Scottish Poetry Selection
- Pictures in the Fire

You don't get much in the way of entertainment from a modern central heating system. But in the days of coal, wood or peat fires, watching the flames and imagining pictures being painted by them was a frequent occurrence. Here is a poem by S. Winchester describing such a scene.

Pictures in the Fire

Pit oot the licht, I'll sit alane,
The peat fire glow is a' I need.
Pictures noo without a frame,
They're a' here mirrored in my heid.

A country school-bairns walkin'miles
(Thae days we hadna even bikes!)
A gird tae rin ahin, an' whiles
A sledge fin winter filled the dykes.

Lang simmer days wi' barfit feet
Parks o' stooks an' wee hairst mice
A wild floo'er carpet, made complete,
Oor ain wee world ca'ed paradise.

A clockin' hen wi' a her brood
Gings cluckin' roon an' scrapin' sair,
A feathered 'mum' but jist as prood,
Her day's her ain-she's free as air.

Ah weel - a bairn's life noo-adays
Tae mine bears nae resemblance
But amang the gifts the guid Lord gies
There's ane He ca'ed remembrance.

Meaning of unusual words:
school-bairns=school children
gird=iron hoop
rin ahin=run behind
Parks o' stooks=fields of sheaves set up to dry
wee hairst mice=small harvest mice

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