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  • Grace Baird

The Auld Ways, Maukit Tongue

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

The Auld Ways

There’s mair value than yous could ever imagine in the auld ways.

And they're crumbling awa

Gui tricky to catch,

But ye’ve got tae

Chase the forenicht

Let the Samhain moon shine bricht

Listen tae the stories passed wumman tae wumman

Heart tae heart

Aroond the fire

Follow them oot intae Beltane’s haze

Pick up yer weir and weave into the great tapestry

Yin day it’ll be yer ain shot to tak on the task

To bray back against the skellums


Feckin whit noo?

Can ye no understaun?

Its like yer no even trying!


geez a meenit;

Let me mak this nice and simple for yous.

Theres so much to learn from the old ways,

So listen right close to what she says!

It comes from the women,

Keep the tapestries spinning!

With strength to push back at…

Oh fuck this.

Maukit Tongue

When ye hae a maukit tongue, ye must caw canny,

Tak a peerie look at whae’s in lugshot und mak sure naeone’s ahint,

Skulking roond these pairts.

Seems awfie uncou but there’s a wheen wha micht think yer glaikit,

Wi a tongue like yon.

Ach, dinnae fash and dinnae greet,

Jist dicht yon maukit tongue till it’s gui gleet.

Soor it wi soap, screenge it reed raw,

Houk oot they minging words and send them hurpling.

Mak it sae aye traces of hame are awa and aw.

Ye’ll find a snidrin then, and ye’ll hae tae mak yer choice,

Even on hame groond.

Ye’ll choose the polis marchin in yer mind,

Keepin yer words fae getting camsterie, keepin them in line.

Ye cannae use yer ain voice.

Or they’ll no ken whit yer on aboot,

Wi a tongue like yon.

Writer's bio:

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Grace Baird (she/her) is a student at the University of Edinburgh studying Scottish Literature. Her experience at university showed her how anglicised formal spaces of education can be and inspired her to push back against this and write in her own voice. Grace's work focuses on Scottish identity and particularly Scots language in the literary sphere.

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