WITH this visionary reflection, Rab Wilson of New Cumnock has won joint first prize, and £875, in the 2016 James McCash Scots Poetry Competition on the theme of Change Is Lichtsome. 

Loch Doon’s silvered face reflecks the mune,
Its banks an braes hae tint her hirsel’s herds,
An anely maps nou kythe firgotten wirds,
O airts whaur bairns aince dooked wi’oot their shune.
Ane bi ane the blinterin cot-hoose lichts
Hae aa gaen oot, thair anely lown stane wa’s
Tae mind o thaim wha’ve aa bin redd awa,
Frae Starr, Black Craig, Craigmalloch an the like.
The how-dumb-deid o daurkness nou descends,
Slypes ower the Carrick Hills lik thunner cloods,
It sclimbs the ramparts whaur the Bruce aince stuid,
An aa the heichs an dowie houms it hains.
When aathing’s lowsed fir aye in pit mirk nicht,
Whaur wull we cast oor een tae fin the licht?


Abune a hill that’s nearhaund Craigengillan,
A metal dome revolves atop a slope,
The 20-inch Dall Kirkham telescope
Trains its ee oan some hyne-awa shieling;
Andromeda’s antrin bricht Ring Nebulae,
Glents twa million mair’s licht years awa,
The Milky Way streams oot abune us aa,
A supernova pents a starn’s daith cry. . .
Wha wid hae thocht this laundscape purged o licht,
Wid bring sic ferlies tae wir ain hairthstane,
An braith a life intil’t whaur thair wis nane.
The Cosmos birls around us glentin bricht,
An weans wha dabbled here in ilka burn,
Their progeny micht sail ayont the Sun.