Poem of the week : Reflections


Have ye ony comprehension
Ae whit lassies have tae face?
Fechtin tooth an nail
Tae gain respect in every space.

It’s no aboot the stuff I say,
Or whit A try tae write,
It’s the way A look while daein it –
Have ye ever heard such shite?

A long fur days when A can talk
Wae makeup oan ma puss,
An no hae men inquire
Why A’ve gone tae sic a fuss.

Or tell me how A turn them on ,
Or whit they’d like tae dae,
Or redirect the dialogue
Tae whit they want tae say.

Don’t get me wrong – A love the lads,
But feel that A should mention:
The fact A’m here tae educate,
No jist fur male attention.

An A’m telt every day
Tae keep ma heid doon and ignore,
But fur every “gaun yersel hen”
There’s a “vapid ugly whore”.

So A call oot the bastards
Who make ma work a game:
Haud a mirror tae misogyny
And watch it cringe in shame.

And tae the men who fear the women
They cannot control,
Know while you may break a heart
Ye cannae break a soul.

Cos A’m thinkin o quines scrievin
In their mither’s mither tongue,
An lassies writin poetry –
The old yins and the young.

Tae the wee girls, hear me say this
In ma Mammy’s native speech:
Know that ye can advocate,
Inspire, craft an teach.

Know yer words hae power
Beyond the way ye look.
Take the bullshit that life throws yer way
And fill a bloody book.

Dinnae listen tae they fuds
Keep daein whit ye’re dain
Makeup a mind wae makeup oan
Fur nae mind but yer ain


Len Pennie is a Scottish poet and Scots language and mental health advocate. She recently won the Scots Performer of the Year Award at the Scots Language Awards.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Tom Ultuous says:

    Brilliant. That’s me telt.

  2. Alex McCulloch says:

    Mon the quines a scrievin!

    Fantastic ‘Reflections’, and we all stand wi Lennie!
    Iona’s work new to me – noo ah’m spoilt fur choice!

  3. Hilary Graham says:

    Brilliant! Love it.

  4. Alice says:

    so true ……love the language ….thanks so much!

  5. Time, the Deer says:

    More power to you, Len. Don’t let the bastards get you down 🙂

  6. Adrian Roper says:

    Great poem.
    It minded me of a song my daughter told me about:

  7. Maggie Montgomery Norfolk says:

    Am an auld yin haudin a mirror fur oor bairns and fur aw the years yon really auld system creaking an crumbling noo…still kill oor young…nae mair
    Many mirrors muckle or wee ur being held up the gither a see an hope becomes addictive
    no yet free
    Yin day a strive to see yon freedoms fur aw us ma daughter sons and me. Gratitude Len Pennie

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