Reading Burns in Kirkcudbright

Reading Burns in Kirkcudbright
after an all too salubri-
ous night on the town - it's artists' now,
and not purely piss artists' now,

though even the pub our host recommended -
Don't go anywhere else he said -
showed the tradition is flourishing still,
roaring, red-faced and sociable -

I regret my over-fallow years,
my lack of a string of torrid affairs,
of hurried exits and half-dressed escapes
out of windows and down drainpipes,

the comings-together at harvest-time
in a landlords' world redeemed by rhyme
and the short but brilliant career
through the blue-stockinged ladies of Edinburgh:

I might finally have married Jean Armour
and settled down as a failing farmer,
an excise agent in dumb Dumfries
and died of rheumatic heart disease.

David Callin

If you have any comments on this poem, David Callin would be pleased to hear from you.