Mak me a path o herrin bone
frae Bonny Dunbar tae Lauder
an tak me awa frae the salt an the spray
tae the soil that's ower the Border,
whaur Ah'll trade siller darlins
fer pennies an farthins
or barter for meal an eggs,
afore turning fer hame
wi ma back bowed again
an ma creel fair bucklin ma legs
as Ah trawl the Herrin Trail
an Ah trawl the Herrin Trail
waves o heather, nets o whins
sweeten ma Selkie skin
an Ah ken when Ah'm hame
wi ma ain kith an kin
Ah'll be in great favour again,
fer the change in oor diet
will fair cause a riot
till Ah carry ma lad back tae sea,
haud him high, keep him dry
till the wind blaws strang,
flaps the sheets, fills his sails
an he trawls the herrin trail.
Rita Bradd is published since 2007 in a number of anthologies, and has read in many venues. In 2016 at StAnza - the Scottish International Poetry Festival held in St Andrews - her poem City of Adelaide Bleeds was a film installation. In July 2015 she was on BBC 3's 'The Verb' with Ira Lightman, she took part in CoastWord Festival, Dunbar and Book Week Scotland. She has run poetry workshops for children in schools and community events. Her first pamphlet with Red Squirrel Press is due in 2017. She has published 'The Three Craws' a series of scripts in Scots/English on radio, also performed in Robert Burns Museum and his 'Howff' in Dumfries, at Edinburgh's Scottish Storytelling Centre and in Bayeux, Normandy. Rita is completing her book on her voyage to South Australia on a cargo ship with the oldest surviving clipper ship City of Adelaide/Carrick.
The Herrin Trail was long-listed for the James McCash Scots Poetry Competition in 2011. It was put on a postcard by North Light Arts, and was published in Eiks an Ens, the magazine of The Scots Language Association, in February 2012. Later that year it was made into a Filmpoem by Alastair Cook and premiered at Callander Poetry Festival. In February 2015 it featured on BBC Scotland Culture Studio as part of a feature on 'The Creel Loaders', a new sculpture for Dunbar. It was made as a 'Sma Buik' by Poem-for-All for StAnza in 2016, and is included in Rita's debut pamphlet from Red Squirrel Press, due in 2017.
Visit Rita's website.
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Photograph © Alan Bradd
The Herrin Trail © 2016 Rita Bradd: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.