2007 - 2021

The News in Poetry

hellmouthPeter Burnett reflecks on the recent season o dool and mishanter aroond the warld in this pouerfu new Doric poem ‘The News in Poetry – Cri It Fit Ye Wull’

Weelcome tae yer week in terrour — an yince
mair sup a gustie o wir era — on
November the Twalt, fowerty three were fellt
by twa ISIS bombs in Beirut — ninety
mair in Baghdad on November Therteen —
same day I ken these banshee men blew puir
fowk to smithereens in Paris — aye an
puir Islam tae — fir fit’s yon tae dae bit
pray an be embarrassed? It’s nae jist them
are vexit sair by coorse bangsters faa gang
brute an bare, bomb-beltit in their slauchter
threetnin werefare til amang the girns o
Facebook shines a crocodile tricolore —
a cooardly lick in a warld gang seelent —
fir fit wis the news in Iraq yon veelent day
Friday the Therteent? — ninety-five deid
— nae tae doonplay — bit see it ben their een —
aa thon daith in Baghdad fyles o fit does
the London news comprise? Mair o the
eeswal sempil-mindit chat, blaan aboot
faa’s noo won the Mercury Music Prize.


Tae preive it noo — imaigin yer a coo.
ask: fit div ye think o the fermer?
And ye says likes: the fermer gies me hey
an keeps me warrim an feeds me fine and
protecks me agin the ondin spleeter
o the drappie reyn an pits me in his
park faan the sin beams fair — thon’s a good chiel
there, fit gies me healthcare. Bit I reply:
the fermer keeps ye waarim an dry, seely
wi his ither kye fir cause belike he siks
yer milk — yer meat — aa o ye in fact.
Div ye ken they mak dugfood fae yer feet?
Noo imaigin ither beasts fae ootside
the ferm. They gollar o’er the waa and say:
See yer boss? He’s a psycho. Does us herm.
Gings aboot the greenwids slayin rubbits
an nailin deer — ye may think it’s aa fine
on the ferm bit coo — you try bidin here.
Bit och, ye shak yer dootin heid — nae wye.
Thon’s a guid guy. Fit wye wid he sik tae
mirder ye an I? Bit ye’ve been tilt — he
dings tae deid beasts ootside the ferm — yer chiel’s
a sadist fit laves mithers an their bairns
weel killt. Awa noo moo cow — moo cow moo —
tak a ganner at the fermer faas sae
kine tae you, an see fit he does tae the
warld — he’s fou. Lauchs aside my pynt I’ll say —
hoo ye see yer ain governament is
aa at odds wi hoo the kwintries see it
fae the ither side — an asymmetry
that’s agley. Yer ain maisters trait you nice
fir yon’s fit wye ye bide maist productive
tae them. Fermers dinnae pran their ain hoose
an if you cannae see yon there wull be
mair Paris-style hell let loose than ye wid
ivver ken to jalouse. But hae it yer
ain way — cri it fit ye wull — as we tyauve
fir the rovin sadist he’s awa oot
on the kill — fyles aroon the ither ferm
gings mair libbit coos and yauds misslippin
the Koran — aa thenkin their fermer’s the big man —
nae kennin that onless ye divnae coont
Taiwan — there are a hunner an ninety
sax siclike tax ferms on the globe the day.


