Writing in Shetland

Two Poems in Shetlandic by Christine de Luca
View details of this and other books at The Shetland Library
The following texts in Shetlandic are accompanied by English translations by the author.
Ice Floe on-line

We scrit wir wirds ta mak connection
wi laands whaar eence der wis a link;
dan dirl dem oot alang meridians
tae aa erts roond wir virtual wirld.

Eence, uncans cam bi oar or sail:
a lang sea circle vaege, da wirds
maist likely faered. Wir wirds birl
aff a satellites an starns; loup an tirl,

crackle lik mirry-dancers i da lift.
We set dem sheeksin owre Arctic distances
ta gently rummel Babel's Tower , an bigg
a hoose instead ta hadd wir difference.

Ice Floe online

We write our words to make connection
with lands where once there was a link;
then send them zinging along meridians
in all directions round our virtual world.

At one time news came by oar or sail:
a long sea circle journey, the words
most likely feared. Our words dance
off satellites and stars; they leap and twirl,

crackle like aurora borealis in the sky.
We set them blethering across arctic distances
to gently topple Babel's Tower, and build
a house instead to hold our difference.

Jöst a blink

I dy aerly days we wir cringed
bi an umbilicus, shared aathin.
Cells shön spleet, med dee unique.

Bits o memory play fast forward,
a coarn bides ithin slow motion.

Shön du wis a sprickle i da airms,
but I could hap dee up at nicht
oot a hairm, rin ta dee if du gret.

Wirds cam, took owre, shapit
dy wirld, helpit wale göd fae ill.

I waaken ee day, an du's a man,
luikin doon apö me. I wait up fur dee
or lie waakrife till I hear dy key.

Queer fu hit's jöst a blink; at we canna rewind,
play hit aa back. Fornenst time
we man hadd da glöd, da memory.

Just a blink

In your early days we were tethered
by an umbilicus, shared everything.
Cells soon split, made you unique.

Bits of memory play fast forward
a little stays in slow motion.

Soon you were wriggling in my arms,
but I could tuck you up at night
out of harm, run to you if you cried.

Words came, took over, shaped
your world, helped you tell good from evil.

I waken one day, and you're a man,
looking down at me. I wait up for you
or lie sleepless till I hear your key.

Strange how it's just a blink that we cannot rewind,
play it all back. Against time
we must hold the glow, the memory.

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