Hello, Stranger Poems

Hello Beautiful by Jo Gilbert

24 September 2021

Jo Gilbert is an Aberdeen based spoken word artist and writer, who often uses Doric, the language of the North East. She is an example of a poet who is an entertainer but who is also good on the page. Poetry is meant to be accessible and draw people in, it’s not meant to exist only in ivory towers written by poetry professors. A winner of multiple poetry slams, Jo has had work published in several anthologies and magazines. Recent commissions include StAnza 2021, 3 poems for Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums permanent collection, and creating new work for True North Festival.

Here she reads Hello Beautiful, a song of praise to opening-up, to fun, love and life.

Hello Beautiful

A big issue vendor serenades denim clad t-shirts, we

v arms, bend back to drink in her rainbow cascade.

Hello beautiful! We’ve missed you, join the queue,

glide under her starshine,

pass through siren hatted metal detectors,

endure handsy security, let out a breath,

scale lyric laden stairs. Enter well-trodden heaven –

the greatest venue alive with legendary history,

our sacred relic, stained by decades of love, violence, and joy.

Slink through sweaty sardines, bob, weave, and dodge giants,

wade through sticky muck, carve the perfect place to balter,

we worship in dark corners – barriers are no place for dancing.

Her roof drinks pain, terminates our frustration

through the medium of bouncy floorboards.

Heads bow in anticipation, wonder who else returned

for double shots of bass, another riff hit,

multiple doses of marvellous medicine, elixir for our static lives.

Elation erupts at the first chord, hands harness lightning,

give thanks & praise steeped in sonic waves,

soused, lathered up, we are saved,

puzzle piece snaps in, it clicks, this is what’s been missing

we become art, fused gold sounds kintsugi us,

our locked down hearts emerge stronger, more beautiful, healed.

An Interview by Jo on Doric and poetry:


The series is curated by Hugh McMillan, poet and writer, Ambassador for the Scottish Poetry Library in 2020 and Editor of its anthology ‘Best Scottish Poems’ for 2021.