Fash this isnae Syria

Stuart Paterson is ane o the maist vital, vocal an virrsome poets oan the Scottish scene. He screives baith in English an Scots, anent a braid sweep o subjects.

At the enn o July he wis makit the official makar fir BBC Scotland.

He wis mibbie no the loon ye’d hae thocht wid get sic an establishement role. He seems an owre risky appointment. Stuart isnae feart tae caa oot hypocrisy an evil when it rears its heid, baith owreseas an here at hame. His voice wis loud in the clash afore an efter the failed 2014 referendum.

His poetry isnae aloof, It isnae awa wi itsel. When ye read it the voice chap richt at yir lug, garin ye tak tent o ilka syllable. So fair pley tae the BBC fir gien a braw poet the recognition he deserves, an gien the people o Scotland a makar o worth.

Bella Caledonia are gey chuffed tae hae a poem fae Stuart, Fash, that is published here fir the furst time.

Oan yirsel Stuart, dae us prood!




The nicht the warl hirples on as aye –
the girns o yowes an peeps o whaups ootby,
a wheen o keech distrackins on a screen,
an owre-early morn pu’in at ma een.
Ah daurnae watch the news for fear Ah’ll tent
the hail warl stert tae birl an low an sklent
an tuim us aa richt doon the sheugh o it –
no yet. Ah haenae seen eneuch o it,
nor leeved eneuch nor luved eneuch nor tellt
nor spiered nor kent nor grat nor flew nor felt
eneuch, nor duin wi girnin in ma dwyne,
nor tellt her whae Ah’d tell it ane last time.

This isnae Syria nor fremit fields
whaur coupit biggans gie nae kinna bield,
whaur weans are deid an stervin, bombed an burnt
ilk day an nicht in cities whummelt, kirnt
an blootered in the names o whae kens whit.
Ah’m no fae there, hae nae idea o it.
Ah’m cooried in a quait hoose safe an baukit
in launs untouched bi missile, tank an rocket,
the morn anither day o dootsumness,
bills peyed, lichts on, the denner in the press,
nae fash but whit Ah bring tae it, nae fash
ayont the ilkaday o stour an snash.

Nae bombs nor missiles bleeze the strand alicht,
nor will the morn nor ony other nicht
but coogled in ma bed wi een shut ticht
Ah’m fashin that
they micht
they micht
they micht
ربما أنها سوف *

* Arabic – perhaps they will

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Comments (13)

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  1. Carol says:

    Have you heard the poetry of CharlieMcCauley Robertson “the warrior poet?”. Check him out

  2. Carol says:

    The Warrior Poet by Charlie…check it out

  3. Roland Stiven says:

    Well done Stuart

    1. Stuart Paterson says:

      Cheers Roland, hope you enjoyed the poem, and good work from Ali in reading it aloud.

  4. Matt Seattle says:

    Guid ti hear’t – but Ah heerd ‘girnin in mad wine’ afore Ah’d read it!

  5. Alf Baird says:

    A braw poem Stuart. Mebbe thon BBC haes seen the licht, tho A hae ma doots. A Scots Langage channel is whits needit, a necessar pairt o a Scots Langage Act (CfE Higher and uni degree in Scots Language etc), tae gie Scots evenliness wi Gaelic an Englis. Till then Scots is aye doon-hauden offeecially (bi Holyrood!), tho hings on bi wirks o guid fowk lyke yersel.

    Lets hope Culture Secr. Fiona Hyslop and her ‘Language Minister’ (sic) can one day bring themselves to draft a ‘Scots Language Act’; such a travesty that after a decade in office the SNP has refused to do so. They clearly do not value oor mither tung.

    1. Stuart Paterson says:

      Aye Alf, sae much mair needs daein. An certain heid anes maun pu their pinkies oot their bahookies sherpish.

  6. Stuart Murray says:

    White lies

    Do you see the white helmets unfilming through truth
    with dust from the bombs that broke open a roof
    making sure that from violence no eyes stay aloof

    The dust rendered coughing they upload to bend
    as warfare being lengtheneds their backers’ real end
    on heroes and devils these monsters depend.

    1. Stuart Murray says:

      just came up with that one a few minutes ago.

  7. Stuart Murray says:

    The last sentence disnae really mak sense. “annuha” ainlie means “thit they” if the “they” is/are an inanimate object. It really means “she” itherwise. Plus ye cannae end a sentence wae 2sawfa” (shall) as it his ta be follaed wae whitiver the verb wis they thay “shall” dae/be daen. If yer efter an owersettin o “shallnae” then thons anither wurd aw thegither in al fusha. “lan” لن

    1. Stuart Murray says:

      “sawfa” سوف I meant. Ye need tae uise the negative verbal prefix (lan لن). The fact thit its a prefix means it cannae be the last word in the sentence though. Ye have tae uise the richt verb form tae agree wae either lan or sawfa/sa (the short form) and thon depends on which yin it is. Fur instance ana sawfa aktubu qaseedatan. I shall skreive a peom. ana lan aktub qaseedatan ma3 jumla fee al lughatil 3arabiyyati I willnae skreove a poem wae a sentence in the Arabic leid. Dependin on whit verb ye uise, itll hae a different form an be een mair divergient dependin on whither its shall or shallnae tae. Afore ye ken, yiv been studying verb forms and whit wie they pass thegither wie negative future prefixes and hou thon differs wae the positive yins fur much langer thin the length o the line in the poem. But the above “rubbama annuha sawfa isnae richt as ye cannae end onithing wae a prefix.

      1. Stuart Murray says:

        “…fee allughati al3arabiyyati”forgot the definite article on the adjective I do/dae apologise.

  8. Stuart Murray says:

    the annuha isnae necessair oniwie. “rubbama sawfa” an thon the thing thur gonnae aiblins dae. “-ha” kin refer tae third person plural when its inanimate (ie cars or hooses), but it really means “she”.”-hum” wuild be the richt ending fur anna…” ie rubbama annahum” though as I said, the “that” anna… here isnae really necessair.

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