MUCKLE by Paul Mein

Ye’ll hev nae doot hord the sayin “Many a mickle myeks a muckle.”

Nowt sa true as when wa taakin aboot bilberries.

It teks yonks to fill a basket or pail with enough for a pie or tart. It’s not just that they’re deid smaal or that they hide away from yu; it’s just yu canna stop eatin them. Thiv got a tyest like nee other. The blueberries yu get in the shop are waatery. Bilberries explode in ya mooth. It myeks for slow progress in the gatherin’.

Aa was up with the grandbairns in one o’ the best places for bilberries – the hill up to the Draakstone. Porple handed, porple moothed, we med wa way to the Stone, hunkered doon to watch the cloud scud ower Harbottle. What a bonny place.

We went ower the top to the lough. Dark, deep, ghoustie.

Aa browt to mind the aad tale aboot when they tried to drain the lough. The workmen hord a voice from neewhere –

Let alone let alone

or a’ll droon Harbottle

and the Peels

and the Bonny Holystone.

Aa cud well understand why, so we med wa way, tappylappy doon the hill to the car park, lightnin wa load as we wa gannin alang.

© Paul Mein 19/6/19.

Paul Mein is a poet and writer who has returned to his native north-east after thirty years in the Midlands. He lives in Warkworth, Northumberland.

Paul has published four collections; “Voices in a mystery;” 2015 “Behind every hero;” 2016 “In quiet places;” 2017 “The language of sands” 2018.

Image from a photograph ‘Vaccinium myrtillus’ by Anneli Salo, courtesy