Poems for Upper Nithsdale

Poems for Upper Nithsdale
Sanquhar pattern

Grey frae a distance
but bring yer een close ye’ll see
there’s black and there’s white.

Doun the mine

Wat ootside and in; a dreipin shaft,
a ticht passage, black as miners’ lungs
tae seams buckled and bent like crippled banes.

Miners’ library

Nae gutterin caundles
in this vault hewn
frae the rock o learnin
flooded wi the licht
o a thousand books.

Auld post office

Lang syne, lang afore
BT’s blue-and-reid
callan blaad his chanter,
they heard the horn.

Nae faxes then 
and nae modems, naethin
but a stage-coach
or a cuddy’s back.
Donald Adamson

from Clearer Water (Markings Publications, 1996)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
Donald Adamson

Donald Adamson is a poet and translator, and a teacher of creative writing and translation studies. 

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