Voyagers 2003

Twinty-five year

And a licht hour fae hame

Birslin up the interstern causey

Brandishin images

Clean-cut Americans

Adrift on orra quasars.


An inch alang ma pinkie

On a finger-neb o bane

Birslin up the internuclear causey

Brandishing images

Baggit-eed mimmerkins

Adrift on orra quarks.


Warlds birl in eternity

Ends tryst in infinity

Solar stour on the cosmic shelf

Galaxies in a pinkie skelf.

Gin we canna fin life in outer space

Inby is a yet mair unkent place.

Nae Quarter


Roon O



Wah Wah

Heid like a neep

Waarm and wee

Pink bud asleep

Oan wur tree.


Here Ah strunt, the warld’s room’s mine

Richt on sang, gallus, free!

Ah’ve aw the plans an aw the time

A dizzen cities beckon me

A score o different weys tae wend

A hunnert fowk tae mak ma freen.

A thoosand new-farrant thochts tae send!

The heichs are blue, the glens are green.


Ah ken bi noo Ah’m likely through

The middle merk that ligs atween

Though sun’s still high, twaloors is by

The morra rings in douce yestreen

An yet, as Ah gang sloomin doon

Fae salad days tae glen o greetin

Ilk morn wi rosy hope is croonit

The daw yet sends the grey cluds fleetin.


And noo, hauf-hoodit in the haar o Time

The Baddies come ridin in ower the faur lea.

They’re aye in the distance, a blearie wee line

Kickin up sic a stour, they hide fae the ee.

Ah noo an again gliff them; they’re ilka ane there

Arthritis, Angina, the aul Werr and Terr.

Their daithly braith jeels me, Ah tell masel, Naw,

A wee tummy twang, it’s naethin ava,

Jist a wee sniffle, whaur’s the cough cure?

Need a new telly, soond’s affa puir

Nae faur intae gloamin, nae muckle tae fear,

But naethin’s mair siccar and naethin’s mair clear

Amang thae pale riders a black-hattit ane

Has whittled lang syne ma name on his gun.


Was coorie in

Canna lang last

Nae muckle future

Bit …..whit a graun past!



Mary McCabe

Up an doon an roon

When Ah wis wee Glesca wis black

Canyons windin

Tramcaurs grindin

Chalk oan the was

Clickety cobblestanes

Rickety gallus weans               cheeky


Noo Ah’m big, Glesca’s rid

Rubbit raw

Scrubbit braw

Brassy blonde hooses

Rid Squerr n jazz



Up oan the skyline

High-rise an pylons

Wind birlin stour                         dust

Roon the fowk faur ablow

Wide yawnin space

Wi nivver a trace

O the tramcaurs and canyons

We knew lang ago

Two Haikus written while in China


Adhar ceimigeach

Fichead millean ann an Shanghai

Gealach odhar.


Chemical Sky

Over Shanghai’s twenty million

Tea-rose moon rising


Great Wall

Cheud ceum air seann cabhsair

Fillte thar nan cnoc cian gorm

Mùr Mòr.


First step on ancient causey

Folded over the far green hills

Great Wall.


GAELIC HAIKUS based on the Ogham


Doir’- beithe

Sgàilean plaosgach air uaine

Banais air chall ann an giùlan


Birch grove

Glimmering veils in forest green

Lost brides at a funeral



 Seileach a’ tumadh

Sreang anns an abhainn

Cùirtear sraing aig losgannan


Willow wallows in the shallows

Dipping tendrils

Lace curtain for frogs



Uath breac

Cùbhreachd a’pasgadh droighnichean

An-t-og-mhios air a bhreith/a togalaich!


Speckled hawthorn pink and white

Perfumed blanket swaddles the thorns

June moon



Sgiathalaich duir

Speur a reir Van Gogh

Leòban orachan de’n-t-samhradh


Fluttering oak

Patches of Van Gogh sky

Golden scraps of summer



Clòimh-chat air a’choll

Breaghad anns an t-Earrach

Babagan an òir


Hazel dressed in finery

Ruffling on the Spring breeze

Golden bobbles



Silver fir

Stairway through the woodland canopy

Squirrel skywalker


Ailm staidhreach

Briseadh am mullach-coille

Feòrag anns an adhar gorm


The following four haikus have not been published but are part of the same set



Taigh sean a’caogaidh troimh gort

Lòsain dorcha

Feusag is speuclairean.)


Old house keeking through the ivy

Panes gleaming darkly

Beard and glasses



Onn air na beanntan, teine òir

Grianach a dh’fhaicinn

Cràiteach a làimhsich


Whins on the mountainside, blaze of gold

Sunny to see

Searing to hold!



Luis ‘na fàs trasda

Dìreach as an taobh

Sgùd àrd air a fuar Beinn Mor


Rowan alone

Straight out of the bare rock

Ben More’s lofty pioneer




Iubhar dubh

Meallach le ‘n ealain àma

Freiceadan aig an dorus bàis.


Black yew

Twisted by the arts of time

Bouncer at the door of death