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True hospitality is sharing what you have.
Elizabeth McCulloch


by Karl Marx

Let us do and dare our utmost
Never from the strife recede,
Never live in dull inertia,
So devoid of will and deed.

Anything but calm submission
To the yoke of toil and pain!
Come what may then, hope and longing,
Deed and daring still remain.


Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


A Bonnie Fechter
by Sheila Templeton

That winter, snaw flew its feathers thick
smoorichin the hale Rannoch Moor.
I thocht the warld wud be white for iver.
Danny the Keeper said the stags
wud have tae come doon,
else they'd sterve tae death.

We'd niver seen red deer afore.
But these beasts wernae ony shade o red.
Ivery day as the licht hid ahint the Black Mounth,
they floated ower the high fence at the side o the line,
sepia angels biggen a brig ower cloudy drifts
against a grape slate sky. I thocht their hooves
could niver touch the grun,

until the day we heard a scraping
ootside the kitchen door. He was big.
His antlers telt a lang story, a hero's story,
of territory defended and hinds protected.
He eased back a bittie, but didnae flee.
At my mither's nod, I threw the tattie peelings
scudding intae the kirned up khaki snaw.

And waited and watched while he took his time,
his fine big heid lowered wi nae loss o dignity.
And so he lat me feed him ivery day, as the licht
left the sky. Nae to touch or stroke, but he'd lat me
look intae his een and watch him,

until the day he didnae come. The day I looked
and shouted and poked aboot the frosty dyke.
But nae use. My pail o slippy tattie parings frozen
in the night where I'd left it. I splashed bilin water
tae saften it for him. But nae sign. Winter gnawed on,

until Danny the Keeper said ower a nip and a fag
Thon's a grand auld beast deid doon by the burn.
Funny that. How they hide awa, when they ken
it's their time. Like an auld war hero. Like ony
bonnie fechter fan he kens his time is up.

Sheila Templeton
Sheila Templeton.

Sheila Templeton is originally from Aberdeenshire...A Buchan quine...but currently lives on the Ayrshire coast. She has been a first prize winner in both the McCash Scots language poetry competition and also the Robert McLellan poetry competition. Her work has also won other prizes eg A Bonnie Fechter was 2nd in the McCash in 2005 and been published in collection, anthologies, magazines and newspapers. She has two publications coming out later in 2010, a pamphlet of new poems and a selected and new poems collection. She also gives readings of her work, sometimes solo, sometimes with the Makar Poets' Performance Group.

Reason and Rhyme in 2009