The Rev. Robert Walker nonchalantly skating on Duddingston Loch, Edinburgh, is one of the prize exhibits of Scotland’s National Galleries.

Lydia Robb is not the only poet to find him inspirational (Edwin Morgan portrayed him charmingly), but Robb has fun not so much at the expense of the skater as of his viewers.

Her poem was shortlisted in a McCash Scots Poetry Competition. Poets are reminded that entries for the 2018 competition must arrive by January 31.


You leukin at me Jimmy?

Tell ye this, ye’r no the first the day.

I’ve tholed them aa; schuil bairns, mithers, faithers

an a wheen o gowpin furriners forbye.


Och, keep yer heid doun, here’s anither thrang

O Embra sweetie-wifies, fu a claik.

Ane thinks I maun hae been a prideful chiel,

ithers see a twinkle in ma ee.


Leuk at thae pokes o gee-gaws on their airms.

I dinna ken whit pleisures they cud gie.

I’m wearied skytin up yon flashy gravats

an roun thae plastic mats an whigmaleeries.


Tosht up in bleck fae fuit tae jaunty hat,

I’m up there wi the best o them I hear.

God only kens it’s fell sair on the hurdies

haudin this pose a puckle hunner year.


Thon sae-cried experts wheenge, they’re fair bamboozled.

They’ll hae puir Raeburn birlin in his lair.

Gin I cud speak, I’d pit them in the pictur.

I tap ma neb – they’ll get it wrang for shair.