Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)

by John J. Williamson
PenShells
Third Place, February 2018
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


t’s dreich ootside agin this morn,
whit a bloody surprise.
I widnae mynd bit a’ ah see
floatin’ in disguise,
are wisps ‘n’ baws o’ fluffy doun
to haunt mah bloody eyes.

I’m shiverin’ cauld this drookit morn,
whit a bloody surprise.
The heatin’s blawin’ wi’ a’ it’s got,
mah wee lad’s rubbin’ ‘is thighs,
and a’ ah hear frae dusk till dawn
comes brattlin’ oot th’ skies.

It’s floodin’ ower th’ lawn this morn’,
whit a bloody surprise.
The watter’s fallin’ doon th’ steps,
the gnome’s boat micht capsize,
and a’ ah ask, if teem it maun,
let’s reach a compromise.


This poems feels true to its origins. I think old Burnsy himself would have smiled at the language, the rhymes, the unfortunate gnome paddling madly to stay afloat. Otherwise, there’s nothing gang agley, here. --C. Wade Bentley

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