Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Shaestin wir Prey

by James Sinclair

Don’t du shakk dee knave
A’ll joost bide me time
fur du’ll fade, du’ll waeken

Ower da side wi guid, settin wir erses apo da taft.
A weel practiced shiv wi da boathuek
an wir aff, slidin da aers i da waater.

Shetlan men weel wint wi da pull an pech,
baetin wir fit apo da tilfers ta keep time
as we slippit an grippit da waater time an time again,

laek feet skippin ta da fiddle player’s tune -
first ta two step, back step dan da Foula reel
makkin grund aa da time wi a swing an a lift.

Dan wir lugs could mak oot da brak o air, da spoot o wind.
Da killer, stood stock still i da focsle
slippin go his harpoon wi wan practised swing.

Da barb wis gone, coils o ropp jimpit
oot o da locker amidships. A yell “ Wir fast “.
Da skipper in wan aesy move turned a bite apo da cleat,

an sat back at da tiller, haddin ticht.
Da ropp geed a snyirk, takkin a dunt, I towt
dat da boat wid brak in twa as hit spanged bar ticht.

We med full tilt as we wir towed flat oot
skeetin oot o control across da waater. Dan wi ee roar
we aa dug wir aers i da waater, slammin on da brakes,

an though we heard not a peep
I shivered wi dat silent skirl,
minded a sail filt wi a gale o sufferin.


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