Scots Poems



Gouged lang afore this battered isle
Wis ga’en a name tae caa its ain,
The caves o the King gape like wounds
Cut deep intae Arran’s armoured side.

Here, generations o men hae carved
Thir mark intae sanstane waas.
Here, time hides in the dark, darin aa
Tae enter an feel its cal embrace.


Anither tide cackles alang
Arran’s ragged edge,
As if laffin at
The attempts o men
Tae fashion a hame
In this barren place,
Whar even the hardest hert
Wid fin sparse cumfirt.

An yet, wun life an waar
Conspire agin ye,
An aa ye crave is shelter,
Then even a cave
Can seem a palace,
Wi saan deep as ony carpet,
An each stane the saftest pilla,
Fit fir a Kings heed.

The froth o another tide
Bursts alang this cauld
Scottish shore-line.

At this precise meenit,
Thir is nae ither soond,
Even the gulls are quaet.

A lone stalk o seaweed,
Like a loaded quill pen,
Presses intae wet saan.

The moment hings, an then,
Jist as anither page
Threatens tae slowly turn,

A finger o a wave rises,
As if ready tae shoosh
A stirrin wean.

The forest is wunnin agane
In its ain relentless wey.
It is pullin this auld cottage
Back intae its deeper sel,
Reclaimin this precious space,
Slowly restorin the balance.

It is natyir that is crackin
Thae waws, its weighty growth
That his broken through the roof.
But, there is no real daith here,
Thir is only life that can
Nae longer be held at bey.

Ye arrived here by chance,
Noo tak the time tae look aroon.
Touch new leaves, smell wild floors,
Feel the air, fresh frae the forest.
Tak yer leave in yer ain guid time, 
This is nae need tae snek the gate.

Stair Park, a caul December efternuin,
Stranraer, at hame tae the micht o Forfar.
A’m nae mair than eicht years auld, an clingin
tae ma grandfaither’s haun, stampin the glaur
o mud an ash in an effort tae keep
warm. “They’re a team o triers son, a team
o triers. Ye can ask nae mair”, his heid
floatin on a sea o pipe reek, his een
gleamin as he tuik the gemme in. Stranraer
won, twa nil! “First gemme eh! Ye’re ma lucky
mascot”. He bent doon, wrapped me in his scarf,
“A wee victory son, juist a wee victory”.
He spoke slow, so that a could unnerstaun,
Granda, a miss yer voice, a miss yer haun.

The stanes o this auld dyke are free,
yet each depends upon the ither.
It is the dyker’s skill that binds them,
his een provided the mortar.

Run yer haan alang its rough side,
feel hoo each boulder plays its pert.
Feel its simple strength, abune aa,
feel the years pulsin through its hert.

Thir are those
Wha seek meanin
In the alignment 
O staunin stanes.

Wha line up
The stars an mune
An track the shaddies
Imprintit by the sun.

Thir are ithers
Wha accept a mystery
Fir whit it is,
Beyon an answer,

Perhaps it is eneuch
To staun an look
Within these places.
The stanes become

Question merks
Embedded in
The deep pages 
O the lanscape.

Sumtimes, wi can
Dig too deep,
An tapple too
Mony unknowns.

Thir is space eneuch
Tae leave alane,
Tae wunner an dream,
As wi search

Fir yon lane stane
We ken is oot there,
But is alwise
Jist oot o reach.
Categorized as Poetry

By photos,poetry and haiku by Derek Ross

I am a photographer/ poet from Dumfries in South West Scotland. I concentrate on minimalist images and prefer using an iPhone these days. As far as my writing is concerned, I usually write short poems (some in Scots dialect), hence my interest in haiku and related forms.


    1. Hi Mary, thanks for the feedback. Im still getting used to this but its quite an exiting enterprise. Please let me know if you have any advice for me, I promise not to get upset!! Meanwhile, stay safe, looking forward to us all meeting up again sometime. Derek


  1. I love dry stane dyke. My Gramps used to spend hours repairing the dry stone walls on his farm and i always wondered who built them in the first place. Now I travel through Spain and see miles of dry stone walls. They are covering the planet, a testament of history.


    1. Hi there, thanks for your feedback. Hope the Scots wasn’t too difficult! Always been fascinated by dry stone walls, the workmanship is stunning and, like you say, full of history. Obviously, in Scotland we have a multitude of examples. A few folk still keep the art (because that’s what it is) alive. Arra best, Derek


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