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 288

Sunday 13 October 2019, 13:34

Rose Moon from Portobello Beach

Four old women crane their necks
staring at the moon
rising blood-red from the sea
into the setting sun.

This is what it does
every fifty years or so
at summer solstice.

Last time they were young.

Sue Bard

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 287

Thursday 12 September 2019, 09:56

Dear Edinburgh,

You cannot visit yourself and that is sadness.
Your sky is nice. Your sky is old lace over a lamp.
Instead download my brain tape.
You are full of corner shops, castles, print piles.
 

You never ring on Sundays to have supermarket conversations.
You are just here wearing no knickers
telling all about your once volcanic disposition,
how once a year you night bus and dress in posters.
Teach me how to wear so much weight on one wrist.

Next year, at midnight, we will scale Arthur’s seat.
I will bring the drinks.
It will be strange for you to look down at yourself,
your outline, a surgery scar
dimming from blush to taupe.

Admiring.

Hannah Jane Walker

 

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 286

Sunday 21 July 2019, 14:42
SKYE BLUES
 
the constellation of Mallaig
turns on its harbour lights
and sends silver filaments
across the Christmas water
like lost strands of lametta
 
the Ardvasar Hotel gives up
its obligation to celebrate
 
brown untidy bungalows
provide a kitch spectacle
of bruised plastic snowmen
and sparkle-eyed reindeer
leaping electric blue icicles
 
dwarfs climb a snow-ladder
looking whisky malicious
and ready to snatch back
any gift Santa might offload
 
we’re a couple of silhouettes
in front of a neon sleigh
warming ourselves on disdain
 
our New Year was a duty
and we are tired of caring
 
sorry for our bad temper
and what we failed to do
until the night hushes us
with an abracadabra of stars
 
 
Robin Wilson

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.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 285

Monday 15 July 2019, 20:13
Tinto
 
How a hill matters
watched from a train,
looking up from a book,
coming home from London,
sitting on the right side to see
the shining shallow Clyde,
 
cut like peat from the grassy
moors beyond the Uplands,
before the falls, before the port.
We walked once from our house
to Tinto, along pink lanes,
up the quiet side,
 
the prehistoric heave of a lone hill.
I went up on my own sometimes.
Living in the woods, needing
barren mass, an effort of height.
With you, eating cheese
and Marmite sandwiches at the top,
 
backs to the wind, settling
our bottoms on clunking stones,
imagining Ireland, Lochnagar.
It’s Scotland’s largest cairn,
as old as smelting. I wish I’d known
we were supposed to carry a rock
 
to the top each time. Instead
of bringing, I took a Tinto stone.
It lies here now on my sill in Canada,
where I live in the woods again.
One day I’ll return it to its cairn,
put Scotland back where it belongs.
 
Joanna Lilley

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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 284

Wednesday 10 July 2019, 16:23

Tiree: Ringing Stone

Boldly across the machair, springy underfoot,
then field gates to open, bolts icy in the wind,
or stringed shut with obscure knots; one
with twisted wire too stiff for fingers, climbed.
When I asked at the farm they said
‘It looks like nothing else around‘.

Past a small wind turbine silver-snipping
obsessively at a water-colour sky,
starlings rise from the marsh-grass,
skimming as a collective mind
through jostling air, in complex skeins
confusing as the path I try to find.

Following the sea-edge, fractal, fractured
by endless arguments between the waves,
eroding gales, lichens, grasses, sheep.
The path bends in a conjuror’s trick, its
reveal this shoulder-high egg,
skin-smooth, grey, a single heavy thought.

Fingers pulled across its micro-pitted face
read no message in its extra curves:
cupped hollows in the rock, made by
who knows who, once upon a time.
For sacrificial blood, good luck? From boredom,
‘I was here?’ The meaning’s gone.

I take a hand-sized pebble,
strike the surface, magic out a mellow note,
hanging in the air. Within its ‘clung’
the absent glacier groans,
this ringing stone polished and dropped,
to lie until the ice returns.

Ruth Aylett

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 283

Tuesday 9 July 2019, 11:40

Cowrie Cove

The cowrie gatherers - a mismatched pair
bundled in cast-off clothes -
bend down to scan the shingle,
ignoring glints of glass salted by years at sea,
flecks of shell, cartilage splinters,
old fragments of ship shrapnel,
garlands cast for the drowned,
rusted things once useful,
barnacles’ dust, amber rocks,
stones scored with arteries,
mollusc speckles, iridescent slivers,
squat cochleae polished by tides.
They edge forwards - stand up - stoop again -
imprisoned between work and hope
and the conflicting scale of the horizon.
 
Have they found the right curve of the bay,
the very crook of Lothian land
between Eyemouth and the Head,
that legendary place where year on year
the cowries gather?
Grey waves slurp the red rocks
promising, promising
small shells pocketed as labour’s solace:
eroded fingerprints, lost seven-years’ skin.

Nancy Campbell

This poem previously appeared in Painted, Spoken

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