Friday, 17 August 2012

On Tiree

Where did you go?

From Caoles through Scarinish to
Crosapol, then over to Salum and Sandaig
by way of Balevulin and down to Balemartine
and Hynish; back to Heylipol and Barrapol,
along to Carachan and Clachan Mor; from
Balephetrish Bay to Gott Bay and Ruaig,
Caoles again, and the point at Urvaig.

What did you do?

We stravaiged and stottered,
and quenched from a quaich;
we stoated along till we bracksied.
We got up and wunnert,
but the locals were scunnert.
We went back to the bike and
pushed on to the pier.

How did you find them?

I said to a man: ‘Is that Coll?
I’ve never been there’.
He said right back:’ Neither have I,
and why would you want to go there?’
I told him about an island in the Bay of Bengal,
the same size as this one, which has nearly
four hundred thousand people.
He said eight hundred was too many.
We left it at that.
He didn’t look like a Gaelic mathematician –
and I didn’t look like a Bengali crofter.

Gordon Peters

[with apologies to Edwin Morgan]

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