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Visa Wedding #1 by Harry Giles

"Harry Giles is a poet and performer from Orkney, now living in Edinburgh -- but he's headed home from April till August for a four month poetry research project in Orcadian, the Scots of Orkney. After working in both Scots and English for many years, he's interested in exploring writing in the Orcadian of his childhood, learning about the efforts to support Orcadian to survive, and recording contemporary speakers. He'll be blogging about the project regularly at www.harrygiles.org."



Visa Wedding #1

Listen, hit's semple:


in Orkney I'm English;
in England I'm Scottish;
in Scotland, Orcadian – 


this glib-gabbit, mony-littit tongue
snacks at identity as tho it wis
a gollach piecie sappit wi
the sweet-n-soor o BELONG.


Like aw they ither sangsters I


ballad the islans fae the ceety,
buzz the ceety fae the islans,
birn frantic throu hydrocarbons


fer transatlantic jouks whar hame
is happit in bacon, fried on grits,
tursit in that muckle myndin and ma'd-on
ancestry hit's at lang n lenth hausable.


Hey, haud me close, America,


in Orkney I'm English;
in England I'm Scottish;
in Scotland, Orcadian – 
this glib-gabbit, mony-littit tongue
snacks at identity as tho it wis
a gollach piecie sappit wi
the sweet-n-soor o BELONG.


Like aw they ither sangsters I


ballad the islans fae the ceety,
buzz the ceety fae the islans,
birn frantic throu hydrocarbons


fer transatlantic jouks whar hame
is happit in bacon, fried on grits,
tursit in that muckle myndin and ma'd-on
ancestry hit's at lang n lenth hausable.


Hey, haud me close, America,


mak me yer kiltie mascot,
mak me yer islan exotic,
mak me yer immigrant boy,


mowten me wi soothren sun n muntain
fir-sap n ser me on ice-cream,
unnest me, unnest me, shaw me vistas,
spreid me skinkin ower strath n hill-run.


Leuk, I growed-up dancin


the Gay Gordons tae Blanket on the Grund,
Strippit the Willow tae On the Bayou,
shauchled n spittit ilka wird o Hit the Road


Jack n nivver cam back nae mair, gie me 
laund lots o laund, tak me hame tae the place 
I belong, send me aff feriver but 


Harry Giles