Eunice Buchanan - Poems

Eunice Buchanan 
performs with dry wit  in English and Scots.  She taught English, Ethics, Mathematics, Embroidery, the Philosophy of Life, Comparative Religion, pancake-making and how to tie your shoe-laces - in other words she was a Primary School teacher.

Her poem 'Old Woman in the Attic' was published on a Scottish Poetry Library postcard in 2003, she was a runner-up in the BBC Wildlife Poetry Competition 2004 and won the McCash Poetry Prize in 2005.  She also been the winner of the Lallans poetry and short story prizes. 

Former Loose Tongues member, Eunice has now emigrated to Australia.

Old Woman in the Attic


When we bought the attic there was an old woman

living there.  And now there is again.

When I was young there was a township of them

living up there in the attics.  They would fly around

the rooftops on windy nights and cackle down the chimneys.


I look at the old woman in the mirror.  Not long to go now.

The wrinkles are coming on fine.  The nose and chin are still

some way apart.  But already the magic has started.

I can be invisible without even trying.  I can hover

in shops and bars and no-one knows I'm there.


At my right elbow when I pull the curtains

there is a sea-gull on her nest.  She has a wicked beak

and a yellow baleful eye.  She is my familiar and I like her.

Tomorrow I shall go to the garden centre and choose

my broom.  I can almost feel a cackle coming on.


just another pebble


don’t get me wrong

i have nothing

against roundness

as a concept ;

it’s just


i should like to have

some interesting angles.

the others,

those look-alikes ?

they’re all washed up!


i have this streak

in me.

i could show you

some interesting


if i wanted to.


i feel

i could just break out

in rhomboidal

planes & polyhedra

if i weren’t

rubbing shoulders

with this lot.



Forenent a Horny-Golach


When the Lord created Heaven and Earth

he did the work richt brawly,

sae hoo in aa the wide, wide warld

did he mak the creepie-crawlie?

My hert gaes oot tae the hawk i’ the lift

tae the fishes in the sea,

but the love o’ the horny-golach

is no’ for the likes o’ me.

There are some o’God’s craturs that I may lo’e,

an’ ithers that I may thole.

It grieves me that o’ Creations wark

I canna lo’e the whole.

I maun try my Makar’s patience

for I’m awfu’ slow tae learn

tae lo’e aa men like brithers

and no’ wish the wicked herm.

"Tae ken aa’s tae forgie aa,"

I’ve heard an’ maun tak heed,

but it’s hard tae cry doon God’s benison

for purveyors o’ spite an’ greed

Sae come you here, Wee Horny.

Na, dinna skitter awa’,

an’ I’ll admire yer six braw legs,

gin ye’ll forgie my twa.


 (Concerning an earwig)



– well

creepie-crawlie -



– sky





– creatures


– love


– put up with




– must


herm -


forgie –

forgive aa - all

maun -


benison -





– scuttle

gin –

if twa - two