Back to the hearth


I light candles when I need help.

I asked Uriel to help the thaw.
So he sends me Atlantic rain to wash off snow.

…And asked Michael to protect us.

By Göd’s auld haa they hung up fish on washing lines; inside Göd’s haa they broke coorse breadTheir temple still stands to the wind – nobody dared break that window. And if you came here in July, you would still find fish on the line… It’s tradition. Folk cure piltocks around the clock or preserve ling deep inside salt.

It’s called saat fish.  

 Life measured in simple pleasures, I’ll cook it with peerie tatties on Friday night. But before that, it needs to soak in cold water, just like saat cod I used to find alongside pyramids of cheese covered in moult on Provençal open markets…

Tonight saat fish came from Girlsta. 
Magnie’s heart shines inside the hearth :). 


…Talking of hearth, here comes the pièce de résistance.

The Hearth
                                                     We all depend upon the hearth.
Lamb reestit safe on bluest peat;
soot cumulates black desires,
each dying day returns
  to dust.
It all happens around the hearth,
piled-up comfort, tea, bannocks, grace;
scents of our love sheltered from
gales, grit, greasy storms.
That sense of heat concentrated inside our dreams,
            the way you poke volatile red out of ambers
       like matadors in a bull ring –
    out of passion, my words,
your voice,
through day or night,
  it’s healing us.         
Northern garden, 12 March 2008.                   
Poet’s notes on dialect words:

auld haa: old house (as usually used to refer to the laird’s/landowner’s home)
Göd: God;
piltock: coalfish;
saat fish: salted fish (preserved in salt)

peerie tatties: small potatoes                      

reestit (mutton): piece of lamb dried cured and smoked above a peat (turf) fire
bannocks: homebake, served with tattie soup

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4 Comments

Filed under 60N, earth, poetry, world, writing

4 responses to “Back to the hearth

  1. hmm, you make a veggie feel like eating fish…. nice to read the dialect too

  2. I have read about your supper and will bring bottles of Guinness to wash down the feed before leaving againon my magical steed!

  3. Thank you kindly, Crafty Green Poet 😉

  4. Oh, do bring da Guinness along, Mr Heron Sir 😉

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