Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Slippin Awa

by James Sinclair

Don’t du dare turn dee back
hit’ll be da last thing du does
croaked da corbie

Der’s me set afore da fire i da Nort Hoose o Setter
lang lived an spent, baerd streetchin ta me belt.
Dir’s been mony a turnin o da tide
fae we set wir fit apo dry laand at Heylor.
Da owldest boy, first mate apo da clippers,
wir Mary bidin in Weathersta wi a screed o bairns
an Jeemsie still wirkin sheep i da Setter hill,
his Ina keepin hoose an hame,
an me boannie Annie lang since geen ta her maker.

Neebin here, I feel da cowld climbin up me leegs
an da points o me fingers loss aa feelin.
I shout on Ina ta stoke da fire,
to bank up da grate wi paet eftir paet.
Fur aa hits lowe, I canna shak da starvation.

Fitful I slip in an oot o sleep, draemin
A’m stood dere apo da daek o da “Diana.”
Her masts riggit laek new, yarnin awa wi da skipper
an da bosun, sayin hit’s a fine sudderly breeze,
guid sailin wadder an da sails abune blatter i da wind.
Wi dat sam me boannie Annie comes oot o da focsle
as fine a  smile as A’m seen lichtin up her face
an her blue een sheenin, sayin…
“ Come du Jeemie, hit’s time du slippit da ropes.”


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