Poetry Map

We all know poems about Scotland but can the shape and nature of Scotland be drawn entirely in poetry? StAnza has set itself the challenge to see if this is the case. Find out more about the project and how to submit your poem by clicking here, or browse the poems using the map. Latest poems are listed below.

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 279

Thursday 28 September 2017, 11:41

Kite-Flying on Cullen Beach

 

I run until the wind plucks at my hopeful handiwork -

Brown paper, string, old cane, held with glue,

And carries it aloft, like Icarus, towards the sun.

 

My parents huddle, pinched-faced, like refugees, against the rocks -

The Three Kings trudge wearily down the beach,

Towards some promised Bethlehem

Long buried in the sand.

 

At night, by guttering gaslight's glow, my great-aunt tells me

Tales passed down the long, defeated years -

Of the day the young men left, fresh-faced,

For Culloden, or the Somme, or other Calvary.

 

And so I run on to catch the wind,

Oblivious in my youthful dreams,

Not grasping yet what Culloden means

Or Gethsemane's night.

 

 

Lizzie Napier

 

 

Footnote: The Three Kings is the name given to three rocky outcrops on Cullen beach.

 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

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Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 278: Cumbernauld

Sunday 5 February 2017, 09:03
New Town
 
New neighbours spoke to my mother
of old, unfamiliar lives.
Tenemental Riddrie, Dennistoun, Townhead;
tubercular, crowded, tarmac-flattened.
No growing up cowed by North Sea winds -
lungs full of linoleum
 
Kernel of a town, newly minted -
hand-picked by some benevolent giant,
squarely placed, fully formed.
Ready to receive refugees
from grimy beginnings.
Spit on a hankie and rub them clean.
 
The town planner specified shiny, new materials:
Bright, white concrete
punctuated by primary-coloured doors,
modern,
Mediterranean.
 
The public relations officer whispered seductively
of fitted carpets;
built-in kitchens;
electric hobs;
and adjustable central heating.
 
The acidic scent of yellow broom
tip-toed from each pebbled planter,
wove around our wrists as we belted balls off brick.
Every tree was circled and guarded
judged too young to survive the winter.
 
They flourished, breaking through stone.
Budding and bursting,
while we fried eggs on the pavement,
in a scalding Scottish summer.
 
Sarah Smith
 

 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 277: Loch Morlich

Sunday 22 January 2017, 11:21
Loch Morlich
 
Dawn spreads warm fingers over granite
long since ground down, pink in morning light.
By the time we arrive the gilded peaks
of Shepherd’s hill are mirrored in the loch.
 
You and Tara dig, bent double, intently,
like Klondike miners searching for gold
or some small treasure, coloured glass, a feather
to be taken home and shown off proudly.
 
Chubby sand- covered knees are washed
by lapping waters, we drowse in the midday heat.
Sunlight working off sand, glinting off spade,
while soft fleet clouds pass stately overhead.
 
Jill Thomson
 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

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All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 276: Stromness

Sunday 4 December 2016, 16:12
Beachcombing, Stromness
 
A lighthouse beam swings over the shore,
takes account of the mess. Another
seafarer wrung
by plastic around its neck. I count feathers
 
on its spackled breast and imagine each
feather’s another body taken
from desert to sea. The ones ejected
from cities they were born in, and the ones
 
with gunpowder in their veins,
and the ones who asked for mercy and
didn’t ask for mercy.
I count in my numbing head
 
Thomas Minogue
 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

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All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 275: Leith Walk

Tuesday 8 November 2016, 21:46

The Foot of the Walk

He is an old skeleton of a man. Stranded somewhere in his sixties. Stubble tough as sandpaper. Stubble cement grey. His eyes bloodshot and ghosted like a man who has been taken over. He whispers to himself.

He carries a bottle of wine haphazardly under his arm right which spills as he tries to settle it. A hat sits crookedly on his head. His short coat is dirtied by grease and sick mess. His trousers hang loosely around his waist. By all accounts one gone quite mad.

He walks stiffly like a boy who has defecated in his trousers. This is no simile; a sewage leak has stained through and dribbles down his right leg. He mutters to himself.

At the junction he edges awkwardly round the corner. We cross the road, walking farther into our lives and further away from his; averting our eyes from the suns glare.

Colin McGuire

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 274: Dunning Den

Wednesday 10 August 2016, 14:40
Dunning Den
 
Yesterday, by the blackthorn bank,
I stopped under the sparkling boughs.
Frothy white against a pool of sky
and warmed by the nearing sun,
they dizzied me with their musky scent,
loosing me from winter's grip.
 
Yesterday, under the crumbling crag
I gazed up at the sentinel pine.
A head above his bare companions
with toes clasping the broken rock,
steadfast he rode his stance,
holding the valley in one piece.
 
Yesterday, through the wild garlic
I stepped down to the riverside.
Riffling over the pebbles
and surging against the rocks,
the water dissolved into sound,
carrying all life in its melody.
 
Felicity Martin

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map