[lit-ideas] Re: Saturday Poem

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 12:09:10 -0700


If you ever go to Scotland--and why would you, young ..., born in..., never curious about your roots-- but if you do go, here's what you'll see: heather, a loch, whisky, castles, kilts, bagpipes, glens and bens, mist, a good number of sad, dour men, dancing, crap caravans cluttering the countryside. To get the real spirit of the place, though, since you're not interested in rugby or beer and the English aren't losing in anything right now, you'll take a bus up the high road out of Drumtichy and carry on. Stripping to the war bikini, applying wode to keep the midges off, you'll run like a warrior of old, catching the smells--cow and sheep turds, fish, burns, peat, the grass itself--and minding the thistles. You'll then climb on up, going carefully now and, when you're above the loch and have admired the light as it falls on the water, in that haunting voice of yours you'll sing something melancholic, a lament with forty three verses concerning the soldier and his dog who didn't survive the Darien expedition. Finishing your party piece, like a supermodel kelpie doing the lilt, you'll then trip down the purple mountainside to where, yes, if you're lucky, there still is beans and fried mars bars, with chips, for your tea.

David Ritchie,
Headed for Ashland


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