Argyllshire Gathering and Yes Scotland campaign for independence

I am not a political person and have no educated opinion on whether or not Scotland should vote to become independent from England on September 18th, 2014. But, the contrast of the peaceful politics of this vote in 2014 with William Wallace’s loss at Stirling Bridge in 1297 and the battle of Culloden which ended the Jacobite rising in 1746, moved me to write this poem.  I am proud of the United Kingdom, of England and Scotland for showing the world and humankind a better way, a peaceful way without more war.
argyllshire gathering
Argyllshire gathering and yes Scotland campaign
Argyllshire Gathering
and Yes Scotland campaign for independence

Cabers, stones, and hammers
tossed by kilted burly men.

Runners scramble to be the first
to overtake the hill and return.

Bagpipers pipe for judges,
tartaned men and women alike
squeeze out the haunting musical wails.

Tents flying clan crest flags
sell history to visiting distant blood.

Hundreds of ordinary people
slip away from their busy droning lives
to cheer on the games
and recall the stories of historic heroes
and legendary clans.

There is a lost spirit or courage
or some sort of old belonging
that the games attempt to rekindle.
We have romanticized the strength
and valor and kinship of the ancient highland Scots
like Lord of the Ring Dwarfs defeating the evil dragon.

These feats of strength and skill
connect us for a moment
to a time when men lived by their
guts and biceps and fortitude,
when fighting for family ties and territory
was a way of life.

What we forget
is that men and women
also lived in fear,
lived short hard lives
in a stone fortress
built on a wind-whipped cliff
with gun holes and look-out towers.

We forget that brothers conspired
against brothers and fathers
for the right to rule.

We forget that most people were poor
and those with wealth
sacrificed to keep it.

I think about Culloden,
about the men who died
at the hands of other men,
about William Wallace
who was drawn and quartered
for the same politics
that will be decided by a peaceful vote
on September 18, 2014.

Real strength and heroism
lies in cooperation,
in understanding,
and acceptance of differences.

Instead of kill or be killed
let us applaud
live and let live.

Maybe the gathering
is also symbolic of acceptance.
Travelers from all over the world
watch these gaming Scots.

Competing runners congratulate each other.
The strong men
carry the caber for each other
and chat between events.
Spectators are invited to
participate in a fun foot race.

For a few hours,
we are all Scottish.
We are all heroes
of a new emerging world,
a world coming together,
a greater humanity,
a humane humanity.

Yes to Scotland,
Yes to the world
Yes to team humanity.

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Phrasing-hell in Scotland

Two funny peeps on a trip to Scotland produce a list of phrases. Worth a laugh.
Phrasing hell in Scotland.
photo of “Essential Edinburgh” sign taken through the hand blown glass window of a pub on Rose Street.

Phrasing-hell in Scotland
by Dawn Anderson and David Ellis

Junk makes junk.
The bridge is the bridge.
The blonde leading the blind.
Head in the general direction.
Let the castle be your guide.
The art must go on.
I should have bought the yak postcard.
Laundray in the liebray
with a strawebray
and Col. Mustard with the lead pipe.
I’ll recover in the museum.
The Kraken is knockin’.
Nudity in paintings,
obviously on purpose.
Consistent inconsistencies.
The castle: commercial cramfest.
Put the backpack back on the back.
F U tattoo, the traffic hindrance.
The priority is to get to the place
in the first place then get your fish and chips.
That’s not the right green bus!
Have you got whisky that tastes like beer?
You’re not a man if it doesn’t taste horrible.
You’ve broken my marmite heart.
Croissant art.
Tarts don’t eat tarts at high tea.
Abandon sheep.
We came, we saw, we castled.

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Funny Scottish words

I love Scotland…the people, the sites, the history, and the language. Here’s a little ditty I wrote about a few of the Scottish words that made me grin. Enjoy.
Funny Scottish words.
Funny Scottish words

Cullen skink
didn’t stink
unless smoked haddock chowder
would never be in your louder.

Ben Mor
that low mountain
should be higher,
more height for this land-stunted sire.

Harry Coos
those fuzzy highland moos
so docile and sweet
too bad for them the Scots
love their meat.

Wee dram of whisky
drinking it could be risky,
it’s so strong
you’ll break out in song.

Rabbie Burns
is Robert Burns
a Scottish farmer poet
with a perchance
for romance.

A tattie scone
not long before it’s gone
that potato flat bread
sure to please even a veg head.

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Poem / Poetry – “A Sheepish Grin”


David and I had a fun picnic in Oban, Scotland near an old castle ruin. This is a great account of the picnic and our castle experience. Be ready to giggle.

Originally posted on toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish):

I wrote this whilst out on a romantic picnic and making a new friend.

Here is a picture of him :)


“A Sheepish Grin” by David Ellis

The day starts off very well
With romantic picnic plans
Exotic cheeses, nuts and biscuits
Walking along the beach squeezing hands

Off to the ruins of a castle
What better place to dine
Than under the shady branches
Of a magnificent oak or pine

Wait, they want to charge admission?
And they’re having trouble with the card machine
If they are going to charge money for these things
They should at least know what they are doing
Particularly since the queue is now longer than those at Disneyland

Up the path to this glorified fort
After forking out an arm and a leg for this, it had better be good
As we arrive, all I see is an eyesore
A metal fence surrounding…

View original 107 more words

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My first time in Scotland. A week in Edinburgh. Great city. Here’s the poem:

city of happy lilts and kilts,
of plump haggis with
buttery mashed tatties
and earthy turn-neeps.

