Ah, sailing. We all get that dewy-eyed moment after the perfect sail – but is this the first time that sailing on an Impala has inspired poetry?

News, then from north of the border. ‘Jack Pullan is a published poet and came out on an Impala (Lammergeyer) for the very first time ever last year. He had such a great time racing with us, that he was inspired to put pen to paper and composed the poem you’ll read below. Jack is a published poet and his works can be found in The Gutter magazine where this was published.

Under the poem, you’ll find some translations/explanations which you might find useful.

A Kind of Loving
AP (Jack) Pullan

And you said you’d been followed by shearwaters
that crissed and crossed low at your stern
as if they were carrying gossamer to stitch up your wake.

I said the wife saw a magpie at Kilwinning station once
and sure enough she and I shared the toilet that night;
a prawn curry from the Taj.

You said you rounded the Kyles of Bute
on a night when the moon was a bulb,
the sea a smoked-glass table and you
up the main sail, dimming the light.

Me, pissed up, tripped over the cat during a power cut
and woke tucked up, glass of water by my side.

You said you’d seen the fluke of a humpback
wave to its mate who not only waved back
but curled up her finger, summoned him to her side.

Mad that she still had it, I’d thrown out pages of her diary
from the bedroom window then in guilt rounded them up,
the last one flapping its whereabouts from the gutter.

You said you’d dived naked for scallops at Barra
then fed them to kelpies, the day just coming up through its gears.

I said there was that time it rained for seven days
and seven nights at Prestonpans caravan site,
so I bravely set out for a multibag of Waggonwheels and a box of Nambarrie
to see us through such harsh times.

You said you were halfway across the Atlantic
and all God had to watch was you
like a flea on his quilt, yet you’ve never known loneliness,
that your craft is your place of worship,
the sea and all her moods a reason for being.

I said I missed my wife when I’d run out of milk
the third night she was in for that ectopic pregnancy.

But you didn’t know about love, you conceded,
what to do lest it cross your bows,
breach you, take you onto another course.

So I said let it just come,
come like a standing wave you can’t run from
to feel its depth, the hot musk of it, the dry taste of it
then note the direction of the wind.

For those of you unlucky enough to live outside of Scotland and our brilliant sailing waters, the following translations are supplied:

Kilwinning: small town that, when there’s a break out at the State Hospital in Carstairs (Scottish equivalent of Broadmoor), a cordon is thrown around Kilwinning as if the escapees got into the town, they’d never be distinguished from the locals! Enough said.

Kyles of Bute: About the only place on the Clyde where you get interesting tides. Very narrow, with very high hills surrounding them. You always lose the wind and drift though and the wind is never coming from where you expect it when you get round the corner.

Kelpies: Water horses, a great tradition of Scottish myth and legend.

Prestonpans; near the seaside in the east of Scotland, just outside Edinburgh. Site of famous battle 1745. Jacobite’s 1 – English – 0. In the rematch at Culloden, it went the other way . . . . terminally.

Nambarrie: Scottish brand of tea bags

Categories: Scottish


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