r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: 2019


Elephant Sessions

Soraidh Slàn & The Rise

The official music video for the special edition version of Skerryvore's 'Soraidh Slàn & The Rise' featuring, and with all proceeds going to Oban High School Pipe band.

Download & Stream here -

Directed & filmed by Dòmhnall Eòghainn MacKinnon, the video features stunning drone footage of the Isle of Tiree and Oban, OHSPB performing at Oban’s iconic McCaig’s Tower, and the moment that inspired the project, when Skerryvore were joined by the pipe band on stage at Oban Live 2018.

Exclusively for the music video version, the opening moments of the track are accompanied by William Blake’s Introduction to the Songs of Innocence “Piping down the valleys wild”.
- Skerryvore

An Léimras / Harris Dance

Brìghde Chaimbeul
Dòmhnall Eòghainn MacKinnon


“It is a disgrace that in addition to the uncertainties that EU citizens have had to endure, over the last almost 3 years since the EU referendum, some have been denied their right to vote in the European Parliament Election. We want EU citizens in Scotland to feel settled and secure, and to continue to feel welcome and valued in Scotland. This debacle will do nothing to ease their concerns."  Michael Russell, Constitutional Relations Secretary in the Scottish Government - The Orkney News
The Electoral Commission said the "very short notice" from the government about the UK's participation in the elections had an impact on the process. - BBC News

Wishing Well

We are very proud to present the video for Wishing Well (Anniversary Release)[2018]. This beautiful work was created by the renowned Scottish filmmaker, Craig MacKay of Pictii.

Wishing Well was written as a tribute to Eilidh MacLeod from Barra who was tragically killed in the Manchester Arena Bombing [22 May 2017]. All proceeds from the release will go towards a fund for building a permanent memorial to Eilidh on Barra.

We hope the memorial when it is completed and in a small way, this song will help this talented, bright young piper and Highland Dancer be remembered far into the future.

Special thanks to Malcolm Jones for giving of his time and talent as a generous donation to create the new recording.

Thanks also to Craig MacKay, Alistair Ferguson and all the team at Pictii for making such a special film and to John MacDougall for the footage of Castlebay, Barra.

download purchased will help the memorial to Eilidh to be built. - Skipinnish

Across the Waters

Documentary, 2004. Four months pregnant, in 1955, a young woman left her village in Pakistan with her new husband and travelled to the remote and beautiful Scottish Outer Hebrides.
Fifty years later, her granddaughter, one of a few third generation Asians in her community, is getting ready to sail from the shores of the island. Three generations of women and an old Gaelic islander tell us a story of migration, exile and belonging in a poetic, reflective journey across two cultures. - Sana Bilgrami

TICKTALK: Ticks and Lyme Disease

LymeMap International

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Tick Maps
VectorNet EU

The “danger area” in Scotland for ticks is throughout Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Highlands and Islands, Argyll and Bute, the Western Isles and Moray. Smaller numbers of cases are reported in Orkney, Shetland and Caithness and Sutherland. -  excerpted from the article Pocket-sized tick removers to be handed out to those at risk of Lyme disease (The Press and Journal)

What's it like training and working as a rural GP in Scotland

Dr Gemma Munro, a Rural Fellow in Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands, talks about her experiences of GP Specialty training in Scotland and progressing through to working out of the Ballachulish Medical Practice. - NHS Scotland GP Recruitment

mental health and wellbeing in shinty

The Camanachd Association (CA) believe that we need to work towards creating a healthy environment that is inviting to all and which promotes the integration of healthy behaviours and values into the everyday activities of shinty. We are committed to promoting health and well-being and have provided a number of template policies to support our member clubs and associations with this goal. One of the highest profile aspects of health and wellbeing was recently covered in this half time feature by BBC Alba.


''Passage'' is a song by Ali Murray which was featured on a charity compilation album of musical artists from the Isle Of Lewis called 'Escape'.
Escape was the idea of Iline Murray and her family with a view to raising funds for the Western Isles Association for Mental Health, a small Scottish charity based in the Outer Hebrides, who help people affected by mental health issues.

