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A man with secrets known only to him and God,
he walks along the machair with pride.

He's unbothered by the ghosts of the waves and water
because his destiny lies on the shore's other side.

A brave and bold young man with dreams of a better life,
he's now begun to put this goal in motion.

One more drink at the Rosie Tavern before he goes
to say goodbye to the friends and men he knew so dear

Or maybe one more walk around the neighborhood
to say farewell to the family he held so near.

Come aboard the ship, ye brave and bold young Robert,
for there's a fortune to be made across that western ocean.

You'll be leaving behind memories of that coal burnt town,
but pay no mind to the darkness that'll be falling.

When songs of the old country bring tears to your eyes
think only of your strength; your legacy is calling.

Ye brave and bold Robert, you'll have all the fortunes you can see
Ye brave and bold Robert, you'll break the shackles of poverty.
For my grandfather.
Ryan May 7
From the East Coast of Ireland to the Lowlands of Scotland,
a well-trodden path,
Grandma going to Whiteinch Baths,
to do the family laundry,
And to take my Auntie for a swim,
the black and white photos look a bit grim.

She mispronounces certain words.
When you put your dinner in between some bread,
she'd look at you, dead, and say,
"If yis waanted sangwhiches, I'd have made yis sangwhiches!"

And, "you're very pass-remarkable,"
I think it means you're quick to comment on others,
my Mother's also from Glasgow,
and doesn't know why Grandma speaks like that,
so this isn't just me being a Sassenach,
or a daft English ****.

25th of January is Burns Night,
serve the neeps, tatties, a glass of fizz,
and of course, some Haggis.
Some say offal's awful,
but I just can't get enough of the stuff.

A firm favourite of our clan is a creamy dessert named Cranachan.
Topped with berries and a splash of whiskey,
you can guarantee a thumbs up from me.

The ancient family tartan is red and blue,
then there's the family crest too,
a knight with a shield under a tree,
I think it represents gallantry.

I sometimes wish I had a proper Scottish name,
like Hamilton, Douglas, or McCain,
don't suppose it matters,
at least I can understand the patter,
(that means joke or language.)

A saying about saving your coins,
"Mony a mickle macks a muckle,"
always makes me chuckle.

"Does it, aye?"
is a very dry reply,
used to take the **** and can be easy to miss.

When my Mum was younger, the family liked to roam,
but when she visits Glasgow,
she says it feels like home,
her voice even changes when she's on the phone.

Sounds English most of the day,
then my Auntie calls, and she's on her way,
"Haud ye weesht!" when she picks up the phone,
that means be quiet,
but you wouldn't have known,
that isn't her normal speaking tone.

Scottish family,
some are distant to me,
but through my parentage,
it's nice to have the heritage.
A beginner who is looking for some constructive feedback.
Tha 's e seallad air beulaibh orm
Thàinig sin o na h-ainglean
Tha cuibhlichean na h-ùine air stad dhuinn
Mar a ràinig sinn an am seo ann an ùine
Oir mar as fhaisg a tha mi ort
Mar as fhaisg a tha mi air neambh


There is a view in front of me
That came from the angels
The wheels of time have stopped for us
As we approach this moment in time
Because the closer I am to you,
the closer I am to heaven.
Thank you to my muse for the inspiration.
I originally wrote this in my native language, Scottish Gaelic. Both the English and Gaelic versions are here.

My beloved, my darling,
Do you have a new heart?
I have one for you.
Early last morning,
My heart was saved from the
seven elements of the storms
Because dreaming is the only way
that I can see you,
My beloved, my darling.

Fàidh Cridhe

A ghràidh, m'eudail,
A bheil cridhe ùr agam?
Tha fear agam dhut.
Moch maduinn air latha roimhe
Thogadh mo chridhe
Side non seachd sian
Bhitinn a'cadal gu math a-noch
Is bruadar an aon dòig
A chi mi thu,
A ghràidh, m'eudail.
Banks o' Doon
by Robert Burns
modern English translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, banks and hills of lovely Doon,
How can you bloom so fresh and fair;
How can you chant, diminutive birds,
When I'm so weary, full of care!
You'll break my heart, small warblers,
Flittering through the flowering thorn:
Reminding me of long-lost joys,
Departed―never to return!

I've often wandered lovely Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And as the lark sang of its love,
Just as fondly, I sang of mine.
Then gaily-hearted I plucked a rose,
So fragrant upon its thorny tree;
And my false lover stole my rose,
But, ah!, he left the thorn in me.

“The Banks o’ Doon” is a Scots song written by Robert Burns in 1791. It is based on the story of Margaret (Peggy) Kennedy, a girl Burns knew. Keywords/Tags: Robert Burns, song, Doon, banks, Scots, Scottish, Scotland, translation, modernization, update, interpretation, modern English
To a Louse
by Robert Burns
translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Hey! Where're you going, you crawling hair-fly?
Your impudence protects you, barely;
I can only say that you swagger rarely
Over gauze and lace.
Though faith! I fear you dine but sparely
In such a place.

