Poems 2 is a collection of poems by several individuals.
The Burnton Bard
The following newspaper cutting was donated by George Gilbert. Any information as to the identity of the Burnton Bard would be much appreciated.
Coal and the Afton Glen
By Bobby Rogerson
Forgether bairns, aroond by me,
And I will tell the tale tae ye
O’ when the Afton’s bonnie Glen
Was kenn’t s hame by Minin’ Men.
Noo tak heed weans, list weel tae me,
The dungeon depths ye’ll never see;
The gates tae Hell are closed lang syne,
–may ye never see anither mine!
Noo listen Son–yer Da was born
In earshot o’ yon pitheid horn,
That blared alike for fire an’ flood,
And the spillin’ o’ a man’s lifeblood.
You, Bonnie Lass, yer Da’s lang gone,
Depairted in a bonnie dawn,
That wisna bonnie where He lay,
Pinned underground ‘mid smoth’rin’ clay—
An’ weel I mind yon Lammas eve,
That left sae mony cause tae grieve,
Mud, deadly, slid–an’ thirteen men
Forever sleep in Afton Glen.
Sae mony mair, my bonnie Bairns,
Lie sleepin’ neath memorial cairns,
A mindin’ o’ the debt ye owe
Tae the lads wha lost their lives below.
Sae tak heed Bairns, set high yer sight,
Ne’er bow the knee tae belted knight!
–And ever bear yer names wi’ pride,
Ye’re minin’ stock, frae the Afton side!
And noo, lang syne, the Lord be praised,
The final tow at last’s been raised;
King Coal’s nae mair in Afton Glen,
Where forever sleep the Minin’ Men!
Bobby Rogerson, circa 1965
Cocky’s Cawr (The Black Ile)
By Bobby Rogerson
THERE WAS A LAD WAS BORN IN KYLE,
WHA HAD A CAUR WI’ MUCKY ILE’
YE WAD BE RICHT TAE MAK’ ASSUMPTION
THAT HE’S NO BLESSED WI’ MUCKLE GUMPTION;
HE’S BEEN LIKE THIS SINCE HE WENT SAFT ON
A FITBA’ TEAM THEY CA’ GLENAFTON.
THE WHITEFORDS O’ NEW CUMNOCK TOON
ARE AFT AFFECTED BY THE MOON,
AN’ WHEN IT’S IN THE WAXIN’ PHASE,
SOMETIMES GAE WONKY WI’ SOME CRAZE
LIKE SCRATCHIN’ ROOND AMANG THE GLAUR,
AN’ CHANGIN’ ILE ABLOW THE CAUR
LIKE MONY ANITHER COUNTRY SWAIN,
JOHN WIS POSSESSED O’ A HUMAN BRAIN;
AN’ THOUGH YE HARDLY COULD JALOUSE IT,
HE’S EVEN LEARNED, AT TIMES, TAE USE IT.
AN’ SAE IT WIS THE LAD’S INTENT
TAE FAVOUR THE ENVIRONMENT.
JOHN TOOK YON CAUR AN’ DROVE FOR MILES
BY MOSSES, WATERS, SLAPS AN’ STILES
TILL, WHEN HE’D DRIVEN FAUR ENOUGH,
HE PARKED THE CAUR ATHWART A SHEUGH.
THE ENGINE SUMP WIS FINE AN’ WARM,
THE DRAIN PLUG WORKED JIST LIKE A CHARM!
BUT OCH!—THE PLAN WENT OOT O’ KILTER
WHEN JOCKIE WENT TAE CHANGE THE FILTER;
HE HEAVED AN’ HAULED WI’ A’ HIS MICHT,
THE FRIGGIN’ THING WIS SIEZED UP TICHT
BUT JOHN, BEING ONYTHING BUT THICK,
CAM’ UP WI’ QUITE A CLEVER TRICK.
<p align=”center”> OOR COCKY, HE WIS WANT TAE USE
A SCREWDRIVER FOR MAIR THAN SCREWS;
HE HEMMERED IT, TAE MAK’ A HOLE,
THEN USED IT AS YE WAD A POLE,
AND SPAN YON FILTER ROOND AN’ ROOND,
TILL IT FELL AFF UPON THE GROUND!
HE STOOD UP, CLAPPIT DOON HIS HAIR,
DELVED IN THE BOOT, PRODUCED A SPARE;
FELT FOR THE THREAD ABLOW THE BUNNET,
AN’ TRIED TAE FIT THE FILTER ON IT;
TRIED AN’ TRIED WI’ DEEPENIN’ GLOOM,
A FEELIN’ OF’ IMPENDIN’ DOOM!
AT LAST THE HORRID REALISATION
BROUGHT FORTH AN EPITHET–DAMNATION!!
FLUNKIN’ BLASKET—HOLY SHIT!
THE FLAMIN’ FILTER DISNAE FIT!!!
TEN SCORE O’ SHEEP WERE SEEN TAE SCATTER,
PUIR JOHN WIS MAKIN’ SIC A CLATTER!
THE LAD SAT DOON–HE TORE HIS HAIR
[HE HADNAE MUCH O’ THAT TAE SPARE]
PUIR COCKY, HE WIS NEAR TAE TEARS,
HE HADNAE HIKED SAE FAUR IN YEARS!
