Friday, August 20, 2010

Mindin A Face

This strange little poem, which I wrote about 25 years ago, was a reflection of things which I had witnessed whilst helping my brother to deal with sheep gathering at Cunningsburgh.
Perhaps it's just my idea of the Shetland crofter, but I'm sure that other Shetlanders, if they read this, will see something very real about it.

Additionally, this is one of the poems I've written which has appeared in the strangest place. On a French website about poetry, between a poem by Christine De Luca and one by Edgar Alan Poe.

Mindin A Face

Some times whin I look at a face in a crood
I  tink,  feth I ken him, or at least I shöd,
a’ll no mind da name, or whit pairt he's fae,
meybe fae Mossbank, or Vidlin, or Brae.

Bit mindin faces is a winderfil art,
an da  Shetlan crofter’s da  man fir dis pairt.
He can staand at da crö an tell at a glance,
wha owns a hug, wi his look or his stance.

“Yea yun een is Rasmies”, he’ll declare wi glee,
“He’s ower little wirt ta belang ta me”,
an, "Yun lamb ower yunder belangs ta da Knowe"
"Hit has a face laek a weel ridden sow”.

Bit dis art o da croftir can geeng a bit gly,
whin greed taks ower, du kens da wye.
For as shön as he sees a guid looking lamb,
hye shouts, “Sees du dat boy, da face o wir ram”.

Auld Rasmie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Faain Bye

Some folk just have no sense of fun. And considering a response to my last post, which I had to edit for fear of retribution of the most heinous female kind, it came to my mind that the only response was another poetical one, since I only think in rhymes.

Faain Bye ( A ting only weemin dö)

Followin on fae da last post I med,
some een girned hard at da tings dat I sed.
A'm no sure I ken whit wis irkin hir birse,
apairt fae her sittin flat on her erse.

I only ever write whit I see,
so why dö fok tak dat oot on me.
If dey dunna want ta end in me verses,
staand at da bar, dunna faa 'pö dir erses.

Auld Rasmie

Friday, August 13, 2010

Swittlin Foo

Since it's a Friday night it seemed only fair to post yet another reflection on the Shetland drink culture.
I wrote this poem, many years ago after observing the normal Friday night crowd at a drinking facility in Sandwick. Many, if not most of those there, were male. Many, if not most of them, possibly including myself, were drunk, or getting that way. In Shetland dialect it could safely be said that most were 'Swittlin Foo', hence the title.

Swittlin Foo

Lined up at da bar laek hens on a baak,
glaepin pints sae fast dey wir laek ta shock.
Seekin excuses no ta geeng hame,
tae da wife wha’s anger is rising laek steam.

Da stories du hears at da face o a bar,
range fae sex, ta politics, an maybe da car.
If du staands lang enyoch hit’s a winder ta hear,
foo grit some tales get whin telt trow beer.

Du’ll hear o da olick dat weighed twinty pound,
an he gets a bit gritter wi every round.
Or da coo at da show wi a calf o grit size,
twa pints later sho’d twins an dey baith wan a prize.

Du’ll hear o da sexual exploits o man,
i da back o a Mini or an auld Austin van.
Or da time at da paet hill whin castin a bank,
dat some een fell foo heid first i da stank.

Bit der’s wan tale a’m sure du never will hear,
nae odds foo muckle’s been swittled i beer.
An dat is foo muckle trouble an strife,
dis drinkin’ll mak wance du’s hame ta da wife.

Auld Rasmie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Untitled Verse

I try to avoid writing in English, especially when it comes to poetry, purely because I have such a terrible grasp of English grammar. But sometimes my old garbled brain cell picks up on an idea, won't let it go, and the result is something like this.

Let faith be your guide, through all of your fears.
Let love be your comfort, through all of your years.
Let friendship come first, and cruel thoughts come last.
Let your mind seek the future, you can't change the past.

Auld Rasmie

Da Best Tings i Life

I suppose that nostalgia was the root of this little verse which I wrote last year.
No doubt all Shetland exiles have thoughts from time to time about the things they miss about the islands.
Although, sitting in the glory of a West Norway summer's afternoon, with the temperature several degrees above any Shetland record, it's a bit hard to think about force 8 horizontal rain and salt spray, with any degree of longing. ;)

Da Best Tings i Life

A greetin bairn du can had i de airm,
a lass du can cuddle ta keep dysel warm,
an Olick dat maks dee airms sair whin du hauls him,
an a lang lost freend dat's plaesed whin du calls him.

A beer dat's sae cauld dy troats laek ta freeze,
a curry sae hot dat du faas tae dy knees,
a warm simmers day whin da Laevriks ir trillin,
an troots i da tap o da loch ir swillin.

A cauld winters nicht upö a craig stane,
sprootin soe fur sillocks, dy tae ta tak hame,
a tocht o da place du wis boarn an cam fae,
Shetlan, oh Loard, whit mair cud du hae.

