Friday, March 7, 2008

At the Fank, a poem in Gaelic


Aig an Fhaing

Nam sheasamh thall aig geat a’ phreiridh,
feur glan fom bhotannan,
lamhan fuar nam phocaidean,
faileadh an dup
gu fann
gu neo-chinnteach
a’ nochdadh mu mo chuinnlean


’s mi a’ coimhead cach cruinn
lachanaich le cheile
timcheall air an fhaing:
a’ bruthadh nan caorach,
guthan ard ag eigheachd
’s a’ gearain, ’s a’ gaireachdainn
’s gach druim thugams’
gam ghlasadh a-mach.


Mi seasamh, ’s a’ coimhead
’s a’ feitheamh airson facal
mo ghluasad gu feum.


Mi siubhal gu slaodach
a’ cruinneachadh nan uan
’s gan ruagadh romham
a-steach gu cach;
uain a’ ruith
gu meulaich math’r.
Boinneagan uisge
mar mhillean mialan
a’ leum as an dup,
agus crathadh cinn nan adharcan
fliuch, fuar, feagalach
a’ deanamh as.


Ceum no dha eile
’s chi mi aodannan nan gair’.
Mo lamhan fhin a’ breith air cloimh,
faileadh an dup air mo chorragan,
peant a’ camharradh mo chasan,
poll dubh bog air mo bhotannan
’s mo chanan fhin nam bheul.



At the Fank

Standing over by the prairie gate
with clean grass under my wellies,
cold hands in my pockets,
the smell of the sheep dip
faintly
hesitantly
coming to my nostrils


as I watch the others gathered
around the fank
and laughing with each other:
pushing the sheep,
loud voices shouting
and moaning, and laughing
and all with their backs to me
shutting me out.


I stand and watch
and wait for a word
to move me to usefulness.


Moving slowly
gathering the lambs
and driving them before me
in towards the others;
lambs running
to a mother’s bleat.
Drops of water
jump from the sheep dip
like millions of fleas
and the horns’ head-shaking,
wet, cold, fearful
running off.


Another step or two
and I can see the laughing faces.
My own hands holding wool,
the smell of sheep dip on my fingers.
Paint marking my legs,
soft black mud on my wellies
and my own language on my tongue.


Anne Frater. (1967-       )

Aig an Fhaing / At the Fank copyright © Anne Frater. First published in Gairm magazine

http://www.britishcouncil.org/scotland-arts-poems-biography-ann-frater.htm

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/contacts/anne-c-frater

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