Perhaps it’s chance, maybe it’s fate, but it’s certainly fortuitous that World Poetry Day should fall just one day after a whole host of good Scottish words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary, which was, of course, founded and first edited by a Scotsman, Borders boy James Murray.

From the ancient Celtic bards, through to Robert Burns, and the Border balladeers, to today’s brilliant writers, poets and rappers, who turn our world into words, and poetry into emotion, Scots have always loved language.

It doesn’t matter if we are sitting listening around a campfire in an ancient forest, by a roaring hearth in a great castle, or staring into the light from a phone or a tablet, words – our poetry and stories - are what make us, shape us, and let us speak our truths, to ourselves, our fellow men and women, and to the wider world.

So, to all you bampots and roasters, haud yer wheesht, sit doon, kick aff yer baffies, pin back yer lugs, and prepare to be assailed by a broadside; this Weegie has a way with words…

Scotland Is Now

Think you know Scotland, then take another look,
there’s more to us than the history books.
We’re satellites, sensors, data, and tech
and that’s just the half of it, there’s more to us yet.

We’re bankers, builders, movers and shakers,
games designers and movie-makers.
We’re curious, creative, innovative and yearning
we’re scholars and scientists, there’s no end to our learning.

We’re deserted beaches, fine castles and crags,
we’re tartan, bagpipes, kilts, ceilidhs and stags.
We’re fabulous food and buzzing nightclubs,
long walks in the hills, and warm welcoming pubs.

We’re a hand on the shoulder, an encouraging cheer
we’re whisky, gin, vodka and cracking craft beer.
We’re clear, clean water and the freshest seafood,
we’re fine meat and game from mountain and moor

We’re anti-septic surgery, MRI scanners, and planners,
we’re Social Biters and equality fighters.
We’re pioneers, a home to the brightest and best,
and if you think that’s all, let us tell you the rest.

We’re green energy, fintech, and finance,
clever investors, and a safe pair of hands.
We’re clear, starry nights, the Northern Lights,
and unforgettable parties with music and bands.

The weather can be cold, but the welcome is warm,
like the nation itself, we are small but strong
We’re a Babel of accents, a rainbow flag of faces,
a countrywide clan of peoples and races

We’re sensational sunsets and Tartan Noir books,
we’re fabulous festivals and long, lingering looks.
We’re the Hampden roar, an orchestral score
A symphony of citizens on our shared shore

We’re tenement-dwellers, story-tellers, dreamers, and doers
We’re digital natives, creatives, and schemers
We’re poets, programmers, animators, and dreamers,
we’re Outlander sets, and the best friend you’ve met.

We’re a port in a storm, a castle on a rock,
we’re tall tales, laughter, and we do love to talk.
We’re the where?, the why?, the when? and the how?,
where the past meets the present, Scotland Is Now…

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