Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Whit wir ye thinkan?

by Issy Grieve

Yir knackered the entire row o stabs.
Did ye no watch th irt o the wind?
Whit wir ye thinkan?

Ye trailed the glowan knave o gress along the ditch.
Did ye no think tae luk ahint ye?
Whit wir ye thinkan?

Ye thowt hid wis weet in the buddum.
Did ye no notice hoo high the flames wir lickan?
Whit wir ye thinkan?

Ye herd the peeng o the wires tightnan.
Did ye no see me stabs gaan black?
Whit wir ye thinkan?

Ye sa the reek driftan across the road.
Did ye no twig hid wis ferfal thick?
Whit wir ye thinkan?

Ye can hear me noo, no more burnan.
No more owld gress in the ditches fur you.
Ye hiv new stabs tae drive, a new fence.
That’s whit am thinkan!

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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