Norma-Ann Coleman

Norma-Ann Coleman was involved in the formation of the Words on Canvas group in 2008 but her ekphrastic links with the National Galleries of Scotland began two years earlier when a reflective piece inspired by a Van Gogh painting won a prize at the NGS’s inaugural Creative Writing Competition. This gave her the motivation to write more and other competition successes followed. With a penchant for the quirky, she particularly enjoys writing darkly-surreal or humorous pieces — of poetry, prose and memoir. Her poem ‘The Hamecomin’ celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. It was subsequently published on the Scots Language Centre’s website.

Photo: Robert Coleman


Sightlines »

Ekphrastic poetry responding to new artwork at the festival

Thu 2 March - Sat 4 March | 13:00 - 17:00 | FREE | Public Library, Church Square, Meeting Room

Meet the Artist »

Meet some of the poets from the Sightlines exhibition

Fri 3 March | 15:45 - 16:30 | FREE | Public Library, Church Square, Meeting Room


The Hamecomin

(inspired by La Rue du tramway by Paul Delvaux)

As Ah traipsed hameward frae the Dean
Ma heid wis birlin at aw Ah’d seen.
Twa vauntie hizzies, nae claes atween
          Frae pow tae heel
Staunin by tramlines. Whit can it mean?
          Jades o the deil!

Tae help me think, Ah haed a dram
An driftit intae a kin o dwam.
Ah’m sittin in an Em’brugh tram
          In Princes Street.
Nae sign o roadworks or traffic jam
          The joab’s complete.

It staps ootside the Gallery gates
A man gets oan, a meenister wi skates,
He doffs his hat, congratulates
          The Titian pair,
Saved fur the nation frae furrin states
          Wi days tae spare.

Next, three wee gracefu nakit lassies
O marble white that nane surpasses
Lauchin an wavin their travel passes
          Step up on board.
The driver wipes the steam frae his glasses,
          Fair flummoxed, floored.

Then thon poetic chiel appears
Still a braw carl despite his years.
“Wul ye come tae ma hamecomin do?” he speirs
          Fu modestlie.
Oor bardie seems quite close tae tears
          When we agree.

The tram sweeps aff oan its squinty lines
Straucht tae the Dean where thon vauntie quines
Serve usquebae an the finest wines
          Fur Rab’s hamecomin.
Ah sing an dance till ma visage shines,
          Ma noddle’s thrummin.

Anither reel’s aboot tae start
When Ah wake up wi an aching heart.
Afore Ah go Ah must impart
          The moral o these tales.
Fowk that mix strong drink wi art
          Gang aff the rails!


Norma-Ann Coleman