Anna MacDonald

Food for Thought

Remember wartime ration books
The ingenuity of wartime cooks
Nothing allowed to go to waste
Porridge becoming a familiar taste

Tatties and neeps (stomaches-full)
Peas from the kailpot to chew at school
Remember tops of eggs being taken
For tea – it was no joke
Kids then seldom tasted yoke

Powdered egg in a tin
Less sugar and sweets (more saccharin)
Baked rice, raisins, curds an’ whey
Custard and rhubarb – desserts of the day Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Worm's Eye View

Granda’ passed awa’
An’ they laid him tae rest doon deep
In a shady spot in his cemetery plot
Granny started tae weep

Twa lairs they’d bought a’tween them
Lang time ago
They want’d tae be th’gither
When their time had come tae go

An epitaph for their tombstone planned
We walk’d th’gither through this land

She died last week on Sabbath
But when the earth was being prepared
They found him I’ the tap layer
He’d hae died had he been spared Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Those Tattie Howkin’ Days

Tattie howkin’ in bygone days
Reminiscin’ auld ways
Up i’ the mornin’ wi’ the dawn
Scarcely e’er the cock had crawn
On tractor bogie tae fertile fields
Harvestin’ precious yields

Smell o’ diesel – strictly measured drill
Wicker sculls – strewn tae fill
Muscles achin’ – backs bent
Scatterer scatterin’ wi’ intent
Up ae drill – doon ainither
In a’ different kinds o’ weather Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Rockwell and Write

School teachers – Rockwell
Pupils – Assembly bell
Line-up in school’s playground
March to class for register round

Slateboards – blackboards – exercise jotter
(Teacher’s pet was a little rotter)
Parrot-fashioning times tables
Discovering Alice and Aesop’s Fables

Catch-as-catch-can (playtime games)
Film starts’ initials – guess their names
Skipping ropes – relay races
P.T. – thro’ the paces

Sirens screaming out alarm
Air raids – sheltering from harm
School doctor’s medical – headlice – scabies
Innocence of storks and babies Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

The Endless Search

Within dregged teacups
Silhouetted leaves in scattered profusion
Are drawn into irregular mysterious patterns
By an unknown hand

Will their shapes satisfy the seated listener today!

The translator – searching thro’ compelling creative artistry
- pauses – aware of tangible outlines

Carefully, selectively (in the trust which is strong between them)
- he utters his impressions

Images of the future! – Perhaps

But how many desires are made of gold
And how many teardrops does this teacup hold

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

The Days O’ The Nine-ees

Gie me the days o’ the Nine-ees
Frae Lochee at brak’ o’ day
Stridin’ the length o’ Riverside
Takin’ sicht o’ Gowrie Bay
Steppin’ oot in Sunday best
Reachin’ oor destination
Doon the steps o’ the railway brig
Withoot hint o’ hesitation

Bile-up cans, pots an’ pans
Rattlin’ on oor backs
Sets o’ auld claes – tichtly packed
In canvas haversacks
Chasin’ a crannie tae change in
In the rocks alang the shore
Syne, gaitherin’ driftwood for kindlin’
For a biley-up at four Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

The Shore

I spy with my little eye
Down by the shore
Fulsome flotsam – effluent galore
Entangled refuse – broken glass
Canine litter fouling the grass
Walking along stony beach
Pollutants within offensive reach
Sewage slapping rock and shingle
On high water mark they intermingle
Seducing whelk breeding ground
With sensuous sweet soothing sound
Consider harvesting in haste
Thro’ contaminating clinical waste
Sharps freely ebb and flow
Nomadic – their numbers grow
They deride
Predictability of each turning tide.

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Westminster Abbey Bells

(Dedicated to the Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers – 29th April 2011)

With tongues untied
They were proud
To project their voices
To the crowd
With virtuoso flare
When love was truly in the air

A regal sound
Ringing the skies – touching the ground
Chiming in celebration
Of this royal occasion

Majestic campanology
In attendance – an emotional day

Listeners – far and near
Lent an appreciative ear

Silently at dawn
Bell-ringers memories lingered on
With each tongue-tied voice
Have reason to rejoice.

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

A Quickstep Back

Wha remembers the Palais
The Locarno an’ the Chalet
Kidd’s Room an’ Gray’s Rooms
An’ pals th’gither at th’ looms
Plannin’ a nicht at the Empress
Tae dance wi’ lads in spivy dress
Or enjoy Hawhill’s Robbies
Or partner Hilltoun Proggies

There were dancers – romancers
And the inevitable bunch o’chancers
The quickstep and rhumba
Foxtrot – tango and samba
The energetic jump an’ jive
It was a great time tae be alive
Big band sound – crooner’s voice
Last waltz – ladies choice Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

A Pokie Fu' O' Whulks

An auld pram
Haudin’ whulks
Creel at her feet
Spewin’ dulce
The east-coast fishwife
Wi’ workin’ will
Ev’ry Seturday
At the fit o’ the Hull

A cuppie fu’ o’ fine fresh whulks
Or, maybe – ave – some teugh green dulce

Delvin’ intae curly shells
Rattlin’, scrapin’ o’er spills

Ane or twa cuppies – did ye say
Is there ony mair ye’d like th’ day?

Paper pokies i’ the hood
Come buy fresh whulks
Nourishin’ food Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald
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