STUART A. PATERSON is a Scottish poet and performer, widely published in newspapers and magazines at home and abroad. His poetry collections are Mulaney of Larne and other poems (University of Leiden, Scottish Writers series, 1991), Saving Graces (Diehard, 1997), Border Lines (Indigo Dreams, 2015), and Aye (Tapsalteerie, 2016), poems in Scots, Looking South (Indigo Dreams, 2017), and heelster-gowdie / beul-fo-bhonn (Tapsalteerie, 2017) with Marcas Mac an Tuairneir. He has had work published in many anthologies, including Scotia Nova: poems for the early days of a better nation (Luath, 2015) and Dream State: the new Scottish poets (1994, 2002), for which he wrote the title poem.
He received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 1992 and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust in 2014. He was writer-in-residence for Dumfries & Galloway 1996-98, and was appointed the Scots Language Centre’s Virtual Poet in Residence 2015-2016. In 2017, he was appointed BBC Scotland Poet in Residence. He lives in Galloway, south-west Scotland.
Chico – The Reality
Chico the poetry dog kips on the stairs,
tired for the moment of celebrity,
of appearing in slim poetry volumes
written by middle-aged white men deep in beer
& notions of anthropomorphism
scrawled in notebooks. He’s neither Mexican
nor twice his size in dreams he dreams like these,
the ones where barstools are exotic trees,
where moggies are ocelots & spectacled
bears rampage among the vegetable plots.
For now he slumbers safely in a pub
then wakens, instinctively, to this;
men blethering, glasses shattering, crisps.
Mist an Chitters
It’s mist an chitters hap auld Leith the day,
ilk biggan hallockit amang the greys
o haar an reek. It’s aamaist like bein back
when kings drank claret, clippers’ bells could mak
cauld hairts loup skiegh tae warm in ilka kist,
the swaitest notes abuin the lang abyss
o life. Nae couthie bells soond owre the port
for us noo, life an orra kinna sport
o tentin whae bides langest on the shore
an whae’s the first tae sail intae the glaur.
As weel we cannae see ootby the mirk
tae Europe past the harbour lichts an kirks
whaur nocht but mist an chitters bide their time
tae swallae islands driftin in their dwyne.
The Good Ship Brexit Sets Sail
Despedida, la revedere,
zbogom, sbohem, tchau, adio,
saћћa, awar, doei, farvel,
ata, iki pasimatymo.
Viszontlátásra, au revoir,
doviždane, nähdään, salve,
cześć, vi ses, bis dann, tot straks.
Yasou! Zdravo! Auf Wiederschauen!
Nägemist! Ahoj! Ahoj!
And a muckle slán from across the Moyle,
an echoing chi mi thu from the Minch,
dha weles from Kernow, hwyl fawr from Cymru,
from Ellan Vannin a faint hee’m shiu,
from the Scots a resounding unbowed ta the noo.
O what a wheeze, what a jolly old rip
to reply to the tremulous stiff upper lips
who wave brave & aloof from the prow of the ship
on its way to Jerusalem.
Ta-ta! Toodle pip!
All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet. http://www.glasgowreviewofbooks.com