The Pool

The Pool
The auld ootside swimmin-pool
Absurd next tae muckle sanstane boilins,
Survivors o mony storms an gales.

Its watter,
Sic wondrous dark brouns;
Velveteen glory
O the colours metres beyond the surface;
Bladder wrack, seaweeds aw
In motion yet gless on the tap.

Bodies flat,
We wid be human divin-boards –
The real anes long gone –
Starin intae it beyond oorsels.
Wi orange lines an braw roun lead weights
Huntin began.

Greenies, shore crabs gluttons fer limpets
Soukin the life oot a shell-less bodies,
Legs scuttlin in the air:

Aince, bairn met forebear.
Feart an dumb wi bluid chirnin,
Action fae instinct;
the conger itsel a yong ane
Bent, whipped, thrashed on the waa,
Twa o us swallied by its een;
Hooked oorsels,
Baith fisher and fish released;
Escape, unmarked but bloodied.

Scuil library:
Those clock hands draggin
A hand tae Gunn’s Highland River:
Discovery – a master oot fer the hunt.
Andrew McNeil

from Temples fae Creel (Kettillonia, 1999)

Reproduced by permission of the author.
Andrew McNeil

Andrew McNeil was born in Toledo, Ohio, USA in 1963. He was educated at West Anstruther Primary School and Edinburgh University followed by Jordanhill College in Glasgow. He now teaches primary school in Burntisland, Fife and lives in Dunfermline with his family in a house overlooking the Forth. He is currently working toward an educational placement in Africa and a Masters degree.

His work has been widely published in literary magazines in Scotland, England and on sites in the USA, and he has twice been runner-up for the McCash Scots Poetry Competition, University of Glasgow. Temples Fae Creels (Kettillonia, 1999) reflected his childhood and Scots language influences.

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