ULSTER SCOTS WEEK – POEM

Re-entry, Ulster – on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of 1969

Ma feither caa’d Wee Tam’s The Mune,
Fer the eyefu’ frae the gutter o’ thon Deil’s Den,
The mair, tae a weefla, Iniquity, a stern kirk-wurd,
Glamoured thaim cowp’d Deil’s Ain.
Yit, canny, A luik’d ap tae Him, the Lord
That wrocht the stars, the mune.

But thon ither god, the Yankee wan, ris then.
A lairnt new wurds − Trajectory, Jettison
And I sloughed off my pleghmy, chagrining ain.

Fiftie year on, wised-ap, A’m bak tae yirth agane.

TRANSLATION
Re-entry, Ulster – on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of 1969

My father called Tam’s pub The Mune,
Citing the view from the gutter of that Deil’s Den,
Though, to a boy, Iniquity, a solemn, churchy word,
Shed glamour on those fallen Deil’s Ain.
Shrewdly enough, I still looked up to Him, the Lord
Who made the stars, the moon.

But that other god, American, rose then.
I learned new words − Trajectory, Jettison
And I sloughed off my own − my phlegmy, chagrining ain.

Fifty years on, and wiser, Am bak tae yirth agane.

by Angela Graham

First Published in The Bangor Literary Journal August 2019

Issue 9: The Open House Festival Edition

Cover Art: ‘Discworld 6-5’ by Les Sharpe

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