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John Aitkenhead

Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Peter D Wright

The grey weet nicht
Comes doon in Gallowa;
Comes doon frae the daurk lift
On wuids an fields an watters,
An men an beasts;
As years withoot number
It maun hae done i the past,
I the lang lang past
Coontless, nameless,
Ere this, or ony month,
Was kent or named.

December forsooth!
The Romans, maist wantin imagination,
Or maybe juist feart
For the dreich snell daurk,
Gied it a number
For want o a name.
Come the turn o the year dootless,
Their minds taen a turn:

An Januar an Februar
Had a glimmer o mense
Or a skite o pagan fancy
I their hanselin.
But here was still the solstice
Defyin aa but logic number.

Gutters aawheres,
Airn merciless,
Stane an thack stervation-cauld ootby:
Gin there was ever a time for a bleeze
Inside a man or oot,
A spark, a staur,
Or ony show o warmth ava...
Christmas bears the gree.

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