Thursday, September 27, 2007

The state of Scottish Poetry

Thanks to Colin Will for reminding me of this valuable resource.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Autumn has come to the scattered villages of the Upper Nith Valley. In my dacha, the log and peat fire has been roaring this last three days. How the children look forward to this time of year! Kind hearted creatures that they are, though, there are always tears when we go into the back room and select a favourite goose or bullock to slaughter for the spit. Autumn of course brings the festival of St Kevin when local misers are strangled and we give each other gifts of gravel in small hand embroidered boxes. St Kevin, as you probably know, is famous for his miraculous interventions on behalf of those suffering embarrassing itching, but less well known is the local superstitions concerning his potency as a fertility symbol. As famous local antiquarian Ansel Brown wrote in his seminal work “The Upper Nith Valley in the Pre-Christian Era’, “This variation of St Kevin shares much in its traditions and symbolism to the Dionysian Cults, for instance in some remote local areas it is still not uncommon to see priapuses erected in lay-bys and there is still a widely held belief in certain areas that on the feast days of St Kevin young women can become pregnant simply by drinking 14 bottles of Blue WKD and wandering about for a while in the streets."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Siege at Threave

Siege at Threave

Hold onto your weans,
Scottish Heritage have hoisted the red flag,
winds are cutting down the Dee
and the island is adrift,
rudderless in the merse.
Flagpoles bow, hellesponts blaze
in wild winter sun. We tie the kids
behind the caponier
but we have taken casualties:
the boatman has been wounded
by a piece of boiled ham,
and an old man is lost dooking for his flask.
No time to grieve: black clouds
are massing in the valley
and we squat behind sodden stone
for the worst to come.

Cmon Scotland

Scotland to win 3-1 with Alan Hutton to score the first goal. A mere 1,860-1. Here's something to make you think you're out there with the Tartan Army.