Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wee Scunner

image borrowed from bing

Wee Scunner

“Yer bum’s out the windae”--Scottish saying.

On quiet nights, between trains,
I can hear the faint lullaby of the pipes,
                 & I smile as the sandman
                 puts his thumbs gently on my lids,
                              for I know that soon I will be
                dreaming of blue faces,
                              fierce Picts, clans of Celts,
standing with
                bare-assed kilted brothers
                              facing Hadrian’s Wall again,
                                                        remembering the Romans
& their fookin’ kingdom of Britannia;

drawn to the deep cold lochs,
to the Highlands dotted with long-haired cattle--
                 enjoying some kind of past-life connection,
to the last of the fir forests,
                 to the wet mountainous terrain,
where once I was a villager,
foraging for a living above 3000 feet,
                  before the deforestation of the region,
                  still alive with bear, wolf, elk, & lynx,
they were hunted to extinction;

and some nights I remember more,
a lifetime or two,
                 up in the Northern Isles,
a fisherman residing in the Shetlands.

Living now in the vastness of America,
it seems intellectually
               claustrophobic to consider
               that once or thrice I Iived
in a country smaller than Texas,
with a narrow waist to the South,
                only 60 miles wide at its border with England,
where one could see Ireland only 19 miles away,
where Norway or France 
                        could be reached within
                        a few days of sailing.

My genetic recall tingles
                        each time I see an image
                                         or a movie of Scotland;
                                                more so than any other foray
                                                                             or exposure to
any other corner of the globe;        still one must face the fact
that each incarnation comes with its own inherent

as I age in this body,
                  traveling has become difficult,
                                        & finances have become meager;
so I have begun to rely on “remote viewing”
                                        & “astral projection”,
accepting the onerous fact than only in the land of dreams
will I frolic in the bonnie beauty that still awaits;
                           remaining confident that my rugged roots
sprang from a Scottish paradise
                           that I will never revisit
                           with this fatigued husk. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Brian Miller said...

ah, i will take the astral projection, though i would rather travel there sometime in my days...and i am pushing the kids to elect an 'international day' at school so i can wear my kilt...though not sure i could go bare arsed this time...i'll find me some colorful bloomers...ha...nice dip into your history sir...i feel th call myself on occasion

Brian Miller said...

i am numero uno!

Björn Rudberg said...

Scotland... the legend and history.. I think travelling and remembering might be better to so a bare-assed astral projection than the real stuff.. but still those wonderful green hill.. the longing is there...

Gabriella said...

I spent a whole year in Scotland, near Stirling many moons ago and really enjoyed it. It is not the Highlands yet but there are lochs and strong Scottish pride. It was a beautiful place and I still have a fondness for it.

Mystic_Mom said...

This. Is. Awesome. Wish I could say it Scots, but you know what I mean. Love it! My Highland ancestors would approve laddie!

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

Tha sin glè mhath!

Ah, to always be in the home of our hearts and souls.

Beachanny said...

At the end of my 7 week UK visit, I said I like the Scots best and Scotland too (though my heart skipped a beat every time I saw a vehicle (train/coach) marked London and I yearned to see more of London where my heart ever strays. Still I loved the Scots so much and my time with the Black family in Inverurie and my night with the Old Took and his fair wife of 50 years in Fort William are memories I will never forget.

Claudia said...

even though it's quite close i never made it to scotland - but will some day - and try my hands on a bagpipe...smiles

Hamish Gunn said...

Now THIS is the poem I would have wanted to write! Fierce, proud, bare, rough and full of thistles!

Anonymous said...

may your dreams be vivid then! ANd at least we still CAN dream...even when actual travel is impossible.

ayala said...

I would love to go to Scotland some day.This is awesome.

Jenny Herner said...

What a gorgeous sense of place this paints. Ancestral voices singing! Bravo, Glenn!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, Glenn. A Celtic passion ran through this, for sure. Scotland is beautiful, rugged, proud - much like your poetry!

Anonymous said...

Glenn, this is so special. I especially like the lines '& I smile as the sandman / puts his thumbs gently on my lids' - gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful how this place lives in your heart, it is very alive in there!! I hope I can get to see Scotland someday.

Anthony Desmond said...

ah, Scotland is a place I hope to visit one day... I'm ready for my kilt fitting today, though.. hahaha

kaykuala said...

Heard so much of Scotland of men in 'skirts' but bare asses? Gosh, sure difficult to move around. Your description is fantastic Glenn! Mainly because there is so much to see in Scotland unique to the place! Wonderful write!


Blog It or Lose It said...

Aching and beautiful - loved it :)
Loved the dialect - worked so well with the poem.

Marina Sofia said...

I should have guessed with a name like Glenn that there is Scottish ancestry there - possibly my favourite people among the Brits! A lot of proud national Scots rhetoric currently in the press, with the upcoming referendum on independence. But, however you may feel about that, you capture that ancestral wildness and rebellion so well.
But I can't bear to think of your ending too closely - I suppose I have to start getting used to the thought that I won't ever get to see all the places I still want to see, or revisit some old favourites, but I still pretend I will.

Anonymous said...

until today, Scotland was never on my life list of places to visit. It is now.

Sumana Roy said...

you truly make the Scottish Paradise vivid with your words....and the mention of the Highlands remind me of Wordsworth's Solitary Reaper....

Abhra said...

Glenn, Ah I love the Scottish paradise and the flow in which you take us on.

" accepting the onerous fact than only in the land of dreams
will I frolic in the bonnie beauty that still awaits;"


Anonymous said...

I'm not a traveller in any actual sense, though the poetic journey certainly paddles its coracle to some of the same destinations you celebrate here. The actual is like taking pictures -- it can get in the way of the subliminal pleasures of the voyage. I'm 6th century AD Hebrides kind of guy -- Iona, Skellig Micheal, Lindisfarne, bring it on! Maybe its genetics (my father's original Irish name is old), but I suspect it's more a reading gene. Really enjoyed.

Jennifer Knoblock said...

Super-fabulous poem. I love the sense of history, the body-longing to be in a place. I was so fortunate to visit Scotland this past April--spent our time in the Highlands, such a beautiful and varied landscape.

Wolfsrosebud said...

remotely it must rekindle what was once really... our imaginations can make it better than it once was... hold on to those memories

Victoria said...

My initial impression was the feeling that, perhaps, in a previous lifetime, you did live that life. You traveled us not only in place but in time. And that aging body--how well I relate to that. I've been able to travel a lot, but how many more places I would love to experience. Well, there's the travel channel, heh?

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