She brought together a selection of local musicians who have freely donated their recording and performance time. A special mention should also go to the 'Wee Studio' who produced this CD at no charge.

This album is dedicated to anyone who has shared the darkness and needs to escape!

All future proceeds will go directly to the Charity.

Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May 2019

why mental health matters

Mind Your Head Shetland

Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May 2019

The Cianalas Project

Magaidh Smith presents her work as Gaelic Co-ordinator of the Arora (now called Cianalas). This film was screened at the first Community & Dementia Conference in Perth, by Life Changes Trust on 21st September 2016 - Cianalas An Lanntair

Autumn Collapse

We could not be more thankful to the drama students at Inverness UHI, who put together this wonderful piece of film, outlining the daily struggles that many of us face. The dedicated team put in a lot of time and effort to put this together and we think Autumn Collapse is simply fantastic. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.

Emotional distress and poor mental health can affect anyone, it is important to discuss things. Discussion itself doesn't solve everything, but it certainly helps.

We at Mikeysline have been supporting people in emotional distress since December 2015. We can be texted on 07779303303 in the evenings and through the night at weekends.

We also have a drop in centre in the city centre of Inverness called the Hive Project, where people can access peer support along with a cuppa.

Mental Health Awareness Week May 13 -19

Ullapool's Dolphin Arts Project

An Talla Solais's Dolphin Project works to support every person in the Ullapool area with a diagnosis of dementia, and their carers, through a variety of art-based activities delivered by a community of artists and volunteers.

The project provides regular sessions to suit different individuals and their families with weekly drop-in sessions, monthly discussion groups held in galleries and other community venues and monthly art sessions in Ullapool's two care homes
. - An Talla Solais

They Never Found Me

I can’t bring myself to seek the truth any more
Don’t ask me how I feel
I’m neither up nor down
Who’s keeping score anyhow?

I can’t face you fully or look you in the eye these days
Don’t think that I don’t want to
But my heart is sore
I’m looking down and down I go

I know two worlds
and I don’t know which is real
so I choose each word
and the darkness I conceal

Ah, oh! Where did he go?
High then low I’m still searching for my soul
So near but they never found me
and I’ll wait a while in my silent purgatory

I can’t bring myself to say I love you any more
Don’t think that I don’t want to
But on these words
I’m choking now somehow

I try to hold you but my arms are thin these days
Don’t think I should be leaned on
This beam’s been brought down
and down I go once more

I know two worlds
and I don’t know which is real
so I write this down
and hope the light I can reveal

Ah, oh! Where did he go?
High then low I’m still searching for my soul
So near but they never found me
and I’ll wait a while in my silent purgatory

and I'll wait a while
and I'll wait a while...

Mike Vass

Running at the Dark

Running at the Dark is the story of someone running alone into the night in their rural home landscape. The moonlight and the clear air free him from the stresses of every day life and lead him to believe he has escaped the passage of time and the inevitability of growing old. - Tide Lines

Late night, bad dreams,
Can’t sleep but I know where I need to go
Jump out of bed, throw on my shoes
To run to those hills that I’ve always known

Down the road, past the telephone line
This night was made for a moonlight serenade
The clear air starts to ease my mind
And I’m running alone but I am unafraid

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
I don’t believe that we’ll ever grow old
Oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh
Everything’s dark but I see clearly

I don’t believe that we’ll ever grow old
Why can’t you see it’s a lie we’ve been told
I don’t believe that we’ll ever grow old
Why can’t you see it’s a lie we’ve been told
Let go, we’re running at the dark

So many things that are hard to do
So many words that are hard to say
So many chances to be straight and true
But I’ve always loved romance and fantasy

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
I don’t believe that we’ll ever grow old
Oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh,
Everything’s dark but I see clearly

