Neu!Boots DAY FORTY-THREE – Anne MacLeod

Dear Scotland

Your report card from the Isle of Todday:


Even Politicians
could not disagree
Uisge-Beatha is the necessary art.           Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr!


Words are what we’re made of:
cha tuit caoran à cliabh falamh – peats dinna faa fae empty creels–
Cut them. Stack them.


All your poems and stories –
Gaelic, Scots and English
Polish, Punjabi, French –
Sign language too–
keep cèilidhing. Scotia rules!
Chan fhiach cuirm gun a còmhradh. A feast is no use without good talk.


Although it’s been a tricky term
you’ve made a start–
An làmh a bheir, ‘s i a gheibh.  The haun that gies is the haun that gets.
You welcomed the refugee.


An uphill struggle in these Brexit gales.
Nuair a thig air duine thig air uile–   When it comes on one it comes on all
Keep working, exploring.


Get your sums in balance.
Check every equation.
Cha do dhùin doras nach do dh’fhosgail doras.  When one door sticks, anither opens.


You deserve a wider audience:
maybe try the Fèis EU?
Is ann den aon chlò an cathdath.   The tartan is all of the one stuff.


You’re an island: not insular.
Define the wave and water
Tuig thus’ an t-eathar, ‘s tuigidh an t-eathar thu.    Ken the boat, an the boat will ken ye.


So Scotland, a big year. So far, your head’s above water.
Innsidh na geòidh as t-fhoghar e–   The geese will tell it in autumn–

Next term may be quite a challenge.


Gaelic proverbs from and
Thanks also to Kevin Macneil for Gaelic spellcheck.



Anne MacLeod lives on the Black Isle. Publications include Standing by Thistles (shortlisted for Saltire award) and The Dark Ship (nominated Saltire and Impac awards.)


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