The Exiles

Hey everyone A poem for anyone from linguistic or cultural minorities. The fact I publish this on the opening day of this year’s Celtic Connections is no accident. As everyone who knows me will testify I am very proud of my highland or to be more precise Western Isles- Irish heritage placing an equal value on both cultural traditions. Well I say both though to me I see them as one. After all, a Celt is a Celt be they Scottish or Irish or indeed from any of our sister nations.

However on reading this poem to the Glasgow Writers Group at GoMA our facilitator Marc Sherland said he loved the universal theme of it and though written from a very personal perspective he said it could apply to any diaspora anywhere in the world. I have called the poem The Exiles and hope you find it a heartwarming and enjoyable read.

The Exiles

The exiles
we left our homes
to settle in another land
incomers, we were called
by those who did not know
our culture or traditions

This was not a welcoming place
a grabbing hand greeted our arrival
we bonded with others for survival
In stories we remembered
the kin we left behind

Our music and our songs
passed down through generations
shining a light on our nation
a light which can never be
extinguished

@Gayle Smith 2014

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