Walking In Blake’s Garden (18 Poems In Scots) Poem by Sheena Blackhall

Walking In Blake’s Garden (18 Poems In Scots)

1.The Tod frae the Wids

Fin gloamin time begins tae saftly faa
A tod cams steppin frae a brukken waa
Its paws pad-paddin ben the widlan snaa

The warld hauds its braith, the nicht is cauld
A bodach humphs a puckle sticks, twa-fauld
Winter is coorsest tae the young an auld

The bodach weirs twa layers abeen his sark.
He hashes hame afore the cranreuch dark
The tod bides back an wytes in the braid park

The chukken in the hen hoose on its reest
O strae can cheep nae prayers tae ony priest
Fin tod’s sherp teeth sook on its feathery briest

The tod has littlins neth the fairy ring
An they maun feed like ony leevin thing
Hungeret, they winner fit their dam will bring

For, like the bodach wi his bairns near-by
Aa breets maun keep their ain frae gaun awry
A family, pack, a flock, a herd o kye

2.A Fartin Cat

I dinna gie a fartin cat
For under-dugs. I sheet the craa
Frae beggars priggin on the street
I hash on by. I haud awa

For I hae seen them, pooches stapped
Wi coins frae the saft-hairtit stapped
Ahin bare trees, aside a kirk
Share junkie needles in the mirk

An sae the siller pruves a curse
That leads tae crime, coorseness, an worse

3.Scots Owersetts o Ho Chi Minh’s Poems From Prison

A Fier’s Paper Blanket
New buiks, auld buiks,
the leaves aa haived thegither.
A paper blanket
is better than nae blanket.
Ye fa sleep like princes,
happit frae the cauld,
D’ye ken foo mony chiels in jyle
canna sleep aa nicht?

Autumn Nicht
Afore the yett, a guaird
wi a rifle on his shooder.
In the lift, the meen flees
ben clouds.
Heezin flechs,
like blaik airmy tanks in the nicht.
Squads o mozzies,
like waves o attackin planes.
I think o ma hamelan.
I dream I can flee far awa.
I dream I traivel trappit
in wabs o wae.
A year has cam tae an eyn here.
Fit crime did I commit?
Greetin, I screive
anither jyle poem

Cauld Nicht
Autumn nicht.
Nae mattrass. Nae happins.
Nae sleep. Body an legs
Huddle up an cramp.
The meen glimmers
on the cranreuch-shawled banana leaves.
Ayont ma bars
the Muckle Bear showds on the Pole.

4.An Owersett in Scots o Fishing in Autumn by Nguyen Khuyen

The Autumn puil dreich, the watter caller
I fish fae a smaa boat rowin here.

Wee blue ripples spreid throw the mist
The win, the leaves flee by wi the year

Fae a deep blue lift hing raws o clouds
On a bamboo pathie, naebody appears

Knees tae briest, I cana pit doon this pole,
Mony fish yark at the duckweed yonner.

5.The skivvies o Chatswirth Hoose, circa 1902

A hoosekeeper,
Sax washer-wives
A scullery maid
A laundry porter

A bylerman,
An odd job chiel,
Twa windae cleaners
A chaplain, secretary tae
Jyners an stable farriers
Sax hoosemaids
Sivinty gairdeners,
A still-room quine
A groom o chaumers

Twa lodge porters
A nicht fireman
Ae dairy lass
A hired sparkie
A coalman,
Cook, an a hoose steward
Pittin a stop tae aa malarkey

A valet, steward’s room man, an usher
The stable maister, groom an loon
The Lady’s maid wi frocks an blusher

The governess,
The gamekeeper
Three fitmen
An the unner butler

The nanny, nurse, fin littlins cam
Wi titles prefixin their names
The hale-jing bang employed tae tend
Aristocrats an aa their games

The peintins, marbles, busts an trock
Noo ained bi the museum fowk
Fad sikk tae dicht the plate an jorums
Frae sic a rowth o Whigmalorums?

