Caroline Mackie - Advocacy
Caroline Mackie was born and bred in Edinburgh but left to the Netherlands with her husband and 2 little ones in 1979. What was to be perhaps a short adventure, ended up with the family staying in the Netherlands 'forever'.
With family still in Scotland and not being all that far off, Caroline kept good contact with our roots. Caroline has always written. She was always the one at the office to compose something for anyone leaving... that sort of thing. Caroline has been an official translator of Dutch to English since 2009.
Over the years Caroline wrote children's books (no luck with publishers), rhymes and short stories, more and more over the last few years - time on her hands she suggests - and not long ago began writing in the vernacular too - Caroline's version of Scots. Caroline hesitates to call her pieces 'poetry' but participating in online 'spoken word' events has encouraged Caroline, and feels her short stories seem appreciated when she posts them on Facebook.
Caroline is happy to participate with the Scots Language Centre Poetry Column and hopes she comes over well.
The kids the day are still aa telt ‘at’s nae wey tae be speakin!’
Thir even telt in jist they words! It’s mad!
Ah’m realisin (late, ah ken) it’s spellin thit needs tweakin,
an tellin kids thit hou they speak’s NO bad.
Wis aa keep up wi Burns at schuil. It helps, thir’s nae denying.
A word like ‘ilka’ might indeed no last.
But whit wey kin we no jist larn tae spell in decent Scots,
an larn thit hou we spik’s no frae times past!
Ah’ve loads o pals that tell me, ‘ah hiv niver spoke lik thon!’
No even realisin that they dae!
It’s the spellin an the writin that wis never taught tae us.
Been denied us all they years. So, whit d’ye say?
Teach Inglis aye, as foreign tongue. Big up the uis o Scots.
Pronunciation (whit’s the Scots fir aat?)
Wir mair than jist an accent! We’ve history tae prove it!
Ah dinnae ken it aa, but ah’ve got heart.
If bairns wis gien mair access tae mair writings o aa airts,
the chances o revival wid be grand.
Nae mair wuid even Scots hink thit their kids wis speakin ‘slang’.
A sense o pride wid then gae hand in hand.
Ah ken a dinnae dae it right masel. Ah niver larnt!
O course ah ken ah huvnae got the clowt.
But nou, ah hink the time his come! We need tae get this sorted!
‘Scots wha hae…’ an aa that. Shout it out!
Caroline Mackie, 6th January 2023
Metets Store - Lorna Callery
Lorna Callery-Sithole is an award-wining, working-class, multidisciplinary, Renfrewshire-based poet, visual artist, performer, and educator as well as being the proud mama of three beautiful Zimbabweegies. She has published three poetry collections; Pigeon with Warburtons (Speculative Books, 2019), Colour Theory (Hybrid Dreich, 2020) documenting her biracial family’s experiences of everyday racism, and Facing our Past; Shining the Light (National Trust for Scotland, 2020), examining the links between the Stirling Maxwells and enslavement in the Caribbean. She is currently working on her forth poetry collection, Billboard Apocalypse, reflecting on life in a post Covid landscape amidst the Cost of Living Crisis. She regularly performs her work at venues across Scotland and will be closing the Paisley Book Festival 2023 alongside the Renfrewshire Makar, Shaun Moore. https://www.lornacallery-sithole.com
[eftir Joan Eardley’s paintin ae the same name]
up the close
doon the road
pillar boax cheeks
ridd heedit lassie
sookin sherbitt lemons
troubled tae hink
stuck in the daurk
his da spendin
two sheets tae the wind
sheets oan windaes
tae block oot the sun
nettin wiz a luxury
wan cludgie fir aw
pitch black back court
black bag bin raiders
newspapers oan the wire
wipe yer erse
wi yesterday’s heidlines
East End tenements
black wi stoor
a bad smit
