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 293

Wednesday 1 April 2020, 09:45

Seven Stanzas for StAnza (2020)

I learned in-line rhym-
ing three beers from resolved to absolve,
where a bard in the bar
is worth twa in the Byre
and I guess you’re right: pace yersel.

I learned that flat white can be quiet
a crowd at an open mic can’t shout too loud,
as the mic is always too high or too low,
murmuration’s no measure of volume
and I know you’re right: watch yersel.

I learned that a shard in the foot
of a verse cuts me worse
than a razor clam out on West Sands,
single malt is no measure of volume
and of course you’re right: mind yersel.

I learned that it was time for bed
when the poet said “I don’t dance,
no really, I’m good”
though we knew that they would
and you’ll surely say: take a look at yersel.

I learned no one sings happy birthday
even once at the sink after twelve
and the gulls here crow free with the room
and coffee and coffee it bears repetition
though I know that you’ll say: well hell mend ye!

And like the bard said, it is time for bed,
but my poem which sings in the shower
doesn’t dance on the page
and still dies on the stage
and I hear you say: well I telt yer.

As I head for a beach that is harder to reach
where makars skim stones whistling
sand in their shoes breaking waves of
lucidity down at the blade of the drinkers’
moon, I am cutting this line about what you might say
in the light of advice at a workshop.

David Bleiman

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 292

Tuesday 31 December 2019, 15:39

Midnight In Stranraer

Oyster catcher hour
in the midnight port,
delving sleekit through
thick velvet blackcurrant;
phweeps ringing sweetly
through sleepytime streets.

No lime northern lights
to outline the dives
against the skyline.
No splintered doorway
exposing Heaven’s riches;
God flashlit in repose.

Just the lonesome echoes
of a luckless flyer, whose
hopes of a meal are fading
on the grey of the breeze.

Still she eases over
garage, police station,
with a sharp imitation
of a fat, happy constable,
blowing blue faced
on his wornout whistle.

This will be a quiet one,
save for the piper in the sky,
waiting impatient for a catch
in the bask of moonshine.

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 291

Sunday 1 December 2019, 10:39

North Berwick Law

The wind gasps, exasperated;
scattering my seaweed curls,
the waves scraping my cheeks,
obscuring endless views so blue,
a map that unfurls on and on.
The guttural gorse scent,
overpowering below, blasted away
by the salted gust that whispers
tales of hermits, wars and prisoners –
histories woven in its midst.
My voice sings out, swallowed instantly,
anonymous and fleeting
in this lyrical landscape –
an uninhabited island forgotten
in a beautiful immensity.

Kirsty A. Niven

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 290

Sunday 10 November 2019, 12:45

The Iolaire

After four years of brutal war eager to board the Iolaire
The boat laden with too many homeward sailing for Hogmanay

The fires were bright, their clothes airing food prepared, all for welcoming
In sight of home broken on rocks dragged down by sodden great coats

A wailing began as news came on carts we brought their bodies home
One lost her words, was mute, silenced we could no way be comforted

Religion gave the only grace singing psalms a keening in waves
It is why we are the way we are not easy for the survivors

Homeward sailing for Hogmanay the boat laden with too many
Eager to board the Iolaire after four years of brutal war

Mary Thomson

The Iolaire left Kyle of Lochalsh on 31 December 1918 for Stornoway, carrying naval reservists coming home on New Year's leave or demobbed from the Royal Navy. Early on the morning of 1 January 1919, approaching Stornoway in the dark, she struck the Beasts of Holm and was wrecked, with the loss of some 205 lives; only 75 passengers survived. Some of the words in the poem are the islanders own, taken from the BBC TV documentary “In Sight of Home: The Iolaire”

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 289

Saturday 2 November 2019, 14:13

Argyll November

 

The creel boat races before the whitecaps
The wren clings to the skeleton bough
The stars gone from the skies rammed black
Tonight we hear an older world growl
 
The cattle are come down off the high ground
The paths scoured bare by stiff leaves
The wind hammers through hard from Ireland
Tonight we may know little ease
 
The broad gusts are outrun by the rainclouds
The waves dissolve the sea to ragged foam
The loch washes up over the shore roads
Tonight we stand together alone
 
The forked coasts of the unflinching margin
The season remorseless in relentless change
The time for respite in safe harbour
Tonight we are at the end of our range
 
The haven reached and lone wreck overcome
The shelter shared from the gales and rain
That older world tells us through the trees and stones
Tonight we must put the stars back again.
 
Peter Russell

 

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 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 »

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