Auld Rasmie

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just a thought..

Some weeks ago my lovely daughter posted this picture on her blog. A picture of a gull who wanted a share of her fish and chips.
I thought at the time that it was a picture which was begging for a caption.
I wondered for a while what the gull could be saying, then it struck me that the reply to the gull was far more likely to be interesting.

Who do you think you’re looking at?
What gives you the right to stare?
I’m only eating my fish and chips,
So get your arse out of there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beans Means Wind

This little verse was inspired by the reaction of my wife to the serious problems that baked beans cause to my intestinal tract. And, yes, I have to admit that everything in this poem actually happened.
I have signed the pledge now, haven't eaten a baked bean for almost 8 months now, and that's not surprising when you consider that Heinz baked beans, which are the only ones worth eating, cost nearly £2 a tin in Norway.

Beans Means Wind

A wind can blaw fae mony earts,
trow muddows, hills, an idder pairts.
Bit elweys i da life o man,
da warst wind comes oot o a can.

Heinz baked beans da label sed,
I hed some dan I guid ta bed.
Da duvet cudna had da breeze,
an shön wis blawn aboot me knees.

Da idder half took flight at wance,
da stink near hed her in a trance,
runnin fae da gaseous mass,
risin fae me rotten ****.

So left aleen i bed ta winder,
why me drawers wir riven sinder,
a'm signed da pledge, "Heinz Nae Mair",
lat wis aa hae fresher air.

Auld Rasmie

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shetlan's Screwed

Some time after I wrote the previous verse I got to thinking more about the proposed Viking Energy wind farm, and what people will feel if/when permission is given for the project to go ahead. My own feelings of hatred for Viking Energy, Shetland Islands Council, and indeed the shower at Hollyrood, were starting to come to a head when I wrote this verse.

Shetlan's Screwed

I can see da windmills turnin, an aa da hills ir spread,
wi da concraet an da metal, fae da windferm dat dey sed,
wid bring da money tae da isle, an gie wis wealth galore,
bit is onybody tocht foo da isle's treated laek a whore.

Prostituted fur da fact dat Scotlan's affshore isle,
canna be seen fae Edinburgh's parliamentary pile.
Maist fok sed dey didna want it, bit maist fok hed nae say,
Shetlan's screwed dat's a fact, da islands mirkest day.

So big da whirliegigs upö da isle, lat Vikin hae dir wye,
laeve paece tae da croftir tae fasten furt his kye.
Bit neever wance tink dat a Shetlan man excuses,
dat wirtless Shetlan Cooncil craetirs fir aa o dir abuses.

Auld Rasmie

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vikin Hill Fermir

On a recent visit to Shetland I took a wander up to the wind farm above Dale. The hill is a lovely place for views over Tingwall, and west towards Skeld,  but in my opinion the windmills do nothing to help the scenery.
A few, like those aren't too bad, but what will Shetland be like when Viking Energy build their proposed mega wind farm?
When their plans were first revealed, a year or two ago, I put pen to paper and came up with this mildly critical little scribble.

Vikin Hill Fermir

Dir’s aye been Shetlan crofters, wi sheep upö da hills,
da grain o money dat dey mak just aetin up wi bills.
Bit noo a Vikin fermir is set his sichts up high,
he wants at tak da hills ower, bit no fir grazin kye.

He’s gyain ta plant some whirlie gigs ta harness power fae wind.
He says  “They’ll not affect the view”, he böst tink fok ir blind.
Dey’ll be seen fae every angle, veesible fir teens o miles,
a pain ta da een dat’ll feel da sam, as a backside foo o piles.

Dis Vikin fermir tells wis,“It’s a golden opportunity,
to bring prosperity to Shetland, and help the local community.”
Of coorse he’s bound ta say dat, til he gets da go aheed,
be dan da common Shetlander'll be wisin he wis deed.

Da Vikin’ll mak some money, an wi luck he’ll pey his bills,
bit he’ll never gie a tocht ta da wye he’s ruined wir hills.
I maybe widna care sae muckle, if eftir he wis trow,
da whirlie gig crangs he leaves ahent cud shelter an auld hill yowe.

Bit eftir he’s med his money, he’ll hae nae tocht fur da place,
he’ll leave wir boanie isles laek a monimental disgrace.
Worn oot whirlie gigs, scattered ower da hills.
Nae view ta get da tourists back, ta help wis pay wir bills.

Vikins raided wis afore, dey cam here be da hunder
Dey nae doot gluffed da local fok, wi dir pillage, rape an plunder
Bit dis modern Vikin’s a gritter de’il, dan ony dat cam wi da sea
Fur dis plunderin Vikin fermir, haes da help o da SIC.

Auld Rasmie