YESTERDAY'S extracts from Hugh MacDiarmid's Gairmscoile extolled the Scots language.

Today's light-hearted piece shows how easily the language adapts to informal wit and humour. Ken Sutherland's mountaineer's manual is included in The Smeddum Test, twenty-first-century poems in Scots from the McCash Anthology 2003-2012 (Kennedy and Boyd). This year's McCash Competition has prize money of £3500.


Thon's ma ain flag

Snappin awa brawly

On tap o' Tinto Hill

Whaur Messner himsel

(The grand exemplar)

Hasna set his fuit.

Ahm a great believer

In aye pushin masel

Tae ma verra leemit,

That's why ahm here

This six month, i Zermatt

Ablow the Eiger

Puttin in ma trainin

Fur the north face

O' Largo Law.