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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

The Hamecomin

8th December 2009

Norma-Ann Coleman has written a poem inspired by a painting - La Rue du Tramway by Paul Delvaux.  Entitled The Hamecomin, it was written after viewing the painting at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh. Winning a special merit award in the creative writing competition run by National Galleries of Scotland, The English-Speaking Union and the Scottish Poetry Library, we reproduce the poem here.


As Ah traipsed hameward frae the Dean
Ma heid wis birlin at aw Ah’d seen.
Twa vauntie hizzies, nae claes atween
Frae pow tae heel
Staunin by tramlines. Whit can it mean?
Jades o the deil!

Tae help me think, Ah haed a dram
An driftit intae a kin o dwam.
Ah’m sittin in an Em’brugh tram
In Princes Street.
Nae sign o roadworks or traffic jam
The joab’s complete.

It staps ootside the Gallery gates
A man gets oan, a meenister wi skates,
He doffs his hat, congratulates
The Titian pair,
Saved fur the nation frae furrin states
Wi days tae spare.

Next, three wee gracefu nakit lassies
O marble white that nane surpasses
Lauchin an wavin their travel passes
Step up on board.
The driver wipes the steam frae his glasses,
Fair flummoxed, floored.

Then thon poetic chiel appears
Still a braw carl despite his years.
“Wul ye come tae ma hamecomin do?” he speirs
Fu modestlie.
Oor bardie seems quite close tae tears
When we agree.

The tram sweeps aff oan its squinty lines
Straucht tae the Dean where thon vauntie quines
Serve usquebae an the finest wines
Fur Rab’s hamecomin.
Ah sing an dance till ma visage shines,
Ma noddle’s thrummin.

Anither reel’s aboot tae start
When Ah wake up wi an aching heart.
Afore Ah go Ah must impart
The moral o these tales.
Fowk that mix strong drink wi art
                Gang aff the rails!

Norma-Ann Coleman