To those

To Those

Theirs was a battle with the ocean

To bring home not just fish but fishermen

And that same ocean would carry off the young

Who’d ventured no further than Dinburgh town

But now were brought to far off lands

To fight a war, to die or come home forever changed

And to those who worked the land

The field hands the farm hand

The men, the women, the child

Whose memories of younger days would be

More of worktime than playtime

To those who built, who shoed the horse

Wove the cloth and cleaned the fishermans catch

Their stories passed down

Their records kept

Through written word and grainy image

They catch in time a Lothian long gone

And now: to those who remember for us

Who mount the pictures to museum wall

Display the fighting Scotsman’s sword and gun

The fisherman’s net and heavy boots

The worker’s tools, the written testament and spoken word

To those who visit, each adult

Each school child shown a past existing way

Before their own

And perhaps one day a word I write

Or a picture of me, might

Find a place on display in John Gray’s

Learned halls.

Michael Moncrieff – Tyne & Esk (Haddington)

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