Alan Millar

Makkar o mae ain Dolmen / Poet of my own Dolmen

Alan Millar

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Makkar o mae ain Dolmen


Mae kep stane is whinstane

frae tha toonlans


heezed frae tha stratigraphy

unner Clasheygowan


or Moness aiblins

Monreagh or Culdaff. 


Mae jamb-stanes are peasie-whin

erratics frae tha Bingorms


rippit frae tha pluton

kerried bae tha glacier


drapped aff on sklents

nearhan Binnion hill. 


Inbye tha airy ingle-crypt

tha kist o me ferlies 


pingled collectives, forebears 

thrapin, hokin, it aal. 


Mae geology

tha benmaist airts o Donegal


frae Malin Heid tae Malinbeg

follaein tha sills an dykes


whar ainst lava draves haet breenjed 

alang beddin playins, airtin oot ilka fault


coolt tae whinstane, mae table stane.

Dalradian meta-dolerite


that ainst kent molten

withoot merches. 


Ticht keepin tha heirskip o me.

Aal o me.


Makkar o mae ain Dolmen

wi cantrips o spright an mindin


an sootherin oot tha odd aule bogle

twixt Greenan an Beltany. 



Poet of my own Dolmen


My cap stone is whinstone

from the townlands


lifted from the stratigraphy

under Clasheygowan


or Moness perhaps

Monreagh or Culdaff.


My support stones are granite

erratics from the Bingorms


ripped from the pluton

carried by the glacier


dropped off on slopes

near Binnion hill.


Inside the airy ingle-crypt

the chest of me miracles


contested collectives, ancestors,

arguments, delving, the lot. 


My geology

the nether parts of Donegal 


from Malin Head to Malinbeg 

tracing the sills and dykes 


where once lava herds hot hunted

along bedding planes, finding every fault


cooled to whinstone, my table stone. 

Dalradian meta-dolerite 


that once knew molten

without boundaries.


Guarding the heritage of me.

All of me.


Poet of my own Dolmen

with charms of spirit and memory 


and coaxing out the odd old ghost

between Greenan and Beltany. 


Alan Millar


Alan Millar, 56 years old, from the Laggan area of east Donegal, working as a journalist, writer and poet, in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Been writing verse and prose in English and Ulster-Scots for a number of years. Winner of the Scots Language Society’s Hugh MacDiarmid Tassie, and inaugural Linenhall Library Ulster-Scots Writing Competition, Prose Section, both in 2021. First collection, Echas frae tha Big Swilly Swally, imminent.