I don’t believe that we’ll ever grow old
Why can’t you see it’s a lie we’ve been told
I don’t believe that we’ll ever grow old
Why can’t you see it’s a lie we’ve been told
Let go, we’re running at the dark

a museum to clearance

Strathnaver Museum is situated on the north coast of Scotland. It is based in the former Parish Church of Columba in Bettyhill and opened as a museum in 1976. Its main theme is the tragic story of the Highland Clearances, it has a room dedicated to the Clan Mackay and also tells the story of crofting life. The ancient Pictish Farr Stone is situated nearby.

a memorial to clearance

James Crawford, Scotland from the Sky writer and presenter, and Publishing Manager at HES, explores the ruined township of Shiaba on the Isle of Mull in this clip from the second series of BBC's Scotland from the Sky. - Historic Environment Scotland

Wild Camping in a Campervan in Scotland.

What exactly is the law in Scotland pertaining to off-road camping in a campervan or motorhome? Is it covered by Scotland's progressive access legislation? It's a complex issue but this is it as far as I understand it.- Cameron McNeish

Know the Code Before You Go

a scourge of ticks: armed, dangerous, global

A plague is rising.
In dozens of countries.
In your backyard.

We have underestimated the danger
Of ticks.

Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change is the first book to explore the link between a warmer world and the explosion of what has become an everyday menace in the lives of millions: ticks. - Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Rathad Chaluim / Calum's Road

Beautiful tune written by Donald Shaw, as a tribute to Calum MacLeod, an islander from Raasay, who spent years building a road from his croft to the main road, after the local council refused to do so for him.  - Louise Bichan

to find out more about life on Raasay, please visit Life at the end of the road

a three month head start for ticks

From 23rd June 2017: "You know it’s a bad year when it’s not even July and you’ve already lost count of how many ticks you’ve pulled out. Yep, found another one today. This time on my arm. Removing it asap is key but you don’t want to damage or stress it in the process otherwise you increase the risk of it passing infection onto you. Ideally it should be alive and well after you’ve removed it…..and as you can see, this one was most definitely alive and well this afternoon after I removed it, and kindly obliged in being filmed next to a 1p piece to show the scale." - Benvironment

A Guide to the Shetland Folk Festival

The Shetland Folk Festival is the highlight of the musical year for many local and visiting artists, as well as a fantastic weekend for everyone who enjoys a good spree! (We're known for that here)

Here's a closer look at the Shetland Folk Festival that prides itself on its inclusivity - a festival that includes all parts of Shetland, adults and children, local and visiting artists. - Promote Shetland

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

It's that time of year again and for those of us living in the UK there are lots of opportunities to support LDUK's third #WakeUptoLyme campaign, including ordering free awareness packs to distribute in our communities, hosting awareness events, and getting vocal on social media! 
This year's campaign aims to raise awareness on how to prevent tick bites, how to safely remove ticks and the importance of early treatment for those people who become unwell following a bite.
If you would like to get involved in raising awareness on this devastating disease, it's not too late to order your free LDUK awareness pack. Just click here!

You can also write to your GP, pharmacist and other health professionals and ask them to take the RCGP e-learning course on Lyme disease which was co-produced and funded by Lyme Disease Action. A letter template can be found here. This course navigates the GP to recognise the rash, early symptoms and late manifestations of Lyme disease in primary care. It equips the GP to be able to offer advice on prevention of Lyme disease and begin appropriate treatment to minimise the complications of this condition.
The Highland Council's Tooled up for Tick Time provides free tick removal cards and information leaflets as well.
There will be more information provided here throughout the month. In the meantime, please join us in educating the nation to become tick aware and to Wake Up to LymeThank you!

Go Wild

An inspiring short film on why we should all go wild.

A follow up to iWalk
Both made for BMC TV by the late, talented Ben Winston

A Home for Nessie

Loch Ness, Scotland:
In the wake of Brexit, the Loch Ness Monster might be forced to move.

