New York?
Dae they jist drap on the cassies
As nochtie stoor?
Or mebbe they stravaig aboot
Aywis forehooied amang the planets
As fite, lanely starnies?

Far dae the wirds gae
O aa the lanely fowk fa spikk tae thirsels
In the muckle toons o the warld?

By Reyzl Zhikhlinski,

It's snaain
Draps o bluid grow feinter
On the butcher's fite peenie
Letters leave fite signs
Leave ma thochts
A fite, teem park

The Violin Clock
By Rivke Kope.

I hae a wag at the waa
In the makk o a fiddle
Wi a haun like a bow.
The oorn gangs by wi a sang
Times rowes intae music

It his its ain orchestra o screws
Steekit bi a gowden yett
Aathin is redd up wycely
Fur the bandmaister o the warld

Play wag at the aa
Wi the wheel o time
I'll owergie ma langins tae ye
An bliss the haun that sows
The bliss o souns

On the Tip of the Knife
By Rivke Kope.

Ma sangs raxx oot on a pilla o shadda
Like auld vergins.
Whyles, I takk them ooto their hidie-hole
An I read.
Bit I canna thole that they should gae tae naebody!

A sang maun depairt frae its makkar
Like a bairn frae its parents' cercle
Nae lie hunkered in a shadda
Wytin fur a wee birdie
Tae cam oot an catch the notes
Inbye its reenge

An the Dee cam roarin wildly

Twa yowes stude claikin ahin the waa,
‘Fan'll this onding weir awa?
Gin we arena droont, we'll be smored in snaa! '
An the Dee cam roarin wildly.

A pucklie coos, clean sypit wi rain
Watched a caravan wintin a windae pane,
Gyang sailin alang the dreepin glen
An the Dee cam roarin wildly

The waves they chappit at hoose an ha,
Gaed lowpin in ower yet an waa
An aye the win wis wallopin aa
An the Dee cam roarin wildly.
The kirkyaird, thrang wi the local deid,
Swalled up as the watter reached each heid
Auld beens gaed rattlin, gey near freed
An the Dee cam roarin wildly

The auld wife lookit on wi a girn
‘I played an swam in this bonnie burn
Yet faist as a blink can Natur turn
An the Dee cam roarin wildly

Claude Monet: The Magpie

The pyot cocks on a cauldrife yett
Aa its lane in the mids o Yule
A bunnet o snaa's on ilkie stane
Sae cauld it cud freeze the hairt o Dule
The branches craik wi their wecht o fite
The shaddas raxx ower the happit grun
The pyot rochles its feathers aince
Ae wattery ee on the snaa-blin sun

Aa its lane on a cauldrife yett
A single pyot… Daith is near
A drap o the Deil's bluid on his tongue
Fit is he craikin? Dinna speir!

Ode Tae A Haggis

Here's tae oor Scottish haggis bag
We lue tae reese ye oot an brag
Aboot yer pouer; as guid as parritch
Fa'd think, ye wir a Grecian sausage
Explodin in The Clouds ae day
In Aristophanes auld play!

The Lion Rampant

We Scots are a free reenge breed
See the diaspora? Like thrissle seeds in a gale
We're aawye, ony wee crack or neuk'll dae
Fur us tae sattle, trailin oor reets
Like navel towes, tied tae Mither Caledonia

Stirling, Bannockburn, Falkirk,
Otterburn, Flodden, Culloden
The bluid o a warrior tribe rins ben oor veins
Bratach rìoghail na h-Alba's
The sail that steers oor boatie.

Hector MacKay in Quebec weirs
The Lion rampant on his t-shirt,
Proodly on Hogmanay

Elroy Zanzibar-Farquharson in Jamaicay
Has stukken a lion magnet on his fridge
‘Och ay the noo' he says
As he cracks open anither tinnie

Felicity Menzies jogs aroon New York
Wi a lion rampant frontin the peak o her cap
She ains twa cds o the Glesga polis pipe band

In Majorca, Rab C. Buchan
Dichts the san frae his taes
Wi a Lion rampant tool

Thon lion gaes aawye
Pencils, shortbreid tinnies, car stickers
It's aa tae dae wi attitude
Nemo me impune lacessit
Mess wi me an I'll batter ye.

The Leck, Lancashire

Gaun reeshlin bi the schule o Cowan Brig
Wee burn wi muckle stanes set in its foun
Alang its banks bairns eesed tae wanner lowse,
Tuik aff their sheen an hose, dooked up an doon

An airt tae dream, tae dwaum, tae takk the air
Far the wee burn teems ower intae the plain
Boortree & saughs, an hazel busses growe
Grippin their secrets, sylvan an arcane

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: people
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