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Set owre frae Pablo Neruda’s

Explico Algunas Cosas

  Awa ti speir – an whaur’s aa the lilacs?

an the metaphysics clartit wi poppies?

An the onding dirlin oot

his words ti pirlicue them

wi insichts an wi birds?


Lat’s hae a news, hae aa ma news thegither.


I bade in a barrio o Madrid ,

Madrid o the bells

o the clocks, o the trees.


Thonner awa we leukit oot

atour Castile ’s cabbrach pow

lik a seascape o ledder.

                                    Ma hoose wis cried

hoose o the flouers sen aagates

geraniums fair explodit: it wis

a bonnie hoose

wi dugs an weans.


                                    Raoul, mynd?

Dae you mynd, Rafael?

                                    Federico, dae you mynd

frae unner mools

mynd ma hoose wi the balconies

whaur the licht o June stappit flouers in yer mou?

                                                               Brither, ma brither!


Aathing wis

lood vyces, sautit troke,

bings o pipperin breid

mercat staas o the Arguelles bit I bade, wi thon statue

lik a tuim inkwal amang hake-fish:

olive ile trintelt on the spuins,

a deep dirlin

o hauns an feet fuhled the gate,

meters, litres, the eident

smeddum o life,

                        fishes fair stoukit,

ruiftaps waft unner a cauld sun

whaur the cocksails ar trauchelt,

a braw wuidness o ivory tatties,

tomaitas rowein doun til the sea.


An ae mornin aa this wis ableize

an ae mornin banefires

brust frae the yirth,

burnin awa lifes,

an sinsyne fire,

gunpouther sinsyne,

an sinsyne bluid.

Reivers wi planes an wi Moors,

reivers wi fingir-rings an duchesses

reivers wi black friars’ blissins

rade frae the luft ti kill weans,

an oot on the gate the bluid o the weans

fair ran free, as weans’ bluid will.


Jackals the jackal wadna awn them,

stanes the thrawn thristle ruit wad bite an gob,

edders edders sels wad cowk at.


I hae seen the bluid o Spain

rise up fornent ye,

ti droun ye in ae spate

o pride an blades!




see whit deid ma hoose is,

leuk at the wrack o Spain :

but frae ilka deid hoose airn rins afire

insteid o flouers,

frae ilka shell-howe in Spain

Spain seeds,

frae ilka deid wean a gun wi een,

ilk crime is faither o buhlets

that ae day yit will seek oot

yer hert.


Aye want ti ken whit wey his poems

disna tell us o his dreams, an leafs,

an muckle volcanoes in his mitherland?


Come an see the bluid in the streets,

come an see

the bluid in the streets,

come an see the bluid

in the streets!



John Law