Aa but carbon neutral

Jaipur 2009

A man sits at his table i da street,
lifts a haevy iron fae a sunbaked tile.

Lasses crubbit in a rickshaa,
der saris eclipse da bougainvillea.

I da haert o a roondaboot, twartree tents;
women hing oot washin, day laaberers.

A midder traivels wi her bairns, peeriewyes;
a airm o a tree balanced apön her heid.

Anidder with a lod o laeves:
her urban goat has a short tedder.

Bruck bi da roadside is waeled trowe;
recycled bi a stray dog, a antrin coo.


(Translated into English)

A man sits at his table in the street,
lifts a heavy iron from a tile sunbaked.

A brisk huddle of girls in a rickshaw,
their saris eclipse the bougainvillea.

A few tents in the middle of a roundabout;
women hang out washing, day labourers.

A mother walks with a child, steadies
an arm of a tree on her head.

Another balances a load of leaves:
her urban goat is kept on a short rope.

Garbage on the pavement is recycled
by an evening cow, a cat, a stray dog.


Almost carbon neutral

Shetland 1909

Aye a penny for a Sabbath collar:
da rest o da week, a sark fae da pulley.

Pony an trap maybe, or jöst traivellin;
bairns in bricht gansies – red, yalloo, blue.

A antrin boady bade ootadaeks:
neebirs browt a egg, blaand, butter.

Gyaain hame fae a day at da hill:
blue clods i da kishie, wires fleein.

A maeshie o hay fae da mödow;
milk for da caddies, closs-cringed.

Brucks tae da grice, da hens, da dug;
whit’s unkirsen da maas ‘ll glunsh.


(Translated into English)

Always a penny for a Sabbath collar:
the rest of the week, a shirt from the pulley.

Pony and trap maybe, or just on foot;
children in bright jumpers – red, yellow, blue.

An occasional soul lived beyond the hill dyke:
neighbours brought an egg, whey, butter.

Going home from a day at working peats:
blue clods in the basket, speedy knitting needles.

A load of hay from the meadow;
milk for the orphan lambs, tethered together.

Left-overs for the pig, the hens, the dog;
what’s uneatable the seagulls will scoff.



© Christine de Luca 2009

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