Na Fir Chlis / Aurora Borealis is collection of Gaelic poems by Rody Gorman, inspired by Cape Farewell’s 4-week expedition across the Hebrides in 2011. Port nan Ròn Na bodaich a bh’ ann air feadh Eilean Mhuile, Càite bhon t-saoghal a dh’fhalbh iad uile? Dh’fhalbh iad uile-gu-lèir, nach bu duilich, Thar a’ Chuain Mhòir mar a chaidh na Muilich A bha eòlach fhèin anns gach cnoc is coire Bho Ì Chaluim Chille gu Tobar Mhoire ‘S gach iomadach cruachan is creachainn Air cùl-fraoin ann an dùthaich Shìol Eachainn ‘S na coilltean a bh’ ann bho thus air an gearadh A chunnaic mi bhuam uair bhon bhearradh Mar a chunnaic uair eile ris a’ mhaorach Bodach leis fhèin an Eilean na h-Aon Chaorach Is e mar gum biodh is e ga bhuain A’ bruidhinn ris fhèin os cionn gàir a’ chuain Is am baile bàn agus balbh buileach Ri Port nan Ròn thall ud anns an Ros Mhuileach. ir faillirinn illirinn uillirinn ò ll iù ill eò illean is eò ill iù ò Port nan Ròn tune The old boys who used to be all over Mull, Where on earth have they gone? They’ve all gone, sad to say, Across the Pond like all the Mullmen went Who used to know every hill and corrie From Iona to Tobermory And every mountain-top and rocky slope In the middle of nowhere in the Land of MacLean And the woods that were there from the start cut down I saw once from the ridge As I saw another time gathering shellfish An old boy on his own on One Sheep Island Like he was as he gathered them Talking to himself over the roar of the ocean And the village all empty and silent By Port nan Ròn in the Ross of Mull Originally from Dublin, Rody Gorman now lives and works on the isle of Skye, where he was Writer-in-Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. He has worked as writing fellow at University College Cork and the University of Manitoba and is editor of the annual Irish and Scottish Gaelic poetry anthology An Guth. He has published a wide range of poetry collections, the most recent being Beartan Briste. His highly original English ‘intertongueings’ provide insight not only to the nature of his poetry, but the nature of Gaelic interpretation. Sound Poem Loud noise, crust or hardness formed on the earth by the weather, shower that comes suddenly, mountain torrent, twisted or misshapen foot or ankle, ligature Bailc Sound made by birds in pursuit of the fry of fish Briotal Sound of distant music Caireal Wrangling noise, elegy, wig, lurking-place Callaid Purling noise, like the sound of worts fermenting, whisky in its first process of distillation, a stream which is so small as to be almost covered by the heather, bird, mole, the fundament Caochan The sound of burning Caoir Noise, colour, hurry, pinch of snuff, gibe, mist Deann The noise of anything crackling or roasting, the flapping noise of a banner Dearrasan Noise in sucking, sponge-like substance coughed up by a newborn foal, the five-leaved shamrock, supposed to grow out of this substance after it is buried Deocan Sucking sound, as made by walking with water in the shoes Dìosgaidh-dàsgaidh Noise as of fish frying in a pan, lechery, exudation Drùis Noise, the boiling of a pool where a cascade falls, state of requiring much attendance and service without moving from your seat Easaraich Noise in belly of horses when trotting Fead-ghoile Noise of things breaking, clandestine private talk Fise faise! Grunting noise made by some persons when eating Fosgar Noise of steam escaping or of liquors fermenting, singing of a kettle, noise of frying, derisive cheering Gaoir Noise of wild geese or swans Garaicleis The noise of anything falling, particularly of a carcase Glag Noise made by a cart on a rough road Glagadaich Tingling noise in the ear (tinnitus), supposed to be a forerunner of death news, if the noise is heard in the right ear the news to be expected from the south, and vice versa, cement, bird-lime, glue Glaodh Sound of water falling by drops, clicking sound, applied to a shorter metallic sound than gliong Gliog The noise produced by the collision of soft substances Glograich Hollow sound as from an empty vessel, the noise a bottle makes when being emptied Glung Peculiar complaining noise made by hens Gràdranaich Noise, hue, siren (creature), uncombed hair, joke, love, rough-piled clothing, ripple on the surface of the water, head having the hair standing on end Greann Sound of footsteps with wet feet Lapan Sudden noise Lasgar Deep toned sound, as of a person in a cave Mòthar Noise of the waves, raging hunger, lung Onfhadh Noise like that of a beetle Priompallan Sound made by cattle when fighting, roar that a cow gives when gored by another Raoic Harsh, grating discordant noise, tedious highway Ràsan Sizzling sound, as of flesh being fried Ràstal Noise of the shrouds of a ship in a storm Roithlich Sound of a blow, baldness of the head, bumper of any spirituous liquor taken before breakfast Sgailc The sound of loose stones falling along a steep and rocky hillside Sgàirneach Disagreeable sound, bawler, shrill-voiced fellow Sgreadan Noise of hard labour Slacaireachd The crashing noise made by the breaking of bones Smùiseirnich Noise of water when meat is boiling in it Sod Noise, as of a door shutting Splad Sharp sound produced by drawing the bulb of the middle finger quickly and firmly across the bulb of the thumb Spliongag Noise of scratching on boards, subdued rattling noise, such as is made by a stone wall about to fall, rats, mice &c in a hole, box &c Sporghail Loud, sudden sound, noise, killing, life Spreadhadh Noise of cloth in the act of tearing, noise made by a scythe in the process of mowing Srac Noise as the tread of horses’ feet, brain-swimming from liquor, rank thick grass growing in freshwater lochs Stàirn One of the noises of the sea Staplaich Soft, ghostly sound or movement in the dark Taislich Noise at night (premonitory) Taradh The noise of the sea in a cave Teannair Extract from Suibhne when Sweeney heard the clamourbuzz of the communityhost and fondletumult of the exaltgreat hostcrowd he tookrose out of the sacredscionbordertree into the showerabundant trancenebulae of the firmaments above the rooftops of every place, above the ridgepolerooftrees of every quarterland-domain. for a melancholylong moonspacetime he went throughout Ireland, transient-visiting and rush-searching in rock-hard sodshelterspellclefts and in dronebushthickets of tall ivy mast-trees and in kyle-narrow covehollows of islandshorecastletesticlestone from estuaryspit to estuaryspit and from sweet cliffgablepeak to sweet cliffgablepeak and from smoke-cloudglenhollow to smoke-cloudglenhollow till he came to the eternally delightbeautiful Glenbalkan. there the grazingnakedwoodlunatics of Ireland would hauntgo after a fullsafe year of nakedwoodlunacy for it is is a place of eternal delight for nakedwoodloonies.