Monday 1 November 2021

WESTLIN WINDS POEM by Robert Burns 177

Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns

Bring autumn's pleasant weather

The moorcock springs on whirring wings

Among the blooming heather

Now waving grain, wild o'er the plain

Delights the weary farmer

And the moon shines bright as I rove at night

To muse upon my charmer.



The partridge loves the fruitful fells

The plover loves the mountains

The woodcock haunts the lonely dells

The soaring hern the fountains

Through lofty groves the cushat roves

The path of man to shun it

The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush

The spreading thorn the linnet



Thus every kind their pleasure find

The savage and the tender

Some social join and leagues combine

Some solitary wander

Avaunt away! the cruel sway

Tyrannic man's dominion

The sportsman's joy, the murdering cry

The fluttering gory pinion



But Peggy dear, the evening's clear

Thick files the skimming swallow

The sky is blue, the field's in view

All fading green and yellow

Com let us stray our gladsome way

And view the charms of nature

The rustling corn, the fruited thorn

And every happy creature



We'll gently walk and sweetly talk

Till the silent moon shines clearly

I'll grasp thy waiste and, fondly pressed

Swear how I love thee dearly

Not vernal showers to budding flowers

Not autumn to the farmer

So dear can be as thou to me

My fair, and lovely charmer.

Folk singer songwriter, Dick Gaughan, " One of the best songs ever written, it says all there is to say."



Thursday 3 October 2019

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

W. B. Yeats- 1865-1939

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Britain is not my Home

If some Scots are fearful
What are they afraid of –
Afraid of the British army boots
Or their missiles?
Afraid of Britain refusing to trade?
Britain is not my home.

Britain is some far flung concept
Of some far away isles.
Of exploitation, of a false superiority,
Of old empire sun.
Britain is not my home.

My home is the green of Ireland’s
Galway Bay, Mountains of Mourne,
And the long, low shore,.
My home is the misty glens,
And the mountains song.
The pipes that play in the morning air,
Old Scotia is my home.

I may fill in the UK on those
online boxes,
But it’s a lie.
Britain is not my home.

December 2017

Monday 26 June 2017

Cold Shadows: We Are the Many not the Few

I am torn and broken and I am fooled,
I wait here in the shadows
I am the forgotten.

You never saw me there
So I was alone.

I called out and banged aloud,
But the plastic glass was so hard
No one was passing by
So I was the forgotten.

I tried to sing renewal songs
The notes floated on the new swirling winds
They were carried far, far away,
And their stories were
Lost too.

We are all the forgotten
We are the many, not the few.
A veiled darkness descends -
A hollow emptiness – where words are meaningless,
All is bluff and bluster
And no one believes anymore.

As you recite rhymes in your clipped Oxford tongue –
Do you really understand?
Your world is protected –
It is shiny and beautiful and the birds always sing.

You are never alone
And your voice is always heard
And you never hear mine.

I maybe the forgotten
But my voice will still be strong.         

June 2017

Thursday 6 April 2017

A Man's A Man For A' That

By Robbie Burns (1795)

Is there for honesty poverty 

That hings his head, an' a' that; 
The coward slave - we pass him by, 
We dare be poor for a' that! 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
Our toils obscure an' a' that, 
The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 
The man's the gowd for a' that. 

What though on hamely fare we dine, 
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that? 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine, 
A man's a man for a' that. 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
Their tinsel show, an' a' that, 
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, 
Is king o' men for a' that. 

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord, 
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that; 
Tho' hundreds worship at his word, 
He's but a coof for a' that. 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
His ribband, star, an' a' that, 
The man o' independent mind 
He looks an' laughs at a' that. 

A prince can mak a belted knight, 
A marquise, duke, an' a' that; 
But an honest man's aboon his might, 
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that! 
For a' that, an' a' that, 
Their dignities an' a' that, 
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth, 
Are higher rank than a' that. 

Then let us pray that come it may, 
(As come it will for a' that,) 
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth, 
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that. 
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that 
That man to man, the world o'er, 
Shall brithers be for a' that.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

The Golden Carriage

Has the world gone mad or topsy turvy
I hear you say
What is going is they cry
We know not at all
At all, they tried to whisper.

But the words fell thru the cracks
And seeped and slithered down the
Melted drains and under piles of
Stinking, Rotten, old manure.
Because no one tended the fields anymore
The soil lay hard and dry and barren.

Somewhere over far away rainbows lay this
Rich market place
It Glittered with shiny fake golden doors
Driven by financial trading and
Illegal tax haven islands
Where only the rich got richer
And the children lay crying at
Night with hunger.
And the world has gone wrong.
It has taken false and empty wrong turnings.
It has gone mad or topsy turvy.

As Obama left the stage
His articulate words of hope
Flew in the air,
And all we heard then was
Simple Simon words of –
'He’s smart, he’s incredible, he’s fake'
But what did the words really mean
In our mad mad world?

I’m left to dream of my Alternative Reality
Where we have the first woman President –
What a wonderful milestone!
Where Brexit means Brexit never happened
And where the doubters knew clearly
Scotland had a bright and exciting future
With its own resources, its own culture,
Its own song and its own currency notes
And with Burns image shining bright.
(Because in 2008 was a disastrous money crash
but still no one listened)

Perhaps Bruce Springsteen will show up and sing 'Blowin in the Wind'
and someone will pick up the
piece of paper
and we will all be able to listen
and see once again.

This Trump used sensational sweets, I mean Tweets,
to tell his story.
But they tasted bitter and sour,
And echoed in empty online chambers
And bounced and banged
And the golden fireworks were not
For joy or celebration,
But for fear.

And Brexit means
Prices are rising,
May threatens a low tax economy,
Hunt wants to privatize the health service
Trump supports Farage -
What this means is that England is heading towards a more right market-driven capitalism that works for the rich, while the other workers suffer.
Scotland now has a very serious position –
Do we follow this path England is being forced to follow (don’t believe May’s words of ‘sharing’ – they mean nothing  at all.)
Do we look to the more socially equal Nordic countries
Where they follow a very different path?
This is the very serious question we need to consider now.

This is what Brexit means…

January 2017,  Pauline Keightley

PS More than ever we need education is schools on Modern Studies, Philosophy and Politics – as few have a clue what is really going on.

Gordon McIntrye Kemp writing in the National wonders that only around 10% of us research and read in any serous way on political issues – that leaves about 90% using the Daily Mail or Sun for their information! How then can people vote in an informed way omething needs to be done urgently!