6. Jock Thamson’s Bairns in the Ship of Charon

Charon’s boat is biggit for aa
Bizzims, nickums an cyards
Jaads an lairds an skinnymalinks
Souters, fermers, bards

Whyles the ferry is unca roch
There’s stooshies atween the fowk
There’s tuilzies atween the antrin tykes
O gangrels, gomerils, gowks

Bit aince awa frae the warld’s shore
Strippit o flesh an fame
It’s little account the starnies takk
O the pouer o a body’s name

7. I mynd the wirds ma grannie eased tae spikk

I mynd the wirds ma grannie eesed tae spikk
The birdie wirds, like spurgie, dyeuk an craa
Like whaup an peesie, yalla yeitie, erne
At nicht they flichter roon the chaumer waa

In dreams the meenlicht fulls wi grannie’s flooers
Wannerin Willies, pee the beds an gowans
The trees wyve in the starnies, birks, and saughs
Geans, aiks an laricks, aipples, boortrees, rowans

The shelts cam trottin by, wi antrin breets
Yowes, brocks an bawds, twa puddocks frae a troch
A sharny coo, a hornygollach clan
A wyver wi a flech, a flee, a moch

The weather wirds: like doonpish, dreich an cauld
Blin drift, blin smore, snaa, birsslin heat an haar
That fermer laddies watch for, fishers fear
Rowin their boaties by the herbour bar

Thon wirds o bairnhood, hinney in the lug
Bide in the benmaist crannies o ma heid
Granminnie’s wirds, sae couthie, kent an fine
The wirds that are the reets o ma Scots leid.

8.Weather Maitters

Ye’ve a meetin. The fowk are gey frosty
An ice-brakker’s aywis the weather
Is it mochie, or fooshtie, or jeelin or dreich?
It’s the safest o bets for a blether

We dinna hae steers like a monsoon
Tornado or cyclone or waur
Bit still we can girn an gie’t laldy
Aboot blizzards an satt on the car

Is it hett? Weel the midgies will like it
Is it winny? It flattens the craps
Is’t a doonpish? The gutters are chokit
Unless it faas doon in wee draps.

Is it snaay? An inch wid be certain
Tae close aa the skweels roon aboot
Ay the weather is fairly the topic
Tae gar wirdies like flooeries sprout!


It’s April. Aa the parks are plooed
The early craps are brierin
The sap is risin in the trees
Gulls ower the rigs careerin

The lift is lichtsome, set for fair
There’s daffies in the sheugh
An showdy powdy in the wids
Reest hoodies, coorse an teuch

On the howe heids there’s skirps o snaa
Grown smaaer ilkie day
The gweed reid glaur o fermin grun
Lies quate in Auchenblae

The birlin turbines hairst the win
Boats aff Steenhive rowe weel
Fur aince the gurly waves are calm’s
A puil at a bonspiel.

10.In a Rugby Park, Derbyshire

Yowes in a park in the sypin rain
Chawin awa, chawin awa
Niver a scrum nor a tackle nor baa
Garrin them faa, garrin them faa

Craa on the goal post tholin the weet
Teetin aboot, teetin aboot
Rain teems doon like a brukken spoot
Ower his funeral suit, his funeral suit

Pheasant is coortin ower the line
A birdie maun try, a birdie maun try
Will he score as he follaes his dearie oootbye?
She’s blate, bit he’s spry, thon pheasant, fegs ay

11.Seamus the Cuddy

It’s a bad hair day for Seamus the cuddy
He lowers his boddom lip
Raises the draabrig o his teeth
Lattin oot a roch ‘Hee-haw’
His een o navy-blue are dowie an weet
Like tears micht drap
Gin he shoogled his powe ower hard

12.Queen Mary, jyled

The braw Scots princess, raised in France
Damask and gowd were her bairn frocks
Deerskin gloves on her leddie-hauns
Cap on her heid happed reid-fair locks

Gleg in Spanish, Italian, French
Played the lute, could draa an sing
Daunced an rade wi the great French lords
Mary, bird wi a restless wing

Wed tae the Dauphin aged 15
Twa short years an the idyll eyndit
Ower the waves back hame she sailed
Murder, rape, aa joy suspendit

Wirthless husbands an fechtin Earls
Mary’s choices war ay ill-wyled
Fa’d hae thocht that her cousin Bess
Fur 19 years wad haud her jyled

Chatswirth brocht her a whyles remeid
There, the Earl o Shrewsbury kept her
Weel amused wi the hawk an bow
Wi pets that the kind French courtiers sent her

Till at the eyn, in Fotheringhay
There, whaur Richard the Third wis born
Hame o thon humphy-backit deil
Mary’s heid frae her neck wis shorn

The Earl o Shrewsbury grat, they say
In Notre Dame, wi a wae oration
The Great Archbishop o Bourges himself
Spakk o the loss tae the Scottish Nation

James the Saxth, whan he jyned the crouns
Made Westminster her burial seat
There in the Abbey, noo she lies
Wi the Lion o Scotland at her feet.