lassies wi shaved heids
fitba in the streets
thur wiz aye a laugh
tae be hud
who the hell
Alan Millar - Nit Hairst o tha Anshints, Colonsay
Alan Millar is a poet, writer and journalist based in Ballymoney, Co Antrim, but born and reared in the Laggan valley of East Donegal, also a traditional Ulster-Scots speaking area. In 2021, he won the SLS Hugh Macdiarmid Tassie for his poem ‘Wee Weaver Birdie’, the first
Irish person to have done so. He is also winner of the inaugural Linenhall Library Ulster-Scots writing competition, short story section, and is runner up in in the 2022 SLS’s Robert McLellan Tassie for short story. He is published in Lallans, Ullans, Linenhall Library 2021
Winners Pamphlet and Ulster-Scots Community Network publication, ‘Yarns’. In 2014, he edited 'Frae the Causey tae the Apocalypse' the poems in Ulster-Scots and English of John McKinley of Dunseverick. He has recently started a weekly Ulster-Scots column ‘Leid
Loanen’ in the paper he works for. He has appeared in two BBCNI programmes in his capacity as an Ulster-Scots poet including ‘The narra sea, the further shore’, with Scots musician Phil Cunningham. Alan is a keen hiker and open water swimmer and is starting his third Polar Bear challenge, swimming at least 3k a month, from November to March, at Portrush, NI and local lakes.
Nit Hairst o tha Anshints, Colonsay
frae a tael o oor Mesolithic hunter-gaether ancestors
bae Alan Millar
blakberries, connies, nits, deer, pillwort, buckies, troot, dulse, boar, cherries, clappy doos, otter, siller eel, watter hen, duck, maukin, scart, petricock, saumon, mackerel, spoots…
Twa auler yins sit, wearied
at wid’s laggin, fornenst tha shore
dugoots beached in plane sicht
a wairm autumn evenin
doucely fleppin at tha midgies
as tha sun’s bricht draps
abakka trees on tha saft lift
ahint them, tha peck, peckin
o whinstane chackin at wid
fur a wean is sleepin nearerhan
moo fu apen, wee finngers aa rid
sair frae tha gaetherin
anent her, tha gye roon pit
shalla, san lined, big as birkies-bae-twa
pit heid tae toe athort it
fur twa days noo tha nits
hae tumult in frae their creels
collectit bae tha wee femily
waek yins foragin inbye
tha stranger dannerin tha airts
bonnie broon thoosans noo platted aaf
tae jist aneath tha gress
smellin o hairst sappie
yerbivore greens, deep guid
tae tha lass stid grimin tha san ower
tha mither, yer mammy’s namesake
on her knees
smuithin aff flush tae tha groon
wi eydent hans
sens tha dochter bak tae tha stran fur mair
noo sat bidin
keekin at her granwean, streichin
a lown spell, a quateness faals
wan she jalouses maun swallie this isle
efter they’re awa
her unco sperin cut shoort
bae a sweet burd sang
as her nephews’ pap oota tha busses
traelin hazel sticks fur tha wid bing
in tha late mirk o dailygaun
ilka boadie gaethers
aroon tha bonfire,
cannie bigged ower tha hairst
aal een on tha younglin heid yin
hunkered wi flints, he lichts tha fog tinner
blaws, tae flames kittle his finngers
quick sets it unner tha boney
naw lang efter, tha clan beed doon
furfoughen, bit fur wan aule sentinel
wha kens his darg
taipin on sticks
skailin tha haet greeshoch fairly
fur their rich hairst maun kythe
maun bae roastit naw burnt
kerries his gree lik a heid yin
o a blast furnace, smeltin
gustie baked flora, niver gaes aff
kept beilded weel, frae rane an tide
meat though ony scantiness
on their gye road farrit.
Ach…. but the heart is gallus by George White
I wis born in 1939 in a wee mining village oan the edge o’ Dunfermline.
It seems I wis wan o’ they slow developers….in ither words…a wee bit dovie fir I failed ma Qualifying exam and ended up in whit wis cawed a “Junior Secondary School.” So, it wis thit a left the skail wi’ nae qualifications whitsaever…an’ ma dovetail jints wir nae up tae much aither.
