Northwords Now

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Sgrìobhadh ùr à Alba agus an Àird a Tuath

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The Wye Athin Chynges

by Edith Harper

Daunderin alang the beach makin siccar
tae haud awa fae the wee purpie scalders –
an amethyst necklace strung oot alang the tideline.
Sunsheen glisters like gowd oan the waves.
Nae soond bit the saft sough o the sea.
A guff fae a tangle o seaweed
that Ah kin taste oan ma saut-stung mou.

A at eence a stushie gets up fan boorach o seagows
stairts tae fecht oer a puckle fish or breid.
Syne, ae gow flees up an awa, a bittock in his yella neb
an the hale murtherous clamjamfrey gies chase.
The skraich o the gows cairried oan the Atlantic win
maks me think o the greetin o exiles, drien fae this lan,
fa traivelled athort the braid streetch o the ocean.

Ahint this strand lies the lan they left
fan it wis gien oer tae hedder an yowes.
An och, thon wis a dowie time.
Weel, the hedder’s aye there bit the yowes are lang gane,
an a the hooses an steadins nocht bit a rickle o stanes.
Noo the lan is hame tae groose an peesie-weeps,
towerists, waukers an midgie-ridden lochans.

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