DoricRecorded by Eve Pearce


Pit yer lug tae the groon –
hear the caas o’ stinkin’ flesh,
the clash o’ wheelwright n’ bruntie,
cast n’rax o’ the towe-makar,
yer een will nip wi’ the reek
o’ wood smoke, rin wi’ the stink
o’ ammonia frae auld peeins.

Lang a’neath a’ this rins
the merk o’ Boudicca’s revenge
in the reid sclaff o’ brunt:
spleetin’a line o’ esh ‘nd clabber
layered in the stanes an’ tiles,
wood, auld fires ‘nd banes.

Noo foraged a’tween North and South
inoor its clabber-saft canal;
the watter yince feshed up Neanderthal,
Homo Sapiens; lanely gan aboots
poundered by fur hauf a million years.

The first bothy 15,000 years syne,
noo a ceety o’ mony tongues
that taks a’ wha cam –
hunters, fairmers, the dispossessed.

Doric. Translated by Eve Pearce
© Anthony Fisher March 2016