I wis lucky tae git a joab, but soon I wis wanderin’ aboot Fife repairing televisions an’ I did this until I left Fife fir London in the late fifties. So, it wis that I lived for some time in a Boardin’ hoose in Bermondsey wi seven Irishmen, an Englishmen, a Welshman an’ twa Scotsmen. This wis a time o’ traditional Jazz clubs, bonny girls and signs in windaes sayin’ nae Blacks, nae Irish and nae dogs.
Efter this I hid aw sorts o’ joabs; I wis a Paratrooper, an Antique dealer, Computer engineer, an’ aw different odds an’ sods. In my thirties I gained some educational qualifications and enrolled in University before trainin’ tae be a teacher. I taught in the old List D system in Dundee then when this system was closed down, I moved tae Fife. Noo married and wi a dochter, I steyed in Fife until takkin early retirement. Moved tae France fir a few years before returning there.
The hale o’ my life I’ve a passion fir bicycle touring and fir many years I’ve wandered all ower France wi ma wee tent fir a couple o’ months every year. As weel though, I enjoyed paddling a sea Kayak, sailing a Sailboat and daein some Cross-country skiing.
I’ve been writin’ poetry fir years…mainly as an outlet when experiencin’ some sort o’ trauma, but then as a creative outlet. Noo an’ then it strikes a chord wi’ a body and that’s jist grand when that happens. I live in dread that I’m “discovered” an’ rocketed tae stardom……I mean am awfy auld an’ it kid be the finish o’ me.
If I’ve hid wan guidin’ principle in ma life it wid be tae try an’ be kind…..and noo and then I think I micht hiv managed it.
Ach…. but the heart is gallus
Ach… but the heart is gallus
his nae care where it flees
claps doon only whar’ the fancy taks it,
wi nae thoucht of richt….or wrang
an cannae be foretelt …
it micht well shun beauty or perfection
tae land oan some passing face
seen but for an instant
in some clarty windae
or fa’ in a dwam ower somethin’
a wee bit oot o’ place….
wan tooth no weel aligned
a mouth that’s faur too big
a wee bit lisp…which at first hearin’
enslaves forever the listening ear.
Nae justice rules in these affairs
an’ anither’s pure devotion…true an’ tested
may be spurned an’ turned awa
an’ favour foun’ in wan less worthy…..
Ach…..but the heart is gallus.
Scunnert by Janet Crawford
Janet Crawford is a Falkirk based writer. Her film-poem Beacon, was included in the New York based ‘Anti Heroin Chic’. Her debut stage-play ‘A Cup ‘o Kindness’, was shown during the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2018. She is a trustee of The Federation of Writers (Scotland). Janet sings with the Freedom of Mind Community Choir and is a member of the Women with Fierce Words collective. Locally, she has programmed for the Falkirk Storytelling Festival, bringing her love of all things writing to her home town. Her most recent publications include her first published short story in Razor Cuts IX, and poetry in a number of anthologies including Words from Battlefield, Horsepower, To Whom It May Concern, Nutmeg 21, Razur Cuts- finest cuts and most recently Short & Sweet. She has recently added open water swimming and campervanning to her hobbies and feels these are great for encouraging her writing!
I ken I cannae change time
I’m stuck with days that hurtle oan
beyond a voice
I cannae help but want tae hear
dis a lug caw canny
and mind itsel
o the lilt and lift yer voice carrit
when it lifted vowels and letters
straight fi yer heart shoutin…
‘bye darling, I love you’
as I ran awa
messages dropped in yer hall
nae tea or hugs shared, nae soap opera chatter
whilst I laughed …
I dinnae watch them at aw
and then you’d say
‘well, I’m only telling ye whit I watched’…
yer een dancing wi laughter
or dae I hae tae learn tae feast on memory
and chew it doon in tiny mouthfu’s
so as no tae choke