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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Verse

    by: Henderson, Jonathan (Ian)

So I speired at the butcher fae Methlick
as he cam’ into sight
“Could ye tell me, please, the quickest road
to the Bonnie Braes o’ Gight?”

“Aye, aye, min, nae bother ava,
bit yon wordie’s nae near richt
Yer ‘Bonnie’ an’ yer ‘Braes’ are fine,
bit roon here we ca’ it Gecht.”

I didna mince words wi’ the mannie,
for he was a beefy chiel
Jist followed his pintin’ finger,
bit seen I felt like a feel
Fan I got lost. Bit ramblers
are a canny breed an’ wi’ me I hid teen
Smith’s handy beuk:
25 Walks In and Around Aberdeen.

D’ye ken’t? His directions are clear an’ couthy,
simple yet erudite
He gars ye wint t’ gang stravaigin’
on the Bonnie Braes o’ Gight.

Man, it felt gran’ t’ be alive,
t’ watch the rubbits rin like Jerries
T’ see the roe deer lowp the fence,
t’ pu a puckle berries.
The first twa miles were affa fine,
the path I couldna lose
As I swung to a coocophony
o’ canoodlin’ cushie doos.
Past the rock face on yer left,
an’ fan ye spot the birches
Dee a U—turn throu the wid,
an’ syne heist up yer britches

For the route is “rough in places”
as ye walk doon by the Ythan
Michty on’s min, fit I got intil
wiz a scene fae Monty Python.

There wiz girse an’ nettles echt fit high,
coorse dockens, soakin’ bracken
I felt like an explorer
throu the Mato Grosso hackin’
Wi’oot a machete. The walk
wiz nae bed o’ ramblin roses
Bit the drucken, warslin’ weary wey
o’ a rubbit wi’ myxomatosis.

Ma hikin’ beets wir bladdit,
ma hair wiz rank wi’ swite
Ma glesses wir fair foggit up,
ma jeans wir sypin’ weet
Ma verra dowp wiz drookit,
an’ ma camera case wiz green
Wi’ sticky willies, slattered bugs,
an’ things I’ve nivver seen
Afore. Siccan a sotter wiz I in,
‘at ma bairnies, wife an’ midder
Wid’ve teen me for a tushtie tink,
a sicht t’ mak’ folk shidder.
I wiz pechin’ like a stame-mull,
an’ staggerin’ like a stot
‘At hid dined ower weel on fusky mash.
Eh me, bit I wiz not
Masel. I hid seen the track afore me
aul’ Father Tyme wiz scythin’
Nae in a dream, nae in a dwam,
bit on the banks a’ Ythan.

This walk wiz a metaphor for life,
it seemed sae plain t’ me
Stracht an’ easy at the stert,
yer feet jist gart ye flee
Bit trauchied in the middle stretch,
the dreel an unco tyauve
Glaur’d an’ dubby, stingin’ nettled,
an’ fit lies aheid i’ the lave?

Haud on noo, min, dinna rax yer pow,
ye hinna seen the licht
‘Twiz only a wee bit dauner
on the