Huge Congratualtions to Rab Wilson who has just won the McCash Scots Poetry Competition.
Rab said of his success: "It makes me feel three inches taller."
Below is the winning poem, "Lambs".
Lesley Duncan writing in the Herald saidof the poem;"It deals in an emotionally powerful way with that most disturbing of themes, the slaughter of innocents."
Weeks eftir the atrocity itsel,
When aince the service in the kirk hud skailed,
An left us ‘not another tear to shed’,
Ah cycled oot alang ma usual route.
Criss-crossin thon twa brigs that span the Nith,
A snell wuin blawin throu skeletal trees,
Whiles tryin tae dispel thon ugsome grue,
That lately sae wis etcht upo ma mind;
The dreid o parents rushin tae the schuil,
Thae anguisht cries at the gymnasium,
O thaim whaes lives hud juist bin torn apairt.
Thon lass at wark, wha tell’t us her seeck joke –
“No!” ah said, ma haund raised tae admonish –
Then walkt awa. Ah couldnae bear tae hear.
The day wis cauld, sae cauld, air burnt ma lungs,
Grey clood hapt ower the taps o snaw cled hills.
Approachin nou the straicht afore South Mains,
When, faur aheid, some muivement claucht ma een,
And suin, abune the wuin, ah heard the skirl
That weirdlie won oot frae the distant flock,
Relentlessly advancin doun the road.
Ahint thaim cam a shepherd, oan his quad,
An, dairtin at their heels, his collie dowg.
Their skraich grew, exponential decibels,
Until their bleatin fillt the air, lik screams.
Lambs brent new separated frae their dams,
Descendin frae heich pastures they hud shared.
Transfixed, ah haltit, ruitit tae the spot,
A grim realisation at aince dawned,
Whilst roond me thrangt a woolly, writhin mass,
A dowie, sad, heirt-rendin leevin sea,
That seemt tae tak eternity tae pass,
Then, like some eldritch dwam, wis gane at last.
Ah noddit tae the Herd, but couldnae speik,
Then cycled oan, past buddin catkin trees,
Pale snawdraps, wanin nou, wha hung their heids,
An tried tae fuil masel wi knotless lees;
It wis the drivin sleet that blear’t ma ee.
4 days ago