Dec 132013

By Bob Smith.

Winter in Northumberland2, England - Credit Ian Britton 90_07_6_prev

Foo muckle siller wull ye spend
On pressies fer yer freens ?
Or some fer aa the faimily
Be they auld or in their teens
A new name fer Christmas
“The Retail Festival” it is ca’ed
Fin thingies they git oot o han
An aa bugger gyaangs fair mad
Noo a’m nae Scrooge –far fae it
Bit a wid fair draw the line
At gittin awa intae debt
Afore singin “Auld Lang Syne”.
A’m aa fer gien a wee present
Tae faimily or fowk lang kent
Some fowk tho’ dinna hae a clue
Aboot foo muckle they hiv spent
A freen o mine he’s renegin
He says he’s seen the licht
An disna gie twa hoots
If fowk noo think him ticht
He’s nae gien ony mair
Presents he classes “stuff”
He’ll buy a wee bottle o booze
Or maybe a sma plum duff
He says it’s far mair practical
As he kens jist fa likes fit
Instead o maybe hannin ower
Fit fowk micht class as shit
Only costs him haaf the price
O things he wid normally gie
An he winna hae tae worry
Fae debt he wull bide free

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013
Image credit: Ian Britton –
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Nov 042011

With thanks to Aberdeen Amnesty International chair Gail Riekie.

The Aberdeen Amnesty International Group will launch ‘Poetic Justice’, their newly published collection of poems on the theme of human rights, at the John Skinner Centre on Thursday 10th November 7:30 – 9:30 pm.

The evening will feature readings of the poems by their authors, live music and a bar. The collection ‘Poetic Justice’ will be available for sale for £5.
Entry is free – donations to Amnesty welcome.

The idea for a collection of poetry sprang from the Aberdeen Group’s desire to do something special this year to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Amnesty International.

They also wanted to honour two local activists, John and Daphna Williams, who both died in the last two years. ‘Poetic Justice’ is dedicated to the memory of this remarkable couple.

The poems in the collection were written, mostly by NE Scotland poets, in response to a competition that the Aberdeen Amnesty group held earlier in the year. Olivia Farrington, the group’s Burma co-ordinator, organised the competition. The poems cover a broad range of topics and themes, from the Highland Clearances to modern day Baghdad, and from meditations on liberty to experiences of manning an Amnesty stall in the Bon Accord shopping centre.

Aberdeen Amnesty Chair Gail Riekie said:

“I am absolutely delighted with the way this project has turned out. Aberdeen’s poets have done us proud. The collection would make a beautiful and though provoking seasonal gift!”

Contact Aberdeen Amnesty International via our email to order a copy of ‘Poetic Justice’.

See also the group’s website:

Dec 102010

Aberdeen Forward…. Aberdeen Forward…. Aberdeen Forward…. Aberdeen Forward….

Have you ever felt a little twinge of guilt when buying Christmas presents which are destined to be consumed, broken or discarded even before the cards are taken down from the mantelpiece?

Well, one of Aberdeen’s busiest environmental charities has come up with a long-term solution.

Giving someone the present  of a ‘Tree Gift’ will mean that they have helped create a wildlife habitat and improved the local environment by having a tree planted as part of a wild fruiting hedge and orchard project run by eco-friendly charity Aberdeen Forward. Recipients of this unique gift will receive a card containing details of the project and of the tree species being planted on their behalf.

The charity, which also runs a Sustainable Communities Centre offering craft classes eco-friendly workshops, composting schemes and waste minimisation projects, was established in 1999 and works with communities and businesses in the area to promote environmental awareness, reduce waste and encourage sustainable living.

Volunteer and Operations manager Gillian Marr told Aberdeen Voice:
“Our tree planting scheme is proving quite popular with people around the area.  They like the idea of a tree being planted by an environmental charity as a Christmas present rather than giving an ordinary gift.”

Those of a green persuasion will certainly be glad to hear that a Christmas tree is ‘for life – not just for Christmas’, as Gillian is keen to point out:

“It not only helps the environment with reducing waste at Christmas and decreasing the carbon footprint of the area but helps turn an unused piece of land into a wildlife garden encouraging biodiversity.

For details about the ‘Tree Gift’ project and more information about work done by the charity contact Aberdeen Forward on 01224 560 360,

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