Jackie Kay by Claudia Alonso (2015)

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

A Banquet for the Boys – new weekly poem by Chancellor Jackie Kay CBE

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 ‘A Banquet for the Boys’.

A Banquet For the Boys’

(For MK, Andy, Phazey, B-man and Bailout)

When your foot was stood on and you couldn’t stand

And you couldn’t cook for Phazey or B-man,

I ordered you a feast to lend a helping hand:

For your benevolence, some baba ghanousk

And for your fidelity, your empathy -fattoush,

For your brotherly ways, some moujaddara set al beit.

For Black Lives Matter some barnia bel zeit

Tabbouleh since you’re all trans-affirming bros.

Halloumi to hail the halo round your afro.

Zucchini since you’re so queer affirming,

Makdous, moutabal for loving diversity and the mandem.

Restorative justice in a Vegan Lovers’ Platter.

For love, for the love of protest – pickles, bread.

For keeping your head, boys, for knowing what matters.

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

Don’t miss Jackie’s 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.