You ugly, creeping, blasted wonder,
Detested, shunned by both saint and sinner,
How dare you set your feet upon her—
So fine a lady!
Go somewhere else to seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Off! around some beggar's temple shamble:
There you may creep, and sprawl, and scramble,
With other kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Where horn nor bone never dare unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now hold you there! You're out of sight,
Below the folderols, snug and tight;
No, faith just yet! You'll not be right,
Till you've got on it:
The very topmost, towering height
Of miss's bonnet.

My word! right bold you root, contrary,
As plump and gray as any gooseberry.
Oh, for some rank, mercurial resin,
Or dread red poison;
I'd give you such a hearty dose, flea,
It'd dress your noggin!

I wouldn't be surprised to spy
You on some housewife's flannel tie:
Or maybe on some ragged boy's
Pale undervest;
But Miss's finest bonnet! Fie!
How dare you jest?

Oh Jenny, do not toss your head,
And lash your lovely braids abroad!
You hardly know what cursed speed
The creature's making!
Those winks and finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice-taking!

O would some Power with vision teach us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notions:
What airs in dress and carriage would leave us,
And even devotion!

One Sunday while sitting behind a young lady in church, Robert Burns noticed a louse roaming through the bows and ribbons of her bonnet. The poem "To a Louse" resulted from his observations. The poor woman had no idea that she would be the subject of one of Burns' best poems about how we see ourselves, compared to how other people see us at our worst moments. Keywords/Tags: Robert Burns, louse, church, bonnet, lace, Scotland, Scots, dialect, translation
Willow Huey Feb 14
Here for sixty, gave me almost two,
Early on, wondering whether to tell you.
The dragon & rat, so it begins
with engine failure & secret grins

Standing next to me, work night out
Handsome eyes beyond a doubt
Burgundy shirt, neat like your drink
Those extra smiles, my cheeks turned pink

5am taxis & missing socks
Half day holiday’s & pillow talks
Milky white skin & a tickly spine
As long as it lasts, I’m glad you’re mine

For independence together we marched
Isle Of Wight whisky in He...brides, parched
In see through capes under the rain
Sweet, deep kisses on the train

Steamy showers when we’re alone
Cute ears & a creaky moan
A ‘thanks for coming’ & poached eggs
Grey leggings & sprinter’s legs

It’s no coincidence that your birthday lies
on Valentine’s Day under pink skies
Your selfless soul inspires me,
To become the best that I can be
BJFWords Dec 2019
Far and awa fae the light making shadows.
Sight to behold in the afternoon snow.
Gallant destruction in wall tumbled ivy.
Tight as the hack of the hobbling crow.

Parson and gardener, nipped on their fingers.
Wrapping up, fenced, for the winter to come.
Cauld is the cloak on the journey to pasture.
Tilling the field and the prayer book hum.

Frost blaws to thaw as the sun yawns, persistent.
Batter the drum as the hail thumps in time.
Speed through the wind as it gnaws faces, twisted.
Slush churns to wet as the welcome bells chime.

Winter yir song, as it puffs into whisper.
Herald the twilight for new days to speak.
Underfoot crack as your hold starts to weaken.
Buttercup sun tips her hat to the bleak.
Mark Motherland Nov 2019
chattering like youths in undulating flight
that looping the loop was an awesome sight
your peers eat mostly worms and insect fayre
yet you catch Damsels as they fly through the air!
Then returning to patient stones in the loch
to plan your next sortie and feed your young stock
cataracts of grey in yellow cascade
I appoint you Queen of the fashion parade.
observing Grey Wagtails on Loch Torridon, highland, Scotland.
CarolineSD Nov 2019
“Til the rocks melt with the sun;”
Is that how long love goes on,
Beyond the trappings of time and the outer contours of the mind?

I learned of love within the cadence of Celtic songs.
Daddy played them on an old piano
And mommy sang along.
The walls they rang with something that wasn’t
Really so hard to understand;

The aching of one heart for another,
Always swept apart by the sea
And the way a lifetime
Can make it too far to reach
The other, distant shore.

But the sorrow at the core of Highland songs,
I understand better now;  
Now that every tangible thing from those years
Is gone,
Their voices silenced and a home knocked down,
Lullabies buried in the ground.
The piano sold and gravestones too far away for me to hold,

But love, love is the Moorland in my soul

And it is wide and open
And the purple heather grows
Forever and descends to a churning sea,
And melodies, on the wind, they whip between the rocks and disappear.

And though I can no more grasp voices from the air
Than hold love here,
I will stand on this shore and I will sing these

Forgotten refrains

And though they drift across the sea,
This love has been worth it all the while,
Even if time carries it away,

Like music,

And it never comes back to me,
"Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run."
-Robert Burns
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