Eence on a day, the canny CIA
vver wise an plannin — took in the feel
Bin Laden — sayin: Div ye want tae ken hoo
a handfu o you gypes can tak doon an
empire wi a rifle an a puckle
dae-it-yersel missils in airn pipes?
He says fine — fit’s the plan? — and they reddit
him fir Afghanistan, usin a yird-
til-lift missil tae tak doon a jet — ten
gran fir yir missil fyles a MIG costs ye
millions — bide in a cave and merk my
wirds — Russia will ging intil debt. Sae mindin
this Bin Laden ginned aa saft-hairtit aboot
Arab autonomy an thocht back til
his lessons — hoo div ye kill imperial
economy? The clout on Frunce the
ither week cost aboot five thoosan Euros
bit fyles the ministers ran til their bureaus
they noo plan tae spen sax hunner million
fechtin psychopaths — sae war is won by
maths. In the modren mell the invader
aywis loses an if they hae a weelfare
state then they’ll tax fowk aw the mair and tak
oot a bigger loan — yon’s fit happent tae
auncient Rome. Tae win a fecht the dreel’s the
same lang syne — nip aff the gainstaunner’s supply
line — a fact kent by aa — espeeshully the
day’s guerrilla. It maks sense tae brak the
bank faan the supply line is the siller.
So’s it werefare or nae? Ye may weel sik
the saitissfeement o the sers ye richt
faan bombs ging doon and we get wir ain back
which we can dee haein mair military
micht — bit ken this? Ye cannae hae a were
an health service simultaneously.
I’d nivver speir fit een was richt and fit
een wis wrang — but o werefare and weelfare —
ye cannae hae baith — aye well ye can — but
nae fir lang. Tory or Green — the difference —
neen — nation is their toomsome grun and for
thon we’re taxxit baith tae — and by — the gun.
Cri it fit ye wull — I cri it a ferm.
Liberty’s a tattie — and peerlyment
fittivver the shade — thon’s a tattie worm.
Radicalised Muslims are nae driven
by fit the Koran says, bit mair likely
ging on raids, cause atween us, Frunce, Britain
an America hae noo killt sivvral
million Muslims in wir newlins decades.
I dinnae think it’s the fact that we hae
a lyaach opinion o Allah that maks
them crabbit — nah — it’ll be acause hale
kwintries hae been destroyit, governaments
hae been owerthrawn an werelike reebalds
hae been haird-armit by America
an Frunce — yon’s the logic I inhabit.
It’s patent concoction bit ay weel hidit —
makkin fas oot o wirsels fir sakes o
humanity dividit by fitivver
coorse agenda — be’t race, kirk, nation,
gender — cri it fit ye wull and hate faa
ivver ye funcy — Thursday neist saxty
deid in Nigeria an as fir the
criteria — the same soor dancie — nae
fir God bit anely the pouther-reek o
daith — fir fyles we spik o terrour they spik
o faith — and on Friday Twinty doon in
Mali — Al Qaeda incontrare tae
aa law, teuk twinty nine mair afore been
fellt and bullet-hashed by US Special
Forces there — though the question o coorse is fit
wis they sojers daen in landlocked Bamaco,
if nae pyed tae proteck Amoco or
Shell — bit fit the hell — div we care? It’s expectit
if it’s Africa there’s US forces there.
Fir fit is werefare faan it’s at hame bit
the pleesurement o killin in the name —
— sae bide wi yer mou doon tae the lea — faar
o coorse thon grieslie means ye’ll nivver see.


Comments (4)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Edwin Moore says:

    ‘Radicalised Muslims are nae driven
    by fit the Koran says,’

    Well, radicalised Musliims say different.

  2. Jim_McIntyre says:

    Good article.

  3. Redgauntlet says:

    Brilliant Peter Burnett…


  4. punklin says:

    O/T but Mike I hope you won’t mind my using this forum to respond to your article in the Sunday Herald.

    I treasure Bella, especially for the breadth of its coverage, but I think you’ve got this one wrong.

    I honestly don’t think it’s true that “to challenge this orthodoxy (SNP 1 & 2) marks you down as a traitor and a likely Unionist stooge” nor that there’s a “complete absence of self-criticism” nor a “lack of any refection on what went wrong” and certainly not much evidence of “hauntingly stupid faith politics”.

    This just isn’t how things are. When I’m out canvassing we have discussions with people of all different views and I’ve never heard anything dismissive or abusive from any pro-indy voices. (Quite a few from yoons of course, but that goes with the terri-tory)

    I’m sorry if you’ve been trolled (though I trust it wasn’t nearly as bad as what Angela Haggerty reports, also in yesterday’s Sunday Herald). But the trolls, it seems, are always with us.

    What matters is the way(s) forward for independence. I just don’t see your”hyper-cautious. conservative nationalist tone in the air”. Christ, we’re campaigning our butts off and we’re as radical as hell. I heard a leading SNP activist call for UDI only yesterday!

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.