Worried about her uncertain origins, a group of artists have filed an application for permanent residency on Nessie’s behalf.  - The Doing Group
A Home for Nessie

Voices for Scotland

"Voices for Scotland is a new non-party, civic organisation campaigning for Scottish independence.
Its aim is to facilitate big, open conversations about Scotland’s future through discussions with people who haven’t made up their minds about independence or who support the union but have had their faith undermined by recent events.
Voices for Scotland will give people from all walks of life the opportunity to tell their stories and have their voices heard about the country they want to live in."

The Artist Painting The Climate Change Storm She Sees On The Horizon

27-year-old artist Ellis O’Connor is not interested in idyllic. Her unique lifestyle as a young crofter revolves entirely around the volatility of the elements. Netflix and chill isn’t an option. With sheep to gather and crops to tend - she has to face the storm no matter what.

This incredible, raw and (for her) everyday force is what she strives to paint. As a younger artist, she travelled to Svalbard and got a front row seat to the devastating effects of climate change. This was the wake up call she needed.

This reinforced the very reason she wanted to make work. Ellis wanted to show the world what was coming, but just as importantly: “remind the world what it already had”.  BBC Scotland / Loop

North Uist

What do you want from life? Less stress? More time to think? More time to look after your patients? A chance to connect with a small tight knit community? A chance to live closer to nature…. and further away from the traffic jams and frenetic lifestyles of modern existence? - Doc Wheeler

Earth Day 2019: Protect Our Species

The Tigers of Scotland is a feature length (63 minutes) documentary by Wild Films Ltd and narrated by Iain Glen. It focuses on the fragile existence of Scottish Wildcats, their status and what conservation efforts are being undertaken to ensure their survival. Bringing knowledge of their existence and awareness of their status to a wider audience is crucial to preventing their extinction. - Wild Films

Did you know there's coral in Scottish waters? Discover how a barren seabed transformed into a vibrant seascape.  -  #OurBluePlanet

Red squirrels were once common throughout the UK. Tragically, they are now one of our rarest mammals and are missing from most of the areas where they once lived.

There are many forests in the north-west Highlands that could support red squirrels, but as they can't cross open ground, they can't get there without our help.

Our Red Squirrel Project will move small numbers of red squirrels from areas where they are thriving, and create ten new populations, free from grey squirrels and other threats. - Trees for Life

Extraordinary footage from an investigation carried out by OneKind, League Against Cruel Sports and Lush has revealed the brutal, military style mass killing of Scotland’s mountain hares on grouse moors. Campaigners supported by Chris Packham are calling on the Scottish Government to take immediate action and end the killing. - Chris Packham

Hen Harrier Day aims to address a wide range of issues related to the conservation of hen harriers and discuss ways we can reverse their fortunes in the Scottish Highlands and the general UK upland landscape, as well as celebrate these beautiful birds.

Free events are run all over the UK to raise awareness about this issue with stalls from RSPB, Police Scotland, SSPCA, OneKind, SOC and others.

Speakers at Hen Harrier Day Highlands 2017:
Dr Mark Avery - Author, blogger and conservationist.
Allan Bantick - former chair of Scottish Wildlife Trust
Ian Thomson - Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland.
Peter Argyle - Cairngorm National Park Authority Convener
Harry Huyton - Director of OneKind.
Ruth Tingay - Raptor Persecution UK
and Henry the Hen Harrier!

EARTH DAY 2019: Protect Our Species
EARTH DAY 1970 - 2019: No Time To Waste

As dangerous as climate change | Life Support | 01

She Loves Me (When I Try)

Mairearad & Anna
music and lyrics by Dougie MacLean

in memory of my 'Quiet Man' (1946-2015) 


From the Academy Award® winning team behind THE WHITE HELMETS (2016) and VIRUNGA (2014), EVELYN documents the story of a family overcoming the unthinkable. On a walking odyssey across the United Kingdom, they confront a past they’ve been unable to talk about, whilst simultaneously repairing the fractures in their own relationships.

