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Modren Makars: Yin by Irene Howat, Ann MacKinnon & Finola Scott

PART OF THE The Beauty That Surrounds Us ISSUE

‘Ower excited, he waaks at crack o dawn, grabs farls fresh frae the fire, an awa til moon-rise.’

Tapsalteerie collects three award-winning poets – Irene Howat, Ann MacKinnon and Finola Scott – in one publication. As an exclusive for BooksfromScotland, we’re delighted to share a poem from each of the writers below.

 

Modren Makars
By Irene Howat, Ann MacKinnon and Finola Scott
Published by Tapsalteerie

 

Occitania / Ann MacKinnon

It wis kent as the signal or senhol
an ye wur haunded it if ye hid
the impidence tae spake Occitan.
It wis kinda like pass the paircel.
Ye could gie it tae the neist bodie
spakin thair ain tongue.
The wan left haudin it
at the day’s hinnerend
wis cloutit wi a baguette.
In Scotland it micht be
a rattle on the fingers
wi a ruler or the strap.
Ye micht be tellt tae syn
yer moo oot wi carbolic
for yaisin thon clarty tongue.
Either wey yer ain spek
wis dunted oot o ye
till it wis near dichted awa.
Noo in Occitania
an in Caledonia
thay’re jeein us on tae spake it.
But huv we left it ower late?

 

 

Scunnered frae Skara Brae / Finola Scott

Ower excited, he waaks at crack o dawn,
grabs farls fresh frae the fire, an awa til moon-rise.
His beardie rasps my cheek an he’s oot-loupin.
No a glance back, no a thocht o me.
The bairns? Thay’re foo o the stanes as weel.
Huv ye heard the like? Heavin bloody great rocks.
For whit? A new hoose? Naw. He’ll haul thaim
tae the Siller Loch tae staun in a bloody circle.
Ye’d think the sun rises an sets on thaim.

He says he’s bin chosen, it’s an honour.
Says Ah’ve no tae girn but be prood. Some chance.
But mibbe, he’ll bring back anither necklace.
Ah mind whan he draped yin roon ma neck, aa gleamin.
Ah sweer the nicht wis caught up in the chuckies,
dark as his een.
Och him an his stanes.

 

Swallas / Irene Howat

The swallas flew sooth
takin simmer’s licht wi thaim
aa the wye tae Africa.

Brachan-happit braes,
busses an trees
bleeze wi colours
Moses still has mind o
an they wurnae by w’it.

Yin leaf
aa on its ane
flichtered tae the grun.

Ithers cam efter
in easy-osie yins an twas
an birlin thoosans
tae the tree stood prood,
sterk an scuddie
in aa the gurls o wunter.

Yit it wisnae by w’it
for the swallas’ll flee back
wi the licht
gin simmer.

 

Modren Makars: Yin by Irene Howat, Ann MacKinnon & Finola Scott is published by Tapsalteerie, priced £10. 

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