PART OF THE Beyond Borders ISSUE

‘An wi yon beamin  glow ayont wirds, Hamish  fer aye oor lad o pairts  bides eternal. ‘

The Banes o the Turas is a poetical translation of and engagement with Turas Viaggio, by the Italian poet, composer, musician, folklorist and friend of Hamish Henderson, Pino Mereu. A portrait of that friendship and Mereu’s visits to Scotland, in keeping with the traditions championed by both poets, this is a poetical owersettin in Scots, and you can read an extract below. 


The Banes o the Turas
By Jim Mackintosh
Published by Tippermuir Books 



May Day in Cornwall, 2016 



The flauchterin leaves o the aik
shrood the gliskens o sun, the tendrils 
o this licht scatter 
oan the brae-side, rinnin oot tae the bay. 

Oan this whitelin saun ah can rest
easy, chasin the douce an lusty spring
gust aboot ma mou.
Ah’m in Padstow. 

The drumtap o vyces herald
the stert o the Festival oan this
May mornin. It’s a feast, it’s a feast: abdie
up fer jiggin wi the twins, Eros an Tanatos. 

Unite and unite and let us all unite for
Summer is i-come-un today
And whether we are going we all will unite
In the merry morning of May. 

The tree of life is weytin while
Martin plays the Siege o Delhi,
sic a pure an simple magic, lowin wi passion
– a tune o hert-gled daeins an dremes. 

It’s magic, naethin repeatit or replenished,
aa’thin bursts oot, wi nae dreid they
hae a go at Life an Daith an vyces born free
champin at the bit tae brak oot fae thay shores. 

Under the earth I go declares Bardie. 

Fechtin intae the nicht, oan an oan
intil the skreich o day, ilka life
ready tae be born aince mair…ah gie masel
up tae this sang an stert oan my wey. 


Lunis agro
Martis frittu
Mercuris crudeles

Giobia immortale
Chenabara nudda si ottenet 

E, durche si Sabadu – torture su die
e gloriosa Dominiga, repose in pache 





Spittal o Glenshee
The Hamecomin, 2015 



The schule o hailly wirds shuttert ticht.
Fae the windaes anely the lang-day derkens
while the corbies craw,
loupin an jiggin abuin the deid-stanes. 

Fae there, atween-the-lichts he venturit 
bi Ben Gulabeinn
wha’s dauchy neb cockit a snoot
yet wi open airms tae aa the carnaptious,
syne wi a blinterin stretch touched the lift
wi the mortal grains o yer saul. 

The fairies o Glenshee jiggit wi glee,
liftin yer hert wi aa the sangs o oor kin
tae bring ye hame laden wi a kist o riches
oan the wings o freedom’s flicht. 

Cam aa ye, gies a sang Hamish!
A joyfu sicht whaur vyces cam thegither.
Ah ken ye’re here: 

the vyce o the wind
oor ain vyce
the vyce o this Earth
the vyce o seelence
the vyce o the stanes 


Ben Gulabeinn, a braith o life
– wirds findin strenth, text
blessit wi the air yer saul
wis aye seekin.  

A lichtsome speerit wyves destinies
wi meestery, mindins o freedom fer 
aa the days o life – the hailly age:
renouncin, faur aback yet aye the wey forrit. 

Sheddins o keppins, chyces, tellins,
graftins: a lanely life oan
the wark-road wi his wirds sauf
unner his airm, a daily darg chasin licht
at reflecks an inspires. 

Wi aa its lowse verse, its forms,
its spaces fer new creations, freedom
wi a cost measurt bi its limits. 

And wi luve, respeck, forgieness,
ilka horizon a kythin o kennin
lik a guid craftsman embraces
his kist o craft or the tylor 
his fine claith. 

Lichts turn tae waves o derkness,
sheddas in the muinlicht
– a triumph o the lown. 

The seelence is the derk innocence.
There’s nae sorra in the unco 
buryin o the banes.  

Here, the stoor o the turas
settles aince mair. 

An wi yon beamin
glow ayont wirds, Hamish
fer aye oor lad o pairts
bides eternal. 


The Banes o the Turas by Jim Mackintosh is published by Tippermuir Books, priced £9.99.

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