Honestly, the sun always shines on the Glencoe Car Park Run.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Man's A Man N Aw That Shite

Burns Night is celebrated around the world, but I've never been one for doing so myself. I have attended a couple of Burns Lunches over the years but don't know anyone attending any Suppers this year. Maybe I just move in the wrong social circles.

Even back in the day there was no gathering around the old electric fire reciting poetry with my parents. Poetry was rarely on the agenda at home.

But that's not to say I didn't appreciate the fact a Scotsman enthralled and lit the world with words. Scottish words.

Unfortunately, many of the Scottish words employed by Burns weren't ones I knew or used in everyday life. And where as the language used by Burns is viewed as authentic, poetic or quaint, my everyday language is viewed by many as harsh, aggressive or scummy.

Yet it's a beautiful language and one in which I'm fiercely proud to be fluent. So to coincide with Burns Night I set out to compose a poem in my language.

Picking the subject matter for this poem was simple enough.

This time of year is the anniversary of my brother's death, and so it is to both him and Burns I dedicate this piece of work.

A Man's A Man N Aw That Shite

It’s that time ay year fur Rabbie Burns
impressin the world wae lyrical turns.
This Ploughman Poet fae doon near Ayr
enjoys eez spoils fur darin tae play
wae witches chasin Tam O’Shanter,
mice n men n full decanters.
Eez love ay wummin upset the kirk,
but fae conflict Rab refused tae shirk.
Coz a man’s a man n aw that shite.
Haggis n tatties?
Naw, no th-night.

Th-night’s the night some’ll share a line
tae mourn ma brother’s ain decline.
Wae kilts n chookters naewhere seen
as guests fae Scotland’s jails n schemes
aw gather roon n talk ay times
ay dealin drugs n violent crimes,
converted guns n lockback knives,
unruly weans n battered wives.
But a life like that is a life ay shite.
Champagne n Charlie?
Naw, no th-night.

Ah’ll sit masel n reminisce
ay distant times when we wur kids,
like wreakin havoc doon the Clyde
wae clabby doos marooned by tide,
th-gither we wur oor mother’s pride
n when Da wiz drunk he’d help us hide,
then pick me up n run tae Gran’s
where eyes wur rubbed wae shakin hauns.
But naebody wants tae hear that shite.
Wull Ah shed a tear?
Naw, no th-night.

Coz a man's a man n aw that shite,
taught no tae greet n how tae fight,
lessons passed like family heirlooms
churnin oot emotional vacuums.
Yet when that duckin divin chancer
succumbed tae pancreatic cancer,
no wance did he try tae run or hide
as hopes ay life wur cast aside.
Coz a man's a man n aw that shite.
Wull Ah forget it?
Naw, especially th-night.

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