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Cruickshank’s Farewell

December 28, 2009

by Irene Brown

The rumble of the Lord’s Prayer
mumbled through the chapel
and, with Presbyterian necks re-set,
the piper’s notes tapsilteeried their way
over the damp, sober shoulders of the mourners
who silently tutted and smirked
at the vital ‘HEUCH’
that rose from the back.

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Irene Brown lives in Scotland’s capital and has had her first poetry pamphlet, Glass Slippers, published this year by Calder Wood Press. She provided definitions of two of the Scots words in the above poem that might be unfamiliar: tapsilteerie means “topsy turvy; state of disorder,” and heuch is an expression of exhilaration uttered especially while dancing.

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  1. December 29, 2009 at 9:40 am

    “Tapsilteerie” is a lovely word, and I can see the silent shaking of the shoulders you’ve described.

  2. anna
    December 29, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Good to hear you here again Irene.

  3. Bob Fairnie
    December 30, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Gaun yersel Irene!

    Hou can we immagine the thochts that wis gaun throu the heids o oor forebeirs if we dinnae ken the language they war expressed in?

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