The Wren, a poem by Clive Grewcock at
Amee Fairbank Brown

The Wren

The Wren

written by: Clive Grewcock


I halt upon my country stroll
With your flashing shape I am bestow’
ed. My bonnet tight to watch this sicht.
I catch the glimpse, a tiny fleck –
The wind, like needles, cuts snell and dreich.
You are so timid yet mighty stoic.

You skip round bark and through the branches,
Then in a blink this creature dances.
Feathered mouse beyond his Lordship’s yett
Darting and flitting – a brief denote,
Hokin’ in the oorlich an’ dyrt!
Compact and ticht in an umber coat.

Out on your own, fling an’ faird ta care,
Your movement tells me you are there!
Rich chestnut wi’ your proud tail pointing
Standing, watching, breathing slowly at this chance,
Like a wally-draig your image fleeting!
I don’t stir. Aught o’ thee in a trance.

Within my hert afore you go,
I delight in your restful show.
The floating speed, the way you move –
Watching life in your tiny frame.
Undecided where to coorie doon –
Do you ha’ a còsagach hame?

Not bright – a tottie shadow bird,
Bold, brave, in charge o’ yer world.
My little friend, little bobbin’ wren
Nae feart while hoachin’ ower agin
The march of time I dinnae ken.
Then, just as sudden, you are gang!



When writing of the observations in nature and the tiny skipping wren, one finds it fitting to use something of the influence of Robert Burns and the descriptive use of Scots that clearly envelopes contemplation, images and feelings. There is an added dimension, therefore, in the work when a word or phrase can uncork a landscape of thoughts. Take here, for example, “wally-draig” – a ghostly spirit or “do you ha’ a còsagach hame” – asking the “tottie” wren if she has a soft mossy blanket (a nest) for a home.
It is this communication between poet, nature, storyteller and audience that Robert Burns brought close and is celebrated.

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