Writer and Poet Betty Tindal has very kindly given us permission to show some of her work from her wonderful book “From Source to Solway”. The readings you here are just a few from her book read by Betty in Old Scot’s and accompanied by musician Doug Curran. Betty’s inspiration for the book of poetry are the names within the Nith, particularly the names of pools and tributaries that are associated with the river.
Local musician, Jenna Macrory has created two tracks inspired by the River Nith
Dave Payne’s Poem
Davey Payne’s poem is about his experience swimming with his friends in the Cluden Water and the Old Mill just outside of Dumfries:
We first went up the auld mill as bairns.
Well…not bairns but more boys rather than men,
a man as Burns was when he trod down by Cluden side.
We went inexorably innately and intrepidly
yet as obedient as the throbbing, swelling,
tribal capillary of Cluden Water.
What was it that summoned us there?
What is its true influence on the Nith?
Garnered by centuries of faithfulness,
showboating off the rope swing
before the shock of the Rapids took us like troot
snuffing out our faux valour as naturally
as the sultry summer slew drove its illicit cargo of feral fauna.
The whispered violence and whiff of florid
and fermenting fervour
ferried by the wind over nook and crag
where we forge future old scores with
newfound adversaries faintly recognised from
Beavers, Cubs, inside the enclosure at Palmy.
The Heathers and Hazels blossomed
yet unheeded as both naive and vainglorious
Real blows awaited us downstream,
right throughout our short but precious time,
the kind of slaps, cracks and thwocks from The Dandy
that we had just…. outgrown.
Some washed out, some floundered,
some spewed out away beyond
even estuary, out to sea.
It was all there in these frolics
up Cluden Water
when we were already all
the men that we would all ever be….