Rosendale (When we were young) by Brian Cummiskey

David McIntosh recently handed in this poem to me. David was born in Rosendale at number 3 in 1942, so he could resonate with the contents of this poem.

The poem is about Rosendale written in 2004 by former Blantyre resident, Brian Cummiskey. It was Brian’s first poem and this version below has auld Scots tongue added in for dialect, something James Cornfield did. The former tenement, ‘Rosendale’ at Low Blantyre is pictured from above in April 1955.

Rosendale (When we were young)

Ah’ remember the tenement called Rosendale,
In Blantir took fae whence ah’ hail,
An ancient place, a bit o’ a dive,
But somehow magical, when yur only five.

Ah’ remember ma pals an’ thur cheeky wee faces,
Thur wee short troosers held up wae braces,
Playin’ outside was always a must;
Kickin’ a baw in the stoor an’ the dust.

Ah’ remember the outside toilet wae dread,
Is it any wunner we peed the bed?
Tae go doon there made me awfy unhappy,
Thir wur times ah’ wished, ah’ still wore a nappy.

Ah’ remember the close wae hardly a light,
The ghosts oan the stairs that gave ye a fright,
An gaun tae bed when the time wis just right,
Tae wait fur the Daleks, that came in the night.

Ah’ remember ma da’ wae his jet-black hair,
Young an ‘ handsome an’ fu o’ flair,
A Blantir Dandy some wid say,
But a gentleman always, come what may.

Ah’ remember ma mother, a young Snow White,
Always there tae make things right,
Tender, lovin’ an fu o’ care,
Wae a heart fu’ o’ love, for us tae share.

The family remembers those childhood days,
In auld Rosendale in oor different ways,
An’ as we remember, happy or sad,
We’ll always be grateful, tae oor mum and dad.

Brian wrote the poem for his father’s 70th birthday noting that the ghost on the stair was allegedly seen by his father and remembering the Daleks of Dr Who kid’s TV programme, where a lifesize replica of one adorned the Co-op windows nearby.

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