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. 320

Tuesday 23 June 2020, 14:13

Windows Lit in the Evening
 
What are these houses about?
Why are they there at all?
And why when they turn on the lights
they close the blinds?
If you carefully peek through
there are people cooking
or resting
TVs on
confronted by empty couches
toys laid on the floor
coats, scarves carelessly hung somewhere.

Why are the people having windows looking to the fields
if they close the blinds at sleep?
What’s the view of their dreams
if not a valley
lit in the sunshine
and lit in the sunsets;
a topic to write about.

The mist is touching on the ground
harvesting the soil
growing itself to shapes of imagination
and hallucination
as they are seen
focused-less
behind steamed-up windows
underneath the numbing lights.

By the time sun breaks in
the ghostly figures will have disappeared
as they always do
leaving behind
hunted minds
moist land
and numb feelings.

Eleni Kotsira

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. 319

Monday 22 June 2020, 19:41

Skirmish at Knockan Crag

The bairns o' the Cambrian dynasty,
the quartzites and limestones,
in Assynt they had gathered
to meet their foe head on.

They waited and they waited
and time was hanging slow.
No matter how they baited,
the gneisses did not show.

They clustered for a council
around the Knockan Crag.
Outliers on the horizon
had spotted something bad.

To the west the oceans parted,
their wait would soon be o'er,
the Lewisian Gneisses were gathering
and in time would breach thon shore.

Young Cambrians stood undaunted,
they did not fear the flow
of the old rocks on manoeuvre,
as they pressed in, sure but slow.

But they'd failed to spot the danger
and before the chance to blink (a short geological timescale)
the Moine was thrusting o'er them
and the Cambo's were doomed to sink.

Then it was all over,
but it all seemed upside down
to the geo experts gathered,
of whom many could only frown.  

Ian Mcneish

Poet's note: The inspiration is the Moine Thrust: this is the location where geologists first discovered that tectonic plates do not necessarily lie youngest to the top. The poem is set as a battle for supremacy of the old and the new plates as they merged a long, long time ago.

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. 318

Friday 19 June 2020, 14:10

Breakfast on Union St

Your early rise
propels me into the day too soon.
Half awake, half asleep, resentful
as we step out into the morning’s silent frost.

Commuter breath steams the Victorian station.
We huddle beneath her great steel bird-cage roof
‘til I lose you for the day
among the smart suits and shiny shoes.

In a nearby café I take the early shift
scribbling on the couch by the window.
Dream warmth, and music seeps through
the grind of rattling beans.

Then, the waitress arrives
and a cocoa smile blooms
on the face of my foaming cappuccino.
I smile back.

Eileen Farrelly

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. 317

Thursday 18 June 2020, 16:57

An Uamh Bhin

Fingal’s cave
A volcanic cathedral
Risen out of the Hebridean Atlantic
Staffa’s solidified lava, contracted and fractured
Fashioned into honed hexagonal steps and lofty basalt pillars

Lightly landing on the precarious jetty void of day trippers
We followed the mystical path of matte black hexagons
Guillemots and gannets for company
Greeted by the great doorway
A gash in the pilaster rocks
A vast vestibule,
stranger than
Sagrada Familia

Transfixed
Senses enthralled
This cavernous basalt basilica
With its eerie echoing emerald liturgy
Walls and ceilings lined with intricate carvings made by the sea

Magnificence beyond belief, mystical concertos of crashing, sloshing waves
Luminous green water stirring like a velvet cloth, slashed with foam
Iona’s Abbey framed in the preternatural doorway

Curiously
Coloured fresco ceilings
Like glorious bygone Byzantine mosaics
Uamh Bhin – the transcendental, supernatural ‘melodious cave’.

Amanda Barge

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. 316

Tuesday 16 June 2020, 13:07

The Course of Life

A river is a one-way kind of thing.
It starts off small,
somewhere nobody has ever heard of,
sometimes, somewhere with no name to speak of,
some place no-one wants to visit at all.

Before you know it, it’s all grown up.
On a map,
with capital letters,
and some (added) responsibilities.

If you are lucky,
you get to see your river meet the sea.
See it twinkle and rage.
Watch it lap, look back and wave.

Sarah L. Dolan

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. 315

Monday 15 June 2020, 13:41

go-around

The flying fish rise in silence,
at thirty-five hundred feet,
wind shielded in a near gale,
until they skein by my side.

Condensing like a myth
born from Maol’s upland ocean,
in crisp naval monochromes,
three dozen barnacles bank as one.

They vee downwind southerly,
leaving me grinning like a loon.
It’s only a practice ring-around,
but their pinions sing for Svalbard.

Steve Smart

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