NaWriPoMo19: Playing with Poetry 6/30, I Always Carry

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Today I have another poem from the Two Sylvias Press prompts. I looked to Scotland, Robert Burns, and my grandfather. One thing I know is that I like to research before I write. Since the prompt asked from a books of poems, bread, wine, and a person, I delved into what I could find in Scotland.

I Always Carry

I always carry cheese,
Ayrshire Dunlop
in case of unicorns
on a gloomy night

I always carry wine,
Cockburn’s Port
in case the Bard of Ayrshire
Arrives on a stormy wave

I always carry bread
Bannock in a skillet
in case strangers visit
Under a murky cloud

I always carry a poetry book
Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect
in case I must recite
on a night foul with rain

I always carry whiskey,
uisge beatha, water of life
In case of a cold
That chills my blood

I always carry the words
of Grandfather and Burns
in case I feel their spirits
On the banks of Ayr under an azure sky

© jone rush macculloch (draft 2019)


Fun facts about the poem:

  • The Italicized words are from Burns’ poem, “Farewell Song to the Banks of Ayr”, written in 1786. Burns thought he was heading to Jamaica but he never left. (note: uisge beatha is Latin and not in his poem).
  • My grandfather and Robert Burns grew up in the same part of Scotland. Burns died 67 years before my grandfather was born.
  • I didn’t know my grandfather. He was born in 1860 and died in 1941. He was 60 when Dad was born.
  • My grandfather always believed in a hot toddy for medicinal purposes.
  • Bannock is the bread of Scotland.
  • Unicorns are the national animal of Scotland. It is said that they can be lured with cheese.
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2 Responses to NaWriPoMo19: Playing with Poetry 6/30, I Always Carry

  1. This brought back happy memories for me, Jone. I spent a year a the University of Stirling studying literature and have travelled to Scotland several times to family in Inverness. I took a Burns seminar focusing on Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. Challenging, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. “I always carry” the memory in my heart.

  2. In love with this whole idea, Jone, and what you’ve come up with! Slàinte mhath!

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