Wytch Elm O Beauly - Anne M Edwards
Anne is originally from Africa but grew up in a wee village in the North West Highlands called Ullapool. She wrote poems and songs as a youngster and has rekindled her love of writing in the last 4 years. Anne has had 2 poems published and performs poems at witchy events. Her poems are often spiritual, intense, and sad. She has never written in Scots so this was a fun challenge.
Wytch Elm O Beauly
Yon wytch elm
Stood fir Ower
Till her beughs
Could tak nae mair
And she fell
Dread and Fear
Yon auld elm
Tae yon faerie realm
Yon faerie fowk
Were mischeevous cookies
O wytch elm
George T Watt - A Vallenelle fur Lorna’s Seiventy Birday
George T Watt, screives aa his creative wark in Scots near eneuch. Fit wey naw? Scots is ae braw Leid. I wis brocht up in Embro but left yon toun as suin as I cuid an warkit on fairms on mony airts o Scotland. The Scots I spoke sinsyne haed accents frae Moray doun tae bonnie Gallowa an so ma screivins is the same. Ma wark haes been prentit on mony magazines but maistly in Lallans, the journal o the Scots Language Society/Scots Leis Associe. I hae also haed wark in several Anthologies, Perthshire 101, Whaleback City, Yarns an Wunds That Blaw Sae Sweit tae meintion ae few.
A Vallenelle fur Lorna’s Seiventy Birday
Seiventeen or seiventy it’s aa the same,
We streive alang thigether gie an tak,
This auncient race, wir modren gemme.
Like twae cuddies yokit tae the reign,
We ploo wir furra, the yirth tae brak,
Seiventeen or seiventy, it’s aa the same.
Fur streen, fur the day, the morn’s hame,
Whiles we chyave, whiles wir slack,
This auncient race oor modren gemme.
Nocht can douse this eternal flame,
Strathspey or Reel we pas-de-basque,
This auncient race, oor modren gemme.
Like a chairtit course oer sauty fame,
Throu storm or calm oor darg tae task,
Seiventeen or seiventy, it’s aa the same.
Nae glaikit sneist wull heise us tae mak blame,
We’ll haud steady, we’ll aye be frack,
This auncient race, oor modren gemme,
Seiventeen or seiventy, it’s aa the same.
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.