Sheltie wis the hudderie coatie
Chawin girse wi yalla teeth
In the lea o Stirlin Castle
Think ye o the fowk aneth?
Warriors beeriet in thon yird
Focht wi arra an broadsword
Noo, the stage o war’s a park
Sheltie wi the hudderie sark

14.Latchy Spring

Heich Bennachie an the Mither Tap’s
Like a brock in a strippit jaiket
An the breem an heath in the icy howes
Is taiglit an hallierackit

It’s cranreuch cauld in a latchy Spring
The knowe-heids, fite an glimmrin
The daffs are laith tae unfurl their flooers
Mangst snaa-draps jeeled an chitterin

There’s smirr in the nyaakit wids ootbye
Dreich, dreich is the gurly cloud
An the lammies born in the hap o snaa
Step frae birth-caul inno a shroud

A hardy billie’s the shepherd syne
Wi his cromack an collie sikkin
His flock in the blin-drift gloamin time
Thrawn chiel wi his blue neb dreepin

Bit the inbye fowk in office an toon
Ken nocht o the winter’s blast
In the cosy bield o their heatit neuks
Ne’er a cloot nor a cover they cast
Their siller is easy won an spent
Till Mey wins throwe at last.

15. David Toulmin: Tune: The Holy Ground, traditional Irish Sea Shanty

John Reid wis born tae a cottar
An Buchan wis his hame
Bit as David Toulmin he’s weel kent
Fin his screivin name brocht fame

Chorus: He wis ne’er dinged doon bi Fortune
He wis clivver, gleg an thrawn
An he grew in pouer wi each antrin shooer
Frae a lad, tae a famous man

He vrocht mangst glaur an slyster
He tcyaaved mangst sharn an strae
An the sweyt gaed sypin throwe his sark
Fin he humfed great bales o hey

Chorus: He wis ne’er dinged doon bi Fortune
He wis clivver, gleg an thrawn
An he grew in pouer wi each antrin shooer
Frae a lad, tae a famous man

His neives war rochened bi wirkin
Bit his harns were keen’s a scythe
As he jottit doon the antrin thochts
An the spikk o fermin life

Chorus: He wis ne’er dinged doon bi Fortune
He wis clivver, gleg an thrawn
An he grew in pouer wi each antrin shooer
Frae a lad, tae a famous man

At nicht, his pynts he wad lowse, syne
Fin his tea wis hott’rin on the byle
Wi an oor o peace, frae his darg, release
He wad scrieve his tales fine style

Chorus: He wis ne’er dinged doon bi Fortune
He wis clivver, gleg an thrawn
An he grew in pouer wi each antrin shooer
Frae a lad, tae a famous man

He wis ne’er acquaint wi siller
Wi a rowth o schulin an gear
Bit like ony lintie in the park
His thochts rose heich an clear

Chorus: He wis ne’er dinged doon bi Fortune
He wis clivver, gleg an thrawn
An he grew in pouer wi each antrin shooer
Frae a lad, tae a famous man

Sae here’s tae Mither Natur
Fa wyes the Justice scales
An tips them whyles gainst wealth an wyles
Blawin win in the smaaest sails

Chorus: He wis ne’er dinged doon bi Fortune
He wis clivver, gleg an thrawn
An he grew in pouer wi each antrin shooer
Frae a lad, tae a famous man

16.The Ice Queen’s Panjotterels

She’s awa tae caulder climes,
Teemin oot the scrapins o her cauldron
Leavin’s wi:

Tooshties, nippicks, puckles, pyokies o sna
Schmoodrichs drappit on firs
Runkled like bridal sprays
Like a French jabot
Like Flanders lace
In ilkie crannie an neuk
In howe an sheugh
Driven ahin the dykes in boorachies
Like a moose chittered shroud
Makkin a tinchel roon a puil
A torc o frost
Thon divots an dauds o drifts
Ice Queen’s panjotterels

17. On the Death of Margaret Thatcher

Passin road kill by Scotch Corner
(Pertrick in a puil o reid)
Bleep! A message on an i-phone
Chirrups ‘Margaret Thatcher’s deid! ’
Flooers on the antrin crash site
‘Cannie drivers! Cut yer speed! ’
Miners on the airwaves claikin
Aboot Margaret Thatcher, deid.

Lue or hate her, sae divisive…
Dae ye staun for need or greed?
Thon will colour yer reaction
Noo that Margaret Thatcher’s deid

Hairt o steel, a hard big wigger
Tory o the permed heid
Haun bag swingin Iron Lady
Nation…Margaret Thatcher’s deid!

18.Chesterfield Spire (1)

Chesterfield kirk has a cruikit spire
It wis twistit throwe a begeck
Fowk say that a vergin wis merriet there
Unheard o in sic a Haly lair
Gawpin doon caused the crick in its neck

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