Sometimes the Glasgow dialect can be difficult to grasp, and the magic of words lost even though the passion may shine through. This may have been the case in the last post, so for comrade Loam and those others who might not have been able to grasp all the words, here is a transcript of Victoria McNulty's poem Coffins From Derry. Thanks Victoria.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk
Coffins from Derry
A thousand flood
Could have burst The Clyde
Each day of 1848
Had it not been for people.
Sailed in coffins from Derry.
Spilled from the Foyle, to
Boil the banks with Typhoid, the
Young scratched with fleas from starving rats
To be sacked -
Abandoned in Scotland's slums,
Feared and greeted by no one.
When my family crossed to Scotland,
They didn't flea famine,
But civil war.
The Gaeltacht already Black An Gorta Mhor,
Their names now warning signs on windows.
No work or trade gave way to
And altered names; just tags of tarrier, terrorist and taig.
Coffins aren't made of mahogany today,
Just tarpolin and waves.
Not Killkenny's mass graves
But the beds of the Aegean Sea-
The road from Damascus stacked with similarities
Even Saul could see,
Floatsome children line beaches,
Their flesh all bloated and grey like typhus
Their parents, skeleton faces
Line security gates and fences -
Wire poked with frail famine hands-
Lips stitched and stomachs pitted
As Joe McDonnell, Bobby Sands....
And still we say they're not like us,
Don't belong like us.
I can never forget,
Scotland is cut from refugees,
And I am privileged.
My mothers made their journeys for me,
So now I watch from couch
Miles from pipe bomb and peace walls.
Yet I will not fall silent,
I stand tall I stand proud
In welcome and unity
I stand in solidarity
With displaced people now residing in Scotland.