Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Morning After

Thanks to our National Poet, we have another day to add to the drinking calendar!  Appropriate, then, that I should post on the day after Burns Night the second of my 26 Treasures.  For this piece, I wanted to find something associated with The Bard.  Unfortunately, the item that took my interest wasn’t actually on display, so I had to look online for a picture. 

Perhaps I should design my own family crest, as Burns did, to illustrate my piece.  But no, there isn’t time; I shall pilfer the picture instead, in the spirit of my little poem (which also steals a joke told to me by a friend who passed away a few years ago, so at least he’ll not chase me for it.)

Stock-and-horn – from a Chanter, owned by Robert Burns

If I could remove the rampant cat
   from my family crest; replace it
with a stock-and-horn, perhaps
   I’d filch affinity with Burns.

Would I choose a bird, or bush
   – Twisted Hazel, Song-Thrush –
swap the mottled tartan; maybe
   something more exotic, or plain?

I’d pilfer, for a motto, ‘What
   defines a courteous Scot?
One who kens to play the
   pipes… but chooses not.’

Friday, 13 January 2012

Unlucky for Some

This year I have set myself the task of coming up with my own version of the 26 Treasures project which is taking place at the National Museum of Scotland.  The project so far consists of a trail through the Museum of 26 objects, each paired with a writer who was asked to pen a 62-word response to their given treasure.  

Naturally, I have entered the competition which runs with this project, and the rule that you can enter as many pieces as you like, in any style means that I’ve not stopped at only one piece.  So my plan is to post my work on this here blog, every fortnight: starting today, the next on the 26th of January, and for the rest of the year until I have my own set of 26 Treasures.  Sounds ambitious? Let’s see.

For anyone who is just a little superstitious, today of all days: wish me luck.

Spot the Witch

‘Unlucky for some,’ she said.
I, for one
would rather not have seen

that silver mounted evil eye
– crystal and turquoise –
winking at me as they

dooked me at Bonar Bridge.
What a curse!
Did you ever catch me

dragging a rope across your
cowfield, all for
a paltry pail o’ milk?

I hope your butter sours,
you scrofulous, lying auld bitch.