Resources - Place


Read Ayr toon by Ainslie Bryden from Ayr Academy in South Ayrshire.

Ayr toon

Goin doon, doon a toon, an Ayr toon,
What dae ye see in Ayr,
A wee man wae his dug,
He's havin a snooze when he gets a tap at his lug,
It's his wee pal Jonny,
He's like "here you, where's my money?"
Then the guy wae the dug lucks
"Here you, this isnae funny, I'm only here for my money",
Up he gets wae his wee dug,
And the wee dug gies the guys hon a tug,
They sterted a fight,
But this wisnae awright,
Cause doon come the polis
In their hefty van
He picks up the dug and picks up the man
That's them away in that hefty van

Ainslie’s poem describes an argument between two friends. Unfortunately the argument turns into a fight which is stopped by the police.

During his visit to Ayr Academy, the National Scots Scriever Hamish MacDonald challenged pupils to write in Scots about what they see and hear when they walk through their town.

Everyone wrote about different things they’d seen. Ainslie chose to write about this incident which is both comical and sad at the same time.

There are two things that Ainslie does really well in her poem. The first thing is that she remains neutral and keeps her opinion out of the poem. It is as if she is a reporter or even a camera person recording the argument and arrest. But there are some words and images in the poem which show where Ainslie’s sympathy lies? Can you find them?

The second thing to note is the way Ainslie uses rhythm and rhyme. She repeats words, for example, toon, money, dug, van. This builds a rhythm or a beat which she keeps going right up to the last word of the last line. It brings the poem to life and makes the Scots language fresh and real, especially when the poem is read aloud.

Can you write about what you see and hear in the city, town or place where you live?