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‘The wind caught the chimney by the scruff’

‘An imaginative and innovative poet in Gaelic and English with the sensibility of a native speaker and an astute reader of poetry. This is an intelligent, measured and powerfully resonant collection.’ – Rody Gorman

Extract from Gu Leòr (Galore)
By Pàdraig MacAoidh
Published by Acair Books

Bàta Taigh Bàta

Rinn i seòmar-cèilidh
à sparran tràlair a h-athair:
sin neo am fàgail nam malcadh
an àiteigin air cladach cèin.

Nan cuireadh tu do bhas air an darach
bha e eadar sàl agus gainmheach;
nan gnogadh tu air,
dhèanadh e scut.

 Chrom sailthean an tobhta-bhràghad
ris a’ mhuir, dà mhile air falbh;
Gach oidhche ghluais an taigh
ann am bòchain, a’ tarraing air acair.
Dh’fhuaimneadh mic-talla tron fhiodh
mar ghlaoidhean uilebheistean-mara,
dh’fhàs polaip agus grom fo sgeilp an TBh,
Rinn an uinneag dùrdan drabasta,

fhuair a’ ghaoth an similear mun amhaich
a’ feuchain ri tharraing o mharachadh.
Fon bhòrd-chofaidh bha stòbhan-air-bòrd
a’ cagar gu gnù, ann an ceannairc.

Chumadh cas-cheum seann mharaiche a’ chamhanaich,
thairngreadh ròpanan an latha. Ri tìde
fuasglaidh i na snaidhmean, ga giùlan tron t-sìl.
Thèid a bristeadh air an t-slighe.

 

Boat House Boat
(English Translation)

She made her living room
from the spars of her father’s trawler;
it was either that or leave it to rot
on some distant shore.

If you smoothed your palm on the oak
it was between sand and salt:
if you chapped it,
It gave out a scut.

 The beams of the bow curved out
towards the sea, two miles away.
Each night the walls would catch
in the tide and pull on anchor,

echoes would sound through the wood,
like the calls of sea-monsters.
Polyps and coral started to form under the TV shelf,
The bay-window murmured bawdily,

the wind caught the chimney by the scruff
and tried to lift it from its moorings,
under the coffee table stowaways gathered
whispering in sullen mutiny.

A sailor’s boot taps keep the small hours;
the pulling of ropes fills the day.
over time, she will work open the knots,
force herself to the sea. Be broken on the way.

 

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