Jackie Kay by Claudia Alonso (2015)

Claudia Alonso, Jackie Kay, 2015. Digital Photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.

Fiere – weekly poem by Professor Jackie Kay

Professor Jackie Kay CBE, University Chancellor and Scots Makar, is sharing a series of poems with colleagues, students and members of the public, reflecting on the current period of uncertainty that we are in.

This week, we are sharing Jackie’s poem ‘Fiere’, which celebrates friendship across the entire course of a lifetime.


If ye went tae the tapmost hill, fiere,

whaur we used tae clamb as girls,

ye’d see the snow the day, fiere,

settling on the hills.

You’d mind o’ anither day, mibbe,

we ran doon the hill in the snow,

sliding and singing oor way tae the foot,

lassies laughing thegither – how braw,

the years slipping awa; oot in the weather.

And noo we’re suddenly auld, fiere,

oor friendship’s ne’er been weary.

We’ve aye seen the warld differently.

Whaur would I hae been weyoot my jo,

my fiere, my fiercy, my dearie O?

Oor hair it micht be silver noo,

oor walk a wee bit doddery,

but we’ve had a whirl and a blast, girl,

thru the cauld blast winter, thru spring, summer.

O’er a lifetime, my fiere, my bonnie lassie,

I’d defend you – you, me; blithe and blatter,

here we gang doon the hill, nae matter,

past the bracken, bonny braes, barley,

oot by the roaring sea, still havin a blether.

We who loved sincerely; we who loved sae fiercely,

the snow ne’er looked sae barrie,

nor the winter trees sae pretty.

C’mon, c’mon my dearie – tak my hand, my fiere!

Copyright Jackie Kay. Reprinted with kind permission from the author.​​​​​​​

Don’t miss Jackie’s new weekly series of online literary and musical performances. ‘Makar to Makar’ will showcase a line-up of established talent and emerging voices from Scotland and around the world. Read more about ‘Makar to Makar’ here.

Follow Jackie on Twitter @JackieKayPoet to hear a new poem every Sunday.