Document 331

Da cockle shall (Busta, Sannis)

Author(s): Christine De Luca

Copyright holder(s): Christine De Luca


Gyo o Busta, roond is a cockle: we'd watch
fur sels here, skip stons, kyemp fur da finest shalls.
We'd barely lift wir een ta see hits shape:
dat sam shall pattern at spread hitsel
owre midders' makkin: therteen loops taen in
dan löt oot slowly on an openwark o gengs:
waves at shaded ta inky-blueness wi da wind.

Da day, hoors swittle trowe dy fingers
is du seeks, as eence I sought, da perfect ston
ta skip. Tree skips 'll dö, een mair is last year.
Da rings du maks spread fast. Last simmer here
eicht selkies bobbed lik bowes: eyed wis, dived,
eyed wis again. Dey left nae spreadin rings:
art hoidin artistry. I watch dy ston dance,

defy da wyes o watter, da skip o years.
Wi dee a'm richt back: we skile fur sels,
seek cockle shalls, weigh da import o stons;
skip an höve dem, fur da sea ta bring back,
ta lay up and mak again in time's lap.

da cockle shall: a lace pattern in knitting (which requires 13 stitches to be purled together); gyo: steep, narrow inlet; sels, selkies: seals; kyemp: compete; shalls: sea shells; wir: our; een: eyes; hits: its; dat, that: at: that, which; hitsel: itself; midder: mother; makkin: knitting; loops: stitches; taen: taken; dan: then; löt: let (past tense); openwark: lace knitting; gengs: rows of knitting; da day: today; hoors: hours; swittle: splash gently; trowe: through; dy: your (familiar); du: you (familiar); dö: do; een: one; is: as, than; maks: makes, knits; eicht: eight; bowes: buoys; wis: us; dey: they; hoidin: hiding; wyes: ways; dee: you (familiar); skile: look with eyes shielded; höve: throw; dem: them; lay up: cast on stitches.

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APA Style:

Da cockle shall (Busta, Sannis). 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 16 April 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Da cockle shall (Busta, Sannis)." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 16 April 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Da cockle shall (Busta, Sannis)," accessed 16 April 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 331

Da cockle shall (Busta, Sannis)


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 1995
Word count 292
General description From collection of poems

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Shetland Library
Publication year 1997
Place of publication Lerwick
ISBN/ISSN 0-904562-64-6
Edition 1st
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series 'Wast wi da Valkyries'

Text type



Author details

Author id 120
Forenames Christine
Surname De Luca
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Head of Assessment, Research and Development
Place of birth Bressay
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area Edb
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Headmaster
Father's place of birth Vidlin
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth Cunningsburgh
Mother's region of birth Shetland
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work, read Scots literature