Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Makkin a Run Fur Hit

by James Sinclair

Me neb preenks an preens
fedders wi boot polish sheen
da neb dat’ll takk dee een

We waakened i da moarnin ta clear waater aa roond,
free fae da grip o ice. Da skipper shouted his orders.
We unfurled ivery inch o canvas as we med guid speed
ta da Suderd, sailin herd afore a Norderly breeze.
We covered mile apo mile, dodgin ta port an dan ta starboard
roond aboot icy-blue bergs an snowy-white flats.

Lookin on past  da boo da ice wis gadderin  fast afore wis..
Da order wis geen  ta licht da boiler. We clambered below
an owsed da last o da coal shivel by shivel in trowe da boiler door.
Bricht yallow lowe jimpit an sparkit afore wir een.
In nae time avaa we wir cled itil wir bare backs, swaet an coal dust
runnin doon da valley o wir riggy bane ta da crack o wir erses.
An whin da coal cam finished wi balled in
shappit up aers an new sawed spars.

Pistons shot back an fore, drivin a muckle flywheel
roond an roond an roond. Da shaft below wir feet
spun in a blur as hit forced da blades o da propellor
roond an roond an roond. Wir faces glowed redd
i da glöd o da fire. I’d niver felt dis haet in aa me days.

An whin we did hit da ice, I towt da Diana wid spleet in twa.
Astarn we guid at graet pace, dan cam ahead at full speed
duntin wis clean aff wir feet. Back an fore we guid
joost ee muckle batterin ram, tryin da hammer wir wey trowe.

Da mate cam doon da trap his face trippin him
an telt wis aa ta whet. We wir stuck fur da winter.
He left wis  ta sit, wir heids in wir haands an tak
in da last haet as da embers brunt doon ta ess.


The Hull whaleship Diana, trapped in the Greenland ice

A sequence of Shetland dialect poems as an interpretation of the ill-fated voyage of the Hull whaleship Diana, trapped in the Greenland ice over winter 1866-1867.

Back Fae Da EdgePoem by James Sinclair
Honest GraftPoem by James Sinclair
Laevin HamePoem by James Sinclair
Lang LippenedPoem by James Sinclair
LossPoem by James Sinclair
Lost SowlsPoem by James Sinclair
Makkin a Run Fur HitPoem by James Sinclair
MellishonPoem by James Sinclair
Mirrie DancersPoem by James Sinclair
Shaestin a FeynessPoem by James Sinclair
Shaestin wir PreyPoem by James Sinclair
Slippin AwaPoem by James Sinclair
StarvationPoem by James Sinclair
TrappitPoem by James Sinclair