Three Poems

For the English translations, please click here.


Gled Stanes


watching the riding to open Scotland's parliament
ceased 25 March 1707 resurrected 1 July 1999



thur is nae stane whaur the gled soars,
nae gled whaur the stanes staun


nor it thair cobbled feet, nae king
tae reign ees braid high street


whaur nowt but smirr croons a castlehill
nae burnin weemin wish they'd drooned


an the shuttered shops kin sell nae claith
whiles nae tea or snuff is taen ben there


gin nae gill bell dirls oor meridian
near three hunner year ae time birls roon


oan a turnpike stair. Auld Reekie sings
an auld sang tae a newborn tune, an a staur


is kenled whaur stane mounts stoor
tae heicht us up whaur the gled kin soar.


Wi Thur Twa Rings


Yeese are chippit new
intae the auld stane o time.


Here, awthing faws quate fur yeese,
here noo, sunlicht skirls,
rain diddles, the yirth birls.


Yeese are no alane
amang the hurlin constellations
but cleikit tae thon gird cried love.


Aulder than ony circle o staunin stanes,
shair as a snaw-ring roon the mune,
mairrige is.


Weer yer vows weel when kecklin
is the ale atween yeese


or when nicht draps like a bolster
doon the middle o yer bed.


Let the cauld shooder o the ben
aywis coorie ye kindly.
Let the sun aywis hunt ye
hooever daurk yon place.


We wha haud oor wheesht ken
thorns hae roses.


And when ye gang fae this day
the skinklin staurs gang wi ye.


When ye gang furrit fae this day,
the love that grew ye
growes wi ye


and mairrige is wrocht,
iron oan stane, haund in haund.


scotland


she's a haurd mither, sair
scartit wi braes an glens
oot-stravaigin ony craw's feet.


hur face glowers wi heuchs
hur vyce teems a burn in spate
ower broon-teeth jaggit scaurs.


she pits oan clinty craigs are briests,
belts hur waist wi forfochen industry,
in hur airms, she gethers firs.


aywis a thrawn, crabbit fechter, she's
boardered by fuller hips, flytin
fire-dairts wi thunnered micht.


nae season lichtens hur, she drags
hur bairns up oan kail an whin,
winters thaim athoot guidness.


she kennles the grate wi chitterin hail,
coups snaw tae shaw hoo saft she is.
spring claeths hur aulder in green.


if she coories ye in tae hur breist
it is tae skail a linn's white-watter
torrent o snash oantae yer heid.


liltin, she bokes up craikin maws.
sleepin, she bumphles a runkled pilla
ower the mune, batters oot twa three staurs.


she'll smoor yer dreams wi Scotch mist,
nit kaim yer hair wi chuggin wind,
slounge yer faces wi rain.


in yer mooth she staps a leid
naebody kens, in yer hert a stane.
but gang awa fae hur


a rantin sang and dance'll folley
tae reel ye in as son or dochter,
mak ye seik fur hame.