Poem of the week: Say it’s nothing

Say it’s nothing


say it’s nothing, say it’s rust, Georgi Gill


The way a bicycle chain goes, say in rain,

or the dent in the fender of the car, left

to its own devices, the marriage

is the old blood red of rust, long done

coursing through, delivering what is needed

to the body, long done refreshing.

And when I finally sandpaper it down

against the grain I find the carcass

has worn clean through, a gap large enough

for a fist, two fists, both of them mine.


The way air on the warmest day of summer

forms a mist only we know as haar, how

cloud moves in at the speed of sound,

between us no signal, this nothing holds

until no beacon can penetrate.

So when the weather clears, the shape

of the hills and valleys of years open up

behind us, you emerge, blinking in the light

to say it was nothing, that the storm

was nothing at all.



Marjorie Lotfi’s writing has won competitions, been published widely in the UK and abroad and performed on BBC Radio 4. Refuge, poems about her childhood in revolutionary Iran, is published by Tapsalteerie Press. She is an Ignite Fellow with the Scottish Book Trust.

Help to support independent Scottish journalism by donating today.


Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

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.