Modern technology can bring the plight of refugees into our living-rooms. But that perhaps only heightens the helplessness of viewers to do anything to remedy the inhumanity they see.

This is Ann Mackinnon’s theme for her poem below, in the Yuill 2017 edition of Lallans (£9).


I look at a foonderin kintra –

brent hooses and fowk skaithed.

Nae plac tae gan – nae welcome.


Ivry nicht bombs hash their hameland.

Here we gaither claes and fuid

in great muckle bings, no kenning


if oor haund oots will reak thae hameless.

Gin we cud rowe back the video

they wud be awricht agin.


The deid wid rise yince mair.

I rax for the remote control but ken

it’ll no wark fur thae faraway fowk.


Ma monie cannae red up this midden.

I hunker doon, owertain, hertsair,

ettlin tae fund the rowe back.


Insteed I ding the replay

And hae tae luik yince mair

At thae wracked boadies.