A couple of Poems

Apologies for the lack of recent blogging activity. I have been out to pasture for over a year but I’m fed up with grazing(pun intended) and intend to blog much more frequently…at least one entry every six months.
I was just pricing a wee book of poems by the late Neil R. MacCallum, Scottish nationalist and poet, and I thought I’d share a couple with you. The first is in English and the second in MacCallum’s beloved Lowland Scots.


I attempt
to avert my eyes,
gazing I hope
in another compelling direction,
Or accelerating
with quickening pace
to purposefully stride
so briskly past.
Proceeding as if
some pressing appointment
were commanding
immediate attention.
A useless armour
that excuse
will prove to be
against those arrows,
For she is there
a temptress in full splendour
her windows
winking knowingly.

Nearhaund the Son o God

(Frae the Gaelic o Donnchadh MacRaoiridh, bard tae MacDonald o Sleat, sum tyme round about saxteen-ten)

Tak me wi Ye the Son o God
Tae be richt at Your side
And tae follow efter Ye,
Ma hert and luve sall byde.
For tae incaw* that throu-out tyme
Forenenst** Ye I sall be,
Nae mair tae brak Your Halie Law
Our sins Ye maun foregie.
Anither handsel† we wauld speir‡
The pouer tae grant Ye hae
That sauf our saul sad gang wi Ye
When corp is smoored i clay.
May saul until thon heich throne win
Tae tryst wi thaim that did it mak,
Sin Ye dae ken hou weil I staund
Lord tak me nou, o Lord please tak.

* pray
** facing
† gift
‡ ask

Both of these poems can be found in ‘Portrait of a Calvinist’ by Neil R MacCallum. Published by ‘Scots Independent’, Stirling 1991.

– Clarence