The Wind's Rant

The Wind's Rant: a Fiddlers' Set
                               (For Jen Hadfield)
                     
I. Jen's Delight


Laurie is birling down the bus
round the poles, right, left and off.
What's got into her?


The wind coughs, like a grumpy scorie,
                  who huff puffs
then back-swerves, a frisbie across the sky.

On the school roof, the wind-gauge whirls.
Jeans and t-shirts are flytin' on the washing-line.

A peerie moustache
is whipped up on the ferry's prow.

The world is turning
                   tuning to the wind.


II. Slow Air


The wind from faraway Iceland drives the swell
beneath our feet as the Hendra lifts.
O my God! It's the Stoor Worm yawning.


The wind takes a deep breath from its diaphragm,
          exhales
                   through the hollow aluminium rails.

The wind slides and slurs
         flicking 
                    the grass seeds with grace notes.

The wind dirls on the drystane wall,
                     whispers
                         or hums through the cracks.            
                                          
                                    
III. Skeklers' Reel


Midnight titters, scuffles at the door.
It dares you to open: 
the joke's on you.


Batten down your roofs!
Net down your rubbish bags!
Pebbles on the peat shed,
driving hail of showers.

Up, down,
                turn around. 
Hold onto your heads!


Veering up the voe, swirling round the salmon-rings,
ripping out the mussel strings,
skerry-skooshing, 
          toft-tearing,
                     rock-wrenching gale.

                                                                     
A fat lady in a  helmet
          and bronze cones for breasts
                   hits the High A.    

   All hell-get-out.

Arms wide embrace the world.




Published in the author's pamphlet 'Flout' (HappenStance, 2015).
An earlier version was first published in the Edinburgh Review: Wynd, Issue 30: Autumn, 2010.




Glossary:

birl - whirl
dirl- vibrate
flytin'- scolding
makkin- knitting
peerie- little, wee
rant-  tune
skerry - rock, submerged in the sea, some of the time
skoosh (Scots) - whoosh
voe -  sea-loch

The Stoor Worm was a sea-dragon in Shetlandic mythology;
Skeklers - were guizers who dressed up in straw-costumes, went round houses and played mischievous tricks
                usually at Hallow-e'en or New Year's Eve. (Trick or treaters is the American equivalent.)

Author's Note:
I am not a Shetlandic (Shaetlan) speaker.  I have picked up words from my visits there and am also indebted to 'The Shetland Dictionary' by John J. Graham (The Shetland Times, 1979, revised 2009).                                     

                                                                                                               




























                                                 





















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