Director Orlando von Einsiedel turns the cameras on himself, as he and his parents and siblings  embark on a journey in remembrance of their brother and son, Evelyn, who took his own life over a decade ago.

Along the way, they are faced with the realities of a walking mission - camping, exhaustion, the wet and cold. Yet despite these, and the challenges that come with remembering what happened to Evelyn, there are moments of happiness and humour as they recall the good memories that they buried alongside the painful ones.

Part quest film, part road-trip, part memoir, EVELYN seeks to address the past, in order to find some peace in the present, and look to the future.  - Evelyn Movie

Daffodil Tea at Foulis Castle

The Journey So Far

Colin Prior is known worldwide for his panoramic images of the majestic mountains of Scotland. Joe Cornish will talk to Colin about the experiences making these images and about the other projects that have captivated him since. - On Landscape

Brekken Beach, Nort Yell

A mile aff we catch a glisk
o Brekken beach: webbed
atween headlands, a glansin arc
o ancient shalls
sun sillered.

Waves aff Arctic floes
bank in; dey shade fae cobalt
tae a glacial green; swall
an brack, rim on rim
o lipperin froad.

We rin owre dunes
crumplin smora,
fling aff wir shön
birze sand trowe taes
dell an bigg it;
shaste da doon draa
o da waves, loup
der hidmost gasps.

Abune wis, solan plane an plummet
an on da cliff, a tystie
triggit up in black and white
gawps at wir foally.

Da sun draps doon ahint his keep
an we man leave
an Eden aert
ta him.

Christine De Luca, from Voes and Sounds

Global Ocean Treaty

To the UK government:
"From climate change to overfishing - our oceans are facing vast and multiple threats. We call on you to do everything in your power deliver a strong Global Ocean Treaty and help create a network of ocean sanctuaries across our blue planet."  - Greenpeace

Please add your name here to support ocean sanctuaries

To the United Nations:
"We, the people of the world, ask you to create a global and legally binding UN agreement as a priority. This agreement must, by 2030, stop the leakage of plastics into our oceans. The agreement should: (1) set strict goals for pollution reduction in each UN member state and (2) instruct each state to create national action plans to meet these goals."   -  WWF

 Please add your name here to support the fight against plastic pollution   

Brigh a' Chiuil / Return to the Voice

Internationally acclaimed, multi award-winning Song of the Goat Theatre (Fringe First winners in 2012 & 2004) have been commissioned by Summerhall to create a new performance drawing on Scotland’s ancient musical traditions. Return to the Voice has been inspired by laments for death and love, working songs, story-telling songs, psalms, wedding songs, and songs of exile. It will be a passionate exploration of the spiritual and human importance of memory and music, staged in the stunning surroundings of St Giles Cathedral. - Culture.pl
The show was performed in the 2016 Edinburgh Festival to great acclaim.

To the Horizon, Sir

Go my lover and don't come back
Leave your life you don't need that
It might be fire or hell to find
But in my sleep there's a different light

They sniggered and laughed when I told them so
There's a place where we don't grow old
In your bones there's a nagging sound
It cripples and burns if you don't let it out

Make haste now
Don't waste time
Please take this land of ours

To the horizon
Set sail now
Drift over and don’t come home

Iain Morrison

'a quartet of conspicuous talent'

Corran Raa

Forgotten Women Writers: Jane Austen's Scottish Sisters

Elizabeth Hamilton, Mary Brunton, Susan Ferrier and Catherine Sinclair were all well-known authors in their day but are now largely forgotten. NLS Rare Books Curator, Helen Vincent introduces these fascinating women writers and tells us why they're worth re-discovering. - National Library of Scotland

Why Are We Still Reading Jane Austen (But Not Mary Brunton)?

Eriskay - The Most Unique Football Pitch in The World?

"I do this because I love the club and the island"
Welcome to Eriskay - home to a lovely football team and a remarkable pitch - A View From The Terrace, on  BBC Scotland.

