Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Maois (n.)

i.m. Ciaran Carson

by Pàdraig Macaoidh

Leth-mhìle sgadan ann an lìon, a’ flodraigeadh air cùl d’ eathair. An lìon fhèin. Cuideigin a sheallas dhut Tìr a’ Gheallaidh. Fuaim nan itean a’ plapadh nan ròpan. Nach tu a’ tha fàs sean? Ann an Albais ’s e mease a th’ann: a’ ciùineachadh, a’ sèimheachadh. Mease neo maze. Lean ort. Dèan prìosan ded gheallaidhean. Lorg slighe às.

Five hundred herrings in a net, floating behind your skiff. The net itself. Someone who will show you a Promised Land. The sound of their fins plapping the ropes. Aren’t you growing old? In Scots it is a mease: to pacify, to calm. Mease or maze. Go on yersel. Make a prison from your promises. Find your way from it.