{poetry friday: the morning after, by christine de luca}

To Scotland, however you should find yourself, this morning:

Oh, the many crazy faces you showed us in our five years of living with you, Scotland – quirky, bloodyminded, strange, silly, ferocious, friendly, vivid, cautious, different.

Kilsyth 24

Town ride, Kilsyth.

Stirling 264

A Shopping Fool, Stirling


Hens night oot! Mar Hall.

Stirling 219

Springtime STYLIN’ in Stirling.

Alec's 3rd Birthday 079

New friends, Quayside, Glasgow

Charing Cross 418

Friendly adversaries, Charing Cross.

Alec's 3rd Birthday 108

Old friends, Quayside

Uisge Beatha 01

Sassy. West End, Glasgow.




And quite sweet. Bishopton.

Each face is you.

And, on this first morning, when neighbors step out to the newsagent together, and eyes meet over coffee, when the first news reports are spilling through the airways, we think of lovely, complex, vital you, and with your wise poet, we say:

The Morning After

Scotland, September 19th, 2014

Let none wake despondent: one way
or another we have talked plainly,
tested ourselves, weighed up the sum
of our knowing, ta’en tent o scholars,
checked the balance sheet of risk and
fearlessness, of wisdom and of folly.

It’s those unseen things that bind us,
not flag or battle-weary turf or tartan.
There are dragons to slay whatever happens:
poverty, false pride, snobbery, sectarian
schisms still hovering. But there’s
nothing broken that’s not repairable.

Read the whole of the poem by Christine De Luca at the Scottish Poetry Library, or listen to new voters recite it below.

To this varied and rich nation, today we say you have indeed dragons yet to slay, no matter what – regardless of what must be staggering disappointment for some, we Americans, accustomed to bitterly picking up and going on as well, salute you. You have done what we cannot – you have galvanized voices, and made people care. 97% voter registration throughout the country is AMAZING. Look at you! Now that your nation is awake and engaged — you have new eyes open, and new voices speaking and new hearts echoing courage. We fully expect you to embrace the democratic Utopia America has not as yet – and may never – achieve.

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Charing Cross 546

Good on ya, Scotland.

Poetry Friday today is hosted at Amy’s Poem Farm. X-posted @ Hobbits Abroad.

6 Replies to “{poetry friday: the morning after, by christine de luca}”

    1. Thanks – those were some random candids and not-so-candids from various celebrations (and wanderings to the bus stop) in Scotland. People see a camera in Glasgow and they mainly say “Take my picture, mate!” and pose; elsewhere, it’s quite different, but Glasgow takes the cake, as usual.

      That poem just gobsmacked me; I’m so glad someone with some sense was thinking ahead to the following day – this was as polarizing for some as the Civil War was for families in America. It was stressful to see people so passionate – knowing that there’s only one winner. However, in this case, that one winner is Scotland, or so they say…

  1. “An Open Heart”

    I get all teary eyed reading about this monumental, historic vote and all that it represents. Thanks for posting the poem and all the wonderful photos! What a beautifully diverse country. Voter turnout was amazing. Democracy at work. Why have we screwed it up?

    1. If only Scotland can hold on to that, to how ENGAGED and AWAKE they all became over an issue… good grief, since the Vietnam War, has America gotten together and cared about anything??? In my lifetime, no. It was really uplifting to see, and yea or nay, they’re a brilliant and bold people, and I just wish every good thing for them.

      1. It was so inspiring to hear how they conducted themselves — passionate yes, but none of the ugly stuff we see in our country all the time. Our system is broken. We supposedly “care” when there’s a great tragedy, like Sandy Hook, for example — but when it comes to enacting legislation to do something about gun violence, we fall short. Party politics and self interest always take precedence over the good of the country.

        1. I think, overall, we have… what do they call it, “concern apathy”?… Our national attention span is extremely short, as is the international one, but because America drives a lot of the cultural interest, I think that international apathy largely settles at our door. We’re too easily distracted by the next shiny new thing – gadgets and ice bucket challenges and oh, darn, people getting shot? That’s too bad, but it’s not happening here — like every organism, we avoid stimuli which make us uncomfortable. Because we’re not single-celled organisms avoiding a needle, but thinking, speaking, up-right walking bipedal human beings, I think that makes us a little immature. And yes, our system is broken, I agree. The problem is, we’re afraid to do anything about it because it would require going outside our comfort zones.

          When I think about things like that, I think how can I challenge myself a little better in that area? Because, I think it’s going to come down to individual contributions to get us moving the right direction…

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