The Boay Rit Didane Learn Swedis or French – Shane Johnstone

A tear faws as reality claws

Shane Johnstone is a Glasgow writer and poet, writing in his Glaswegian dialect of Scots and Scottish Gaelic. His prose has been published in literary magazines such as ‘Lallans,’ ‘Pushing Out The Boat,’ ‘Product Magazine’ and ‘New Scottish Writing.’ His writing features a consistant theme of examining modern class attitudes. His first novel is awaiting publication.

The Boay Rit Didane Learn Swedis or French

Lit a mad bolt tae the heid it cam

Oan a shyter ae the arse end ae the blackest backshift

Pannelin throu competin eez selfish fancies

Rooteed in the middle ae re sel, atween establishit identitees

As e pictures facees ae progressive pals

Answerin wi guilt the hoodies caw fir “new”

E made it blue oan paper ae start agane

Pit it in ink n pattit eez ain back

Sat back n smirked at eez modernitie

That’s hou ae move forrit, e shoutit wi wide ees

Alloued the tendrils ae Swedish an its associates tae tak root ower eez shame

Wife lookin oan wi wise resigned cynical truth

Tell thum it’s modyrn, picture ri praise

Thu’ll ask ye ae displae wi gleams in ees

The just motivation fir noble intentions

Nae need fir that auldness, that’s juist politics

Why bother wi strife, fir somethin that’s deid?

That’s no reason, put attention oan days tae come

So e scrunchees eez ees, clenchees eez cheeks

Erms grittit wi tension, heid burstin wi lines

Eh scribbles in blue, wi a hunner pictures floatin

Aw the while bubblin, tae be stuffit tae the boattom

Thae auld voicees screams will be snufft, (only fir so long)

An each minit passin brings ri threat ae him wakin


Clatty howlin rattles ri ayr aroon

E luiks up fae eez papir, tilts ri heid, sighs

Hauls ri heavy shooders, ri droopin torso

Opens ri latch tae ri ruim ae panic

The wee heid harried wi thots ae abandonins 

Wee rid ees searchin fir a big boady an a certain whiff

E sighs as e tips back warm milk, shhhhh

Guilt streamin throu tae the end ae the “h”

Sorry, ach sorry, ach sorry wee yin

A tear faws as reality claws

But nou’s no the tyme fir fancies an ifs

Yir heid doon, yir graft done, mak do

The auldness rears again, in a heid that’s too easy

Tae pummel intae the shapes ae others

Swedis n French wull huftae wayt

Lit rey did that last month an afore

Puir wee hing will need tae survive

Oan two native tongues that ye wir telt

Belong tae the past, though thir normalitie gropes ye

Thir evryday-ness shouts n bawls at ye, 

Thir aw aroon-ness elephants ri ruims

An noo, post decision, e listens fir facees

As normal interactions, induce squirmin an twitchin

An e hinks, wan day, e’ll learn thae two othirs

But noo e hears wi a smile, screamin a rattlin

An looks forrit tae speakin intae calm slumber, 

Eez puir, two tongued wean

Shane Johnstone

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