Archaeologie by Andy Murray
Andy Murray was a journalist for most of his adult life. He's written poems since he retired in 2021. He won the Fresh Voice award at the Wigtown Book Festival. His poetry has been published widely on magazines. His debut pamphlet, The Magician's House, was published by Drunk Muse in September.
Whit ye fin diggin gairdens is stunnerin,
Fossils, false teeth,
an banes as al as muck.
Ah’ve fun a wudden pipe
wi tar in its shaft still
It’s as if some smokin time-traveller
set doon yonner on his wye
tae guidness kens whaur,
an left it llyin.
Ah wunner whae it belang’t tae,
Some bygone gairdener, wi his sleeves roll’t up
wi metal bands,
takin a brek frae plantin
fur a suck and a spit?
Aiblins he collaps’t nearby
an they nivver fun it,
an years o weeds bury’t it,
or he gaed in the hoose fur tea
an forgot whaur he'd pit it.
This is nae fancy carve’t pipe oot I Sherlock Holmes,
Nocht curved or flamboyant.
Jeest a strecht stem an a bowl
Fur the business. Nocht showy.
He must hae held his licht ablow a bushel.
An unassumin man.
Ye’d imagine him yeesin bog standard plug.
Ah mine ma grandfaither cuttin
an flakin his Condor
wi a pocket knife, tampin it
afore settlin doon
efter World o Sport
tae watch Jackie Pallo
fecht wi Mick McManus.
While they wrestled
ah hover’t aboot the biscuit jar,
wunnerin when the Camp coffee
wid be comin.
Unner a Berlin sun, ower cauld beer by Wendy Miller
Poet, playwright, teacher and LGBTQ+ campaigner, Wendy Miller is one half of Glasgow spoken-word cabaret, Versaye! which aims to illuminate marginalised voices.
Wendy’s poetry has been published by Gutter and New Writing Scotland. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2020 with a Masters In Playwriting (with distinction).
Preoccupied by language, life and love, Wendy writes in both Scots and English. She is currently working on a new collection entitled On It Like a Sonnet. Wendy lives in Govanhill, Glasgow with her partner Gillian and son Edwyn.
Unner a Berlin sun, ower cauld beer
‘Happy golden wedding dear mum and dad
here’s tay fiftay mair year,’ wiz ma bad joke
fairgruns ur foarmd fay hunners a wee spokes
yer big wheel fair whurlt, its shada’s stull grand.
Twelfth flair, cocktails: fowr; yin streetchd oot sunset
spent oan Berlin’s shooders. Mind thon picture.
luck back at it and yer weans don’t bicker
fowr o us laughin away, nae regrets
Brother, you pulled a face: ‘don’t be sa daft.’
they’d gone to bed when ah said: ‘winter’s near.’
unner a Berlin sun, ower cauld beer
‘Soon it will just be us, you and me, left.’
Ah chose ma words weel. Cherish. Precious. Gold.
The sun dippt and drappt. It was late, dark, cauld.
Fessen in the Vernacular by Lesley Benzie
Lesley Benzie is Aberdonian but calls Glasgow home. An editor at Mxogyny Magazine recently said of her (see article at, https://www.mxogyny.com/sections/2023-8-14)
“There’s something of a modern day Robert Burns to Lesley – many of her poems are fiercely political, rich in social commentary, and written in Scots”.
Lesley qualifies this statement with “but I’m blessed with a quarter of the number of children and have indulged in much less philandering”. Writing in both Doric Scots and English, she has 2 poetry collections, Sewn Up and Fessen/Reared reissued August 2023 (Seahorse Publications).
Previously she has been Runner-up in the McCash Scots Poetry Competition 2020. In 2021 she was shortlisted in the Main and Scots categories of the Wigtown Poetry Prize. She is a contributor to 3 collaborative collections, Wanderlust Women:Three Poets 2021 and Wanderlust Women: Extra Baggage 2023 (Seahorse Publications) and Norlan Lichts 2022 (Rymour Books) which was nominated for Book of the year in the Scots Language Awards, in which she is also nominated as the Writer of the Year.
