r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: June 2016


ah kent yi wir cummin
an goin
thi ebb an flo
o ma
body clenchin
         letting go
         letting go

lets go
down tay thi harbour
ah sayz tay ma lassy
ma first born
see thi boats cummin in

an we stood taygither
at the endy thi peer
lookn outwards
trine tay mind oan
thi namesy thi boats

cum hame boy gordon
we called oot
cum hame girl mina
john L

cum hame two belles
storm drift
silver wave

cum hame sunrise
radiant queen

an they came
rite inuff
thi way they do
thi tiny black spex o thum
pulsin larger
taywords us

over wottur
sun frostid
like bathroom glass
hidin deep
domestic secrests

ma body clenched
and ah reeched doon
tay clasp
thi smilin hand
o ma first one

taygether we watched
thi big ball o sun
slip slowly
over thi ej
o oor wurld
and inty

Alison Flett, from Whit Lassyz Ur Inty

Fratres (Taking You With Me)

I paint the low hill until I admit
to how the light is on it.
Morning's coldest – working in thermals
and fleeces and socks in triplicate –
a lugworm, bundled bait
for the sky with the thunder-grey roe.

How is the light on the low hill now?
Blood through skin.
Once or twice a day sun opens the vein and
white is white of seagulls – sour Messiahs!
– then another two hundred
of Tommy's rainstained fleeces.


I said to Tommy (shifting stone)
whatcha doing and he said
playing at Nelson Mandela
what does it look like?


The layby's up for it, grips
your car, windows mossed with thin damp.
Headlamps chuck out sticky webs to slide
from the windscreen and your black/bright forehead.
Headlamps – grasses giant
and shrinking - and us knotted in the hill's hair.

Now you turn the key and the gate's sudden
red iron – the last moment we've netted.
You've picked a soundtrack, you want
to say to keep it light, don't get attached
('no angel') and I want to shock you agreeing
yeh keep it light
and I can carry you a while. For a day or two
I'll have this cumulus bruise (your passing weather)
on my lower lip.


Up here it turns out it's less simple
a ewe's fleece
stained by the season of her last tup.

Jen Hadfield, from Scottish Poetry Library

Humming Home

Home is calling me
I hear it in the engines humming
Upon my tracks a storm is coming, but I'm not running
I'll be safely in their arms when it comes knocking

And home is calling me
Asking me to lay my head
Release my thoughts and let them tread the softest ground
I am keen to watch them running for the hills

And I may join them
Dismiss my duties
Me and my demons
Are daring beauties

And at the horizon we'd stand
With hope in our hands
Casting our shadows, tell every man
"We are free! We are free!"

I do not want a war
But if you've come to claim my land
I cannot swear I'll be so kind to give in
I have dug my heart and soul into this soil

But you are wearing me down
I need to find a place to fall
I cannot rebuild these walls with every shell
I am asking you to let me be myself

For if I join you
Took up your duty
You and your demons
Obsessed with beauty

So soon would I run to the river
And take off my shoes
Swim for my life and call to the sky
"Set me free! Set me free!"

I had to leave
Return to where I speak the truth
Return to where I left my youth
It still plays on, home is calling me

Home is calling me
Home is calling me
Home is calling me

Rachel Sermanni

Air Tràigh Bhostaidh

Air mo làimh chlì
tha tobhta;
air mo làimh dheis muir a’ gluasad.

Tha ’ghainmheach bhàn a’ sìneadh
fo mo leth-thaobh ’s mi air m’ uilinn
gu a crìch, thall
aig cluas na geodhaidh;
’s tha ’ghrian geal oirre
a’ cuir lasair an aghaidh nan gràinean—
aodainn a thàinig air uachdair
latha soilleir
eadar dhà shluaisneadh
’s a dh’fhiosraich boillsgeadh a dh’eachdraidh a’ bhaile.

Air mo chùlaibh tha leas;
fo thuim ghlasa, suainte
às a’ ghréin
tha na daoine ’nan eachdraidh.
Ann an aodann a leacan, ’na seasamh
am fianais na tobhta
’s na mara
tha saoghal ’s a bhial fodha—
eachdraidh a’ dol am fuar-mheas.

Donald MacAulay, from Dreuchd An Fhigheadair / The Weaver's Task: a Gaelic Sampler  (ed by Crìsdean MhicGhilleBhàin/Christopher Whyte)

On the Beach at Bosta

An old house decomposes
to my left;
sea is travelling
to my right.

Pitched up on my elbow
I make a kind of cavern
for the crab-coloured sand. It skitters
away to the edge of the inlet
where the sun pins it white,
irradiating the grains’ faces—
faces which surfaced one day
between surges, gleamed and glanced
with the township’s history.

Behind me is a garden;
under fallow hillocks
tucked away from the sun
the people are in history.
Facing its stones,
within sight of the roofless house
and the sea,
a world swings into its antipodes,
and history turns over and over and over.

trans by David Kinloch