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Hirpling Gangrel by George W Colkitto

George W Colkitto from Paisley recently published a book of poems about the wildlfie and people life of Castle Semple Loch at Lochwinnoch (TheYear of the Loch, diehard). With Read Raw Ltd of Paisley, he was responsible for the successful Tannahill Poetry Compettion last year, whose Scots language section was won by Brian Holton.  

Colkitto quite often writes poems impinging on politics, and this recent poem seems highly topical with the number of unsavoury political voices crowing like cockerels around our ears. Who doesn’t feel a tad dispirited by the current situation in Scotland, Europe, Westminster? We hope this will prove to have been a topical poem and that matters will improve. I like the structure of this poem, moving easily from an image we all recognise to an analysis of Scottish political history all in a few words.

Hirpling Gangrel

He is shilpit
a guddle o flesh an bane
held thegither wae naethin but
dour obstinacie
“Wha’s like us” his blaw
as if onybody was fashed
at a ruid cock 
crowin o’er a midden
Wance he had guid cause
with een glintin wae northern licht
proud o his historie
an his bairns 
Noo wae centuries of shite
he feeds on muckle worms
an Crumbs fae neighbours.
George W Colkitto