WHEN HE WON HAME, HE KICKED THE DUG,
COLLAPSED EXHAUSTED OAN THE RUG.
[SAE KEEP THE HEID, AN’ NEVER PANIC,
AN’ LEAVE IT TAE A REAL MECHANIC;
OR JIST LIKE JOHN, YE’LL FEEL A STOATIR,
‘WAY UP THE CREEK WITHOOT A MOATIR;
RESIST THE URGE TAE GO TOO FAUR
—REMEMBER COCKY WHITEFORD’S CAUR!!!
A Haund across the warld
By Bobby Rogerson
By nae means first tae dauner faur
Across the boundless Earth;
Aye tempted by yon wandrin star
Tea leave my land o birth.
Nor first tae feel the michty chain
That girds the warld sae wide,
An locked around the wandrer’s heart,
Fast binds him tae Strathclyde!
No, not the first—an not the last–,
Tae dwell mid foreign scenes,
An not the first tae pey the price
O pairtin wi his freends;
But hey! did ever man receive
–Frae Lily Burns Club, 94
An signed by hauf the Nation!!
But, I’ll be back tae share a word
Wi a’ you Lads an Lasses,
An, hopefully, a’ spair an weel
We’ll share some reamin glasses;
An if he wha Hornbook met ae nicht
O some auld Freends has left us,
May they a’ hae spent a week in Heavn
Fore Clootie kens they’ve left us!!
Not the first—a communication between two aul friends of many years past;
BIG WULL’S EPISTLE TAE PINKIE
In my thochts I love ye still;
I’ll meet ye oan Dalhanna Hill;
Castle Races, Hogmanay,
Horses, beans an BIG WULL GRAY
The Knockshinnoch Mine Disaster
7th September 1950
We sit at home on wintry nights, our work and worries cease,
We settle down to read a book, in comfort and in peace.
We have our home, we have our wife, we have our heart desire,
Except for just one other thing, a comfortable fire.
Now when we put a fire on that would roast our very soul,
Do we ever wonder how they get that precious thing called coal?
Do we buy it in the shops, just like we buy a pound of cheese?
Do we find it in the streets, or does it grow upon the trees?
No my friends the stuff we’re burning, as we sit down by our hearth,
Is the stuff thats dug by heroes from the bowels of the earth.
We see a miner in the street, his face and hands are black.
He’s dirty and bedraggled, so on him we turn our back.
Yes he’s dirty, but his heart and soul are spotless just the same.
If we only knew what he’d been through, we’d hang our heads in shame.
For a miner’s life’s a risky life, and of hardships and of pain,
He hopes and prays while at work to see his home again.
That they some time ago, a bunch of miners, healthy, fresh and fit
Went down the cage that took them to the bottom of the pit.
With their piece box and their tally, and their lamp upon their cap,
But they don’t know that they were walking right into a trap.
For they were struck that fateful day by poison gas and sludge.
They couldn’t raise a finger, they were trapped, they couldn’t budge.
They couldn’t move about down there, there wasn’t any room.
The air was bad, the roof was low, down in that living tomb.
But did they go hysterical, did they raise their voice and yell,
And bring down curses on this place that was their prison cell?
No, they just sat down and waited, said a prayer and sang a song,
And hoped the rescue party wouldn’t be so very long.
Well their patience was rewarded, for the rescue work was great,
And once again they saw their people standing by the gate.
With anxious faces and tear dimmed eyes, the women gathered round
To meet their sons and husbands who were lost and now were found.
More tears were shed that happy day, but they were tears of joy,
For a woman has her husband back and a mother has her boy.
But their happiness was not complete, their men were home it’s true,
But there were thirteen others who hadn’t broken through.
They were thirteen silent heroes, yes, they were heroes every one,
And although they were all known to us they were some poor mothers sons.
So let us not forget these thirteen silent men and brave,
Let’s say a little prayer for them as they lie in their graves.
God Bless Knockshinnoch’s Miner, though he be big or small in fact.
God Bless all miners they are heroes one and all.
Memories o’ the Afton Buildings
By Patrick Dornan
Hame fae the schule an af wi the claes
intae the auld yins an oot
a pair o auld sannies wi cut oot taes
up the burn guddlin trout
Short troosers and skint knees
tackity bits makin sparks
these are some o ma memories
oot playin in the dark
We hud nae tellys then tae keep us in
an nae fightin ower a channel
we hud only the wireless tae listen in
tae Dickson Barton ur Wullie McFlannel
We had gems fur the lassies and gems fur the boys
an gems whaur we aw played the gither
an tho’ we didnae hae too muny toys
whit we did hiv, we share wi each ither
The soon o the baws hittin the waws
skippin ropes skelpin the grun
oot et nicht chappin oan doors
chicken-ellie by jings that wis fun
We had rin sheep rin and kick the can
an huntin an hide an go seek
an it’s thoosans o miles ah must hae run
wi ma favourite auld gird and cleek
Aye thae wur the days when the sun always shone
frae May tae the end o’ September
but sadly noo thae days are aw gone
but its great tae think back an remember
More to be added