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Contest Winners

Scottish American Society

May 7th was our annual Wm. Macgonagle poetry and shortbread contest.

Results were tallied by Ann & Bill Heflin

Winners were:

1st prize in shortbread:  Kim Devor
1st prize in poetry:  Susan Yovichin
2nd & 3rd (tie): Frances Acar and Craig Erskine III



By Frances Acar

When I was just a little girl

Blue of eye and blonde of curl

Oh, how I did like to play

Upon the hill and down the brae.

And we would play down on the shore,

As children we couldn’t ask for more

Than to play on shell white sand

With tidal pools on either hand.

We squished anemones and dislodged limpets

Many a summer lunch we made of winkles,

Dungeness crabs, mussels and sea weeds,

Carrageenan met all our pudding needs.

We would dig up worms of every shape and hue

Long and pink, hairy, short and yellow too,

Then off we’d go down to the shore

And hope to catch more fish than before.

Perched upon a rock at high tide

We’d cast our lines out far and wide

For bait we used crabs and shell-fish

Smooshed in a dip in the rock like a dish.

We used the same one as our grandfathers

And those before them, their grandfathers,

So now we had a smooth hollow like a cup

Where we could take our bait and smash it up.

We’d throw out the bait to attract our prey

And fish on till the end of day

Large and small we caught them all

Then off home, oh, what a haul!

We had no water or electricity

Like folks on the mainland in the big city

We had to go to the well and carry pails

Of water down the muddy trails 

That led to the spring line below the hill

The weight of them I think of still.

And in the grate we burned coal or peat

So we could cook and have some heat. 

We climbed up cliffs and jumped off rocks,

Played peever in our flowery frocks,

We ran with hoops and played at rounders

Of baseball we were quite the founders!

Our croft was clothed in a myriad flowers

Of every shape and type and color

Ragged robin comes to mind,

Eye-bright too and every kind

Of clover, pink and white, and yellow rattle,

Orchids of red, white and purple petal

Primroses, lady’s smock and sea thrift too,

Marsh marigold and forget-me-not so blue 

And in this day when all the rage

Is to gaze upon the digital page

I often think of those days gone by

And the simple life we lived and why 

I am glad I had this island childhood

Of simple fun and play

I will remember it and be grateful

Until my dying day!



The Banshee’s Wail

By H. Craig Erskine III


Aye, has more than once been told,

On down through the ages auld,

Gather lads t’ hear m’ tale,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

Aye, ‘twill make yer blood run cold,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.


On moon-lit night, ‘cross the moor,

‘Twould not matter, rich nor poor.

A stout man’s face would turn pale,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

Ya must fear it, t’ be sure.

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.


Heather under midnight moon,

Female spirit neigh comes soon,

Wailing woman, without fail.

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

When she comes t’ cut him down,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.


From kirk tower sounds the bell,

‘Tis a lonely mournful knell.

O’er the thistle hear it sail,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

Who’ll be next?  ‘Tis hard t’ tell.

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.


So beware lads, stout an’ true,

When you see such a dark view

As a creeping fate, in dale,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

You’ll have shivers through an’ through.

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.


Come gather to the fire,

Stand ‘round the funeral pyre,

‘Tis then that you all must hail

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

Wi’ flames a-leaping higher,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.


One’s appointed time t’ die,

Canna be put off if ya try.

She’s after every last male,

The cry o’ the Banshee’s wail.

‘Tis still there with yer last sigh.

The cry o’ the banshee’s wail.