Northwords Now

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The Weather Dance

by Greer Norquoy

An Eva Three Step, the weather’s fine,
warm sea breezes and bright sunshine
the stert o the weekly dance.
Cross me palm wi silver an yir in wae a chance
o good fortune at sea.
The horizon held the settan sun
swayan tae the rhythm o a St Bernard’s Waltz
movan gracefully.

Tuesday, lighthooses, Noup Head and Brough met,
in a push-me-pull-you tidal dance, The Westray Wan Step.
They winked at each ither, a blink oan the waater
I heard the ebb and flow o idle chatter,
a whisperan sea.
I cast a blanket o sea haar
a grey, Slow Air
playan hauntanly.

Wednesday I whistled up mild winds, a gentle gust
tae ruffle the waves and keek up a dust.
The Dashing White Sergeant tuk tae the floor
Noo the fiddler’s ready let’s begin wans more
a lively reel at sea.
I chuckled as I cast a spell
and stirred the pot
singan gleefully.

Thursday gales deterred the creeler as
nae siller passed tae this owld dealer
Jigs and hornpipes, strathspeys and reels
the dancers skrekked and keeked thir heels
a troubled sea.
White horses ran ashore
thir heids held high
Raised loftily.

I summoned up a weekend storm
a right hooley o a wind wis born
The wind looder an looder blew
the dancers queek and queeker flew
a frenzied sea.
A skirl, a dirl, an Eightsome Reel
laevan them reelan,

Thiv reeled, thiv set, thiv crossed an more
an cuvered iviry bit o shore
a summer storm blawn fae the west
will noo be tamed and laid tae rest
a settled sea.
Thi’ll cum tae me anither day
cross me palm an say,
“Be thanks tae thee.”

Thunder, lightning, sunshine and shower, I haad thim aal within me power.

Orkney Voices

The Orkney Voices Group as hid is noo wis started at the beginneen o 2018. The aim o hid wis tae mak a spaece whaar Orcadian spaekers could finnd weys o writan and spaekan aboot writeen.

The idea grew oot o a Scottish PEN project, Many Voices, that encouraged different marginalised groups ower Scotland tae finnd thir voices in creative writeen classes.

At the end o the project, the fokk in the Orkney group wanted tae keep gan, so the George Mackay Fellowship (GMBF) agreed tae tak is under thir umbrella. Wir supported be Orkney Library & Archive and Orkney Islands Council Culture Fund.

At the end o last year, efter meetan throughoot 2020 and 2021 online, we launched a collection o wark fae the members:Gousters, Glims and Veerie-orums, as the George Mackay Brown Centenary publication fae the GMBF. This haes led tae invitations tae read at a variety o events. In the next few months we will be appearing at Orkney Nature Festival, Orkney Folk Festival and St Magnus International Festival.

Gousters, Glims and Veerie-orums, price £10, is available to buy from Orkney Bookshops, Stromness Books & Prints,Tel: 01856 850565; and The Orcadian Bookshop, including online sales from their website:

The poems in this group are from members of the Orkney Voices Group.

Census: Sock KnitterPoem by Barbara Johnston
Island lifePoem by Sheila Garson
On the RoadPoem by Vera Butler
Recipe For a Good StormPoem by Ingrid Grieve
The NuggetPoem by Lorraine Bruce
The Weather Dance Poem by Greer Norquoy
Whit wir ye thinkan?Poem by Issy Grieve

Northwords Now acknowledges the vital support of Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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