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Ach…. but the heart is gallus by George White

1st November 2022

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.