Voe & Mavis Grind

The village of Voe lies 30km north of Lerwick and nestles at the head of Olnafirth, almost 10km from the open sea. Its traditional buildings and location give it a very Scandinavian look. The old Voe pier was a busy herring station back in the 1800s, and the village now boasts a new pier and small marina, as well as one of Shetland's network of traditional camping böds. Set back from the road and surrounded by trees is Voe House, a category B listed building built in the 1700s for the estate tenants. On the north east side of Olnafirth sits the Voe Kirk, unusual in that it's panted pure white. It was built to replace Olnafirth Kirk which dates from the early 18th century and its ruins can still be seen close by. Many newer houses have been built on this side of the firth, providing easy access to Brae to the north, the Sullom Voe Terminal to the north east, and Lerwick to the south.
From here we head to Mavis Grind, the narrowest part of Mainland Shetland (only 75m) and the gateway to Northmavine. On the west side of the road is the Atlantic, and to the east the head of Sullom Voe which will lead you to the North Sea. Boats were once hauled across Mavis Grind to save having to sail or row around the north coast of the Mainland, and it's said to be the only place in Britain where you can throw a stone from the Atlantic into the North Sea! Sullom Voe is the longest in Shetland at over 11km from Mavis Grind to Yell Sound. Although famous for its oil terminal, initially built in the 1970s and now the largest in Europe, Sullom Voe was a major flying boat station during the Second World War. - Rory Gillies

Scotland: The Big Picture

“We reached the wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.” Aldo Leopold (1949)
What does it mean to "Think Like a Mountain"?

When Aldo Leopold, the American hunter turned conservationist, shot his last wolf, his relationship with wild nature changed. Leopold came to understand the role of apex predators in an intricate web of life that connects all living creatures. He called his new philosophy Thinking Like a Mountain.
To think like a mountain means having an understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of life. Shoot a wolf and you remove not only an individual animal, but its impact on the wider ecosystem, from mountain summit to ocean floor.
Our #ThinkLikeAMountain community unites a diverse group of people who see the potential in a wilder Scotland, where nature in all its complexity is reawakened, where natural processes drive vibrant living systems and where sustainable nature-based business supports thriving communities. In coming together our voice is amplified and the case for land, rivers and oceans teeming with life, becomes stronger.
Think Like A Mountain, See the Big Picture. - Scotland the Big Picture


Bhithinn nam dhotair, bheirinn leigheas ’son do phian,
bhithinn nam thidsear, chuirinn faclan air do mhiann,
bhithinn nam bhràthair athair piuthar màthair nighean mac eudail
ann an saoghal far ’n robh mo bheatha prìseil’s feumail.

Nam dhùthaich bha mi beannaicht’, gam bhiathadh le gràdh
ach san dùthaich sa tha agam ri bhith cadal air an t-sràid:
sa Bhroomielaw, sa Bhowery, fo Dhrochaid Hungerford,
mo làmhan dathte le rotach’s m’aodach cho rag ri bòrd.

Chan eil mi ’g iarraidh bhith an seo ach chan eil roghainn agam,
thillinn ach chan eil dachaigh agam air fhàgail.
Am faca tusa riamh dròn, cogadh catharra,
beairteas fàgail do dhùthcha anns a’ mhargaid dhiabhalta?

Bidh am First World cliobhar creachadh stòras às gach tìr
gus nach eil sion air fhàgail unnt’ ach gainnead agus dìth.
Bha dùil agam gun robh mi deis ’son gach cnap-starra ‘s strì.
Cha robh, ach ge b’oil ler taigh na galla, bidh mi aon là a-rithist.

Ach chan e seo na chì thu ’s tu air do shligh’
ach cupan cofaidh Subway, làmh neo-airidh dhut sìnt’.
Chan eil m’ Issue mòr gu leòr dhut; ’s mi nam shuidhe ro theann
chan eil truas unnad, ’s skiver, scrounger, shirker, economic
migrant nad cheann.

