Poem: Fa we are

My personal love letter to the North East, in Doric, of course!


"It’s recht fine tae ging awa

bit there’s nithin like comin back

we unser the call o the land whisperin

ye’ve been awa too lang

mon hame quine

come awa ma loon

the North East is fa ye are


an we are


tied igither fae mountain tae sea

we are the colour o autumn leaves

an athing in atween

we are rich in beauty


we're the mooth o the Don

the length o the Dee

swans nestin in the reeds

we are pink footed geese

gettin fat on spilt grain


we are

the first spit o rain

the salt tang o the air

we are the cry o the cormorant

on oor shallow coasts

the sand in oor dunes


oor lungs hud the roar o the waves

and we are winter’s breath

the clang o industry an energy

engines o ships comin in

wae a guid haul tae sell

we are the cauld o the fishhoose

an the shelter o the harbour in a storm


we are

dreich days an the kiss o summer

we’re shards o sunlecht

brakin through the clouds

we are spring buds risin up

willin ti grow

soft as petals

tough as granite


we are

teuchters and toonsers

fermers and fishers, bobbies

an roughy toughy North Sea tigers


we are

poets, duncers, musicians

film makkers, teachers

and aa manner o things

but we are mare than fit we dee


we are

oor faithers an mithers an femily an freens

we are the city an shire

an athing we admire in ithers

we’re assets and defects dein oor best

we are aa jist tryin tae scrape by

tae suss oot oor place


we are

a meltin pot o folk fae ahwy

we’re aa airchie’s bairns

so welcome, mon in

find yersel a shell that fits

an mak it yer ain

We are the North East

an this is oor hame, your hame


we are




By Jo Gilbert

Fa We Are started out as a commission for a film, shown at the first Across the Grain Festival. The film makers had recorded scenes and sounds from the Fishmarket and Harbour at Peterhead, Strathbeg Nature Reserve and Deeside. I was really nervous to begin with as the brief was just to write some spoken word that would tie everything in the film together, so I wasn't sure where to go with it at first. They sent me a rough cut of the film and I began jotting down things that popped into my head as I watched. Eventually, with lots of editing, Fa We Are was the end result. It's like my personal love letter to the North East, in Doric, of course. When I'm writing, some poems happen naturally in Doric and this was definitely one of those times. I have to get out of the way and let the poem become what it wants to be.

Read more on Jo's blog at www.talesfaethedoricside.wordpress.com

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will wait for you, #ABDNwillwait #stayathome. 


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