Harry Giles


from Deep Ring Orcadia, a science fiction


Inga an Olaf at the Lighteen


Inga at the helm watchan
fir lowes, fir shifts i the drifts o rouk;
Olaf the sightsmin at the diacles,
tryan tae airt oot a trael o lights
tae a dinger, a payday, a hale. The linecrew,
halfins, bide ready. A fair while syn
a geud landeen. The yole chirks
fae gowden whips.

In this saeleens, quiet an present
as a meditaetion o Phobos papar,
thay hint the fuel at fuels, the ile
at iles a interstellar system
o industrie, traed, migraetion, sairch:
light. Inga an Olaf ir a kord
wi voltach differentials, atmospheric
deray, an mairchins.

Olaf spies a paek an mairks hid.
Inga senses a chaenge i the paitren
o his concentraetion, an waits.
He chacks chairtir anent ladar
anent osc., braethes, turns –
an thay see hid: bleck horn brakkan
the gowd, than fill hulk louman the yole.
“Wrack! Brace!”

Inga rives the yole tae,
the linesmen an Olaf grippan thir stells,
the waas atween thaim an daeth
gaen flinterkin. The pulse o thir
reid alerm.

Bit – the yole – pous clear! skewan
anunder the derk o the godssend.
Ilk gies the golder o braeth
bustan free, n sattles lik this
wir ordinar

as thir ship wins tae thir boontie.
Hid’s no a goshens o lights, but
as Inga relays thir stance tae Central
the lot o thaim loodly rackon
anither survival.




lowe: flameglowflickerflare | rouk: fog | diacles: compasses | airt oot: find | dinger: strike | halfins: workers with a half-share of profits | bide: waitstaylive | yole: type of small boat | chirk: creak/rasp/complain | whip: gustdarttwistattack | papar: monks | hint: gather | deray: distubancedance | horn: prow | rive:wrenchripbreaks; stells: braces | flinterkin: flimsygaudyfrivolous | ilk: each | golder: laughroarcry | goshensabundant catch.



Soo at the Wrack-Hofn


Soo steers her skift trow the gowstie hulks.
Hid’s been a langersome day, tchoagly loggan
the binds o the neow finster, Inga’s godssend.

Eence, ilka time sheu set her laser
diastimeter on the fleur o a cell
sheu dirled tae the numbers: the thowt o paitrens

in the plans o this graet black reums,
in the krigs o thir brent black waas,
somepiece a staen tae mak thir merks intae

mynd. Nou ilka twatree Stanart months
taks her anither set o raedeens tae mirk
anither theory. The wracks she paisses ir sielent,

rich wi inanswerability: ships or staetions
or sculpturs or temples or byres – sheu speeds the skift –
or tombs or warks – speeds fester yet – or follies

or calculaetors or clessreum exercieses
o Airchitect-Gods. Nae drive, nae rither, nae hairt,
nae braens, nae buffs, nae hass, nae tong, nae will,

undeeman abeun her, undeeman ablo her, minkid
in orbit ahint the Deep Ring, the Hofn
slaalie growan in grandur an soindan in sense.




gowstie: immensedesolateeerie | langersome: longtiring | tchoaglymethodicallyploddingly | binds: dimensions | finster: discovery | godssend: a wreck claimed as bounty | dirl: thrillpierceshakereel | krig: anglecorner | brent: smoothhighsteepbold | mynd: meaningpurposehintfeint | byre: barn | warks: factory | buffs: lungs |  hass: throatneckpass | undeeman: enormousintenseunbelievable | minkid: tethertrapnoosed | hofn: havenharbour | soindan: shrinkdieing


Harry Giles is from Orkney and lives in Edinburgh. Their latest publication is the collection Tonguit from Freight Books, shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. They were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, co-direct the live art platform ANATOMY, and have toured participatory theatres across Europe and Leith. www.harrygiles.org

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