She is the Scots translator for the graphic novel Black Oot Here: Dreams O Us by Francesca Sobande & layla-roxanne hill & Chris Manson. instagram.com/lesleybenzie/
Fessen in the Vernacular
At times, life can be
a North Sea wave, brakkin ower me
caul an hard, like a fist
ah’m nae quick enough tae sidestep.
Like lost loves, it taks ma breath awa
an ah’m soaked through,
unable tae cling
tae the perts o me
bi the hershness.
At ithers ah’m a driech island landscape
shot through wi the strength o slate grey,
dense volcanic rock.
The dark violet sky circlin owerheid.
Theday, ah took ye past
the Fittie Bar, ma da’s favourite,
far ma faimily congregated tae bid him his last.
There is ane o them wide blue skies
turnin the sea a deep bluegreen
like his een.
Ye mock ma accent that shifts
back an forth
fae Glasgow, ma spiritual hame
an back tae Aiberdeen
like the wee waves lappin at oor taes.
Despite the charged sea life smell,
jist the same the salt smerts oor kisses.
An ah’m grateful for it aa
an that ancient ability
wi ma hairt.
The Hauntit Hoose by Ross Crawford
The Hauntit Hoose
‘Thair’s a hauntit hoose
next tae the burn.’
A’ve heard it said
too mony times tae coont.
An yit, a mannie bides thair,
unfashed by ony spirits
as he turns the soil.
A hail him, ‘Here, sir!
Huv ye goat ony ghosts
livin wae ye?
while ye dae yer dishes
or hing up yer washin?’
He shrugs his shooders,
‘Huv a keek at a map,
and then ye’ll see fur yersel.’
Ma faither’s auld OS
— pink cover, weel-worn –
But A find the spoat,
wae the hoose
next tae the burn.
‘Taigh an Spioraid’, it reads.
A luik again.
‘Taigh an Spioraid’.
Still, it says the same.
Awrite, but that disnae mean onyhin!
Or sae A tell masel, but then,
A see it—
richt next tae the hoose,
impossible tae miss:
That seals it,
A’ve heard masel say it
too mony times tae coont:
‘Thair’s a hauntit hoose
next tae the burn.’
A Great Breetish Simmer by Keeks Mc
Keeks Mc is a Glaswegian poet writing in colourful descriptive Scots. Juggling life, work, parenthood and a strong social conscience, Keeks' work expresses raw emotion and humour in her reflections of daily life, society and nature. New to writing, having only started in 2021, she has enjoyed the success of her work appearing in a wide variety of publications within the UK and internationally. She recently released a full-length collection, "Contermacious Temerity" through Dreich Publications.
A Great Breetish Simmer
The hale faimily sets oot
wi wan thing in mind
Schuil is oot
an paurents an weans
pack a zillion things thay dinnae need
an nane thay actually dae
an heid aff tae a hame fae hame
Fu o howp
the weans are knockin lumps oot ilk ither in the back
cryin "are we nearly thare yet?"
or threatenin tae spew
Thare's aye roadwurks
An whan ye get thare
thare's a race tae the same shaps ye uise at hame
fur yer uisual messages
altho ye'll likely no eat tham
since ye'll survive oan chain pub fuid
The weans scarper doon tae the saunds
wi howp in thair wee een
ainly tae fin the tid's in
the sea is wawly
an whitivver little strand thare is
is kivvered in some swarm o deid clunkertonies
The wather, which locals threap wis glorious til theday
is chilpy, gowsterie an gray
makkin a mockery o aa the haliday-makkers
in thair breekums an vests
"makkin the maist o it"
arguin an scoffin ice cream an candy floss
afore some fish an chips
than gettin a warm fur the rest o the evenin
in a walcomin pub