Tha mi tuigsinn g’ eil thu ‘g obair gach mionaid dhen an là
gus Louboutin chur air do chasan ‘s iPhone nad Iàimh,
no fiù ’s do chlann a chur gu spoil, do phàrantan a chumail beò,
le prìs gach rud ag èirigh ˋs caitheamh na th’ unnad de dheò.

Ach chan e carthannas no sochairean air a bheil mi an dìth –
chan eil mi ˋg iarraidh dad bhuat ach cothrom dhomh fhìn.
Nam dhùthaich bha mo theachdraidh nam làmh fhìn,
’s ge b’ oil le ur taigh na galla bithidh aon là a-rithist.

Nad àite, cha bhithinn-sa cho coma-co-dhiù,
oir co-dhiù tha mise tuigsinn mar a chaochlas gach cùis.
Mì-fhortan bh’ ann a dh’fhàg mi ‘n seo mar sgudal air an t’sràid,
‘S tuigidh mi gum fàgadh fortan thus’ an seo nam àit’.

Chan fheum e bhith mar seo, faodaidh sinn uile fàs nas beartaich’,
tha sinn ceangailt’ ach chan eil sin ri ràdh gu bheil mi ‘g iarraidh
do bheartas-s’,
ach an cothrom a bhith beò, gus cothrom a chruthachadh
dhomh fhin ’s dham charaidean’s aon là,ˋs dòcha, dham

Cha tàinig mise beò tro bhochdainn, fhòirneart ’s murt
‘son bhith lobhadh anns a’ ghuitear taobh a-muigh ur cùirt;
chan e stataistig a th’unnam a thèid aithris air Tbh.
Cha d’ rugadh mi air do shràidean; cha bhi mi beò orr’ a-rithist.

Pàdraig MacAoidh, from Struileag / Shore to Shore, ed. Kevin MacNeil


I could be a doctor, give you pills for your pain,
I could be a teacher, put words to your desires,
I could be a father, brother, sister, mother, daughter, son, lover
in a world where my life was thought useful and worthwhile.

In my country I was blessed, surrounded by love,
but in this country I’m left to rot on the streets,
on the Broomielaw, in the Bowery, under Hungerford Bridge,
my hand stained with streetgrit and my clothes stiff with grime.

I don’t want to be here, but what choice do I have?
I’d go home, but there is no home waiting for me.
Have you ever seen drones and civil wars,
wealth leaking away from your country in the bloody market?

The First World strips resources, efficiently, from each land
until there’s nothing left in them but need and want.
I thought I was ready for every obstacle and campaign;
I wasn’t, but despite all your fuck offs, I will be again.

But that’s not what you see, when you’re walking the streets,
but a Subway coffee cup, and the undeserving poor.
My Issue’s not big enough, I sit a bit too near you,
and you have no pity for us skivers, scroungers, shirkers, economic

I understand that you work for every minute of the day,
to keep Loubotin on your feet and an iPhone in your hand,
or just to send your kids to school or keep your parents alive,
with the price of everything rising and consuming your life.

But it’s not charity or benefits that I need –
all I want from you is my own opportunities.
In my country my future was in in my own hands,
and despite all your fuck offs it will be again.

In your shoes I wouldn’t be quite so complacent
because at least I understand how tables can turn.
It was misfortune that left me flytipped on the street,
and I know that fortune could take you instead of me.

It doesn’t have to be like this, we can all get richer,
we’re connected but that doesn’t mean I want your riches,
just the chance to be alive, to create my own chances
for myself, for my friends, and maybe one day for a family.

I didn’t come alive through poverty, violence and murder
to be here outside your court rotting in the gutter.
I am not a statistic to be reported on TV;
I wasn’t born on the streets; I won’t be alive on them again.

Peter Mackay, from Struileag / Shore to Shore, ed. Kevin MacNeil