The pubs
polished wood firelights
where the weather cannot reach,
cannot tarnish these merry souls
sharing a wee dram of warming whisky
or a pint or three of brewers beast.

A castle on the hill
has seen victory and defeat
now testament to the spirit
of this proud lot
who believe in brotherhood
for all are Scottish.

Monuments not to war alone
but to writers and thinkers
and inventors do commemorate
the Scottish creativity and ingenuity.
Sir Walter Scott has his gothic rocket,
Robert Burns a columned gazebo,
and James Young Simpson like
the loyal Greyfriars Bobby
is preserved in statued pride.

On the end of the Royal Mile
stands the Palace of Holyrood
where an abbey once flourished
‘round a holy rood crucifix
found in the antlers of an angry stag.

The absentee Charles
remodeled it French
by happy chance
for later Mary Queen of Scots
brought her coveted
six-foot, fair-skinned beauty
and childhood French sensibility
to these cold stone walls.

The stones now host
Poetry for the Palace
chronicling the royal Laureate ditties
and rhymes of flattering phrase
beginning at the beginning with John Dryden
to the old duffer Carol Ann
with her mumbles written in colorful art.

Her mumbles reach down a little close
where the Scottish Poetry Library
tucks away a haven for poets,
where readers can while away the day
with book sculptures, poems on tape,
and quiet shelves of the world’s verse.

The skyline of Edinburgh
does not stop at castles and palaces
and masculine monuments
or even tiny poetry nooks
but delights the intellect
with museums galore.
There’s the National Gallery of Scotland
not to be confused with
the National Museum of Scotland.
There’s the Portrait museum,
the Childhood museum,
the Edinburgh museum,
the People’s Museum,
the royal yacht Britannia museum
and The Writers Museum
where hangs John Singer Sargent’s rendering
of Robert Louis Stevenson.

So bring your hungry bellies
and hungry minds to grand old Eddie
and lift your pint high,
toast this great breed of hardy Scots
who are quick to lend a hand
and a laugh
and tell you a tale of history.
“Lang may yer lum reek!” (May you live long and stay well.)

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Birthday thoughts and wishes for Mom from abroad

Birthday thoughts and wishes for Mom from abroad
Birthday thoughts and wishes for Mom from abroad

The Scottish sea breeze
wafts in the window of
this friendly B&B on
Mom’s birthday.

I hear the passers by
with their expressive accents
laughing gaily enjoying today
one of the remaining sunny days of August.

What a great time to be born
whether in a little old-world town like Oban, Scotland
or a little new-world town in Wisconsin.

August is a month of harvest,
of cool mornings
and bright days,
of clear starry nights
and fresh ripe tomatoes a plenty.

My heart bridges the gap
across the ocean
across 3000 miles
across culture and time change
sending love and gratefulness to you Mom
on this beautiful day of your birth.

I will send you vibrations of love
and life and of loving life today
as I feel the rush of Lora Falls
in Connel in the green green of the highlands
and take in the breath-giving views of Loch Feochan.
I will send to your free spirit from mine
the awe of Easdale island
and calm of a walk on the pebbly beach of Oban
as the sun sets behind the wild windswept isles
of Kerrera and Mull.

I will lift a pint of Scotland’s finest
and toast to the life of a Mother
who has given me so much of me.
So here’s to you Mom
a Scottish blessing from your
daughter so near in heart:

“May you have,
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire”

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Peeling the spoiling fruit

Writing poetry is a way to answer the questions you have of yourself. This poem started as a wondering why i was feeling closed and distant and irritated. The process of writing the poem was a noodling out of the problem and coming to the answer. The answer then lead to the cure. Whew…all better now. Here’s the poem:
Peeling the spoiling fruit.
Peeling the spoiling fruit

Fruit so juicy,
so vibrant,
so delicious,
turns on a day of
over stimulation.
Begins to sour,
begins to fade,
begins to smell acrid.

I pierce the mystery,
the thick peel,
the cultural should,
the illusion,
the romantic notion,
the headdress
to reveal the flesh beneath.
Naked and raw,
real, vulnerable.
Holding the seeds
that are my truth.

I tweeze into the soft flesh.
It has turned mushy.
Searching for the answers,
the hard seeds,
the genetic code,
the source,
the answer to why.
Why does romance
have an expiration?
Why does it dissolve
like a cloud so plump
and high and beautiful
becoming just fleeting mist
when it sinks to earth?

The rain is my comfort.
It is me.
It keeps my energy for me.
Keeps touch and warmth away
when I have had my fill.

Is my vessel for touch so small?
It craves a small and frequent touch,
bubbles and laughs
and sprouts the seeds.
But the sprouts quickly turn
when the vessel is over full,
saturated, soaked,
wanting no more.
Do not touch.
Do not breathe on me.
I can no longer laugh
but go into my shell.
Need the rain.
Need my energy for me
not stolen away
and rotting.
Is this my fate?
My struggle between
alone and surrounded,
between lonely and over stimulated.
Is there an in-between?
A happy middle?
A perfect ripeness,
a fruiting?

It is to love many
And to hold the significant place
for myself
keeping just enough of my energy
for me
through poetry,
through solitude,
through sleep
And sharing the extra
with the many I love.
Spreading joy.
Sprinkling the energy I can share.
Sharing that excess
of magic and healing.

The answer then
is “many.”
Love many.
Love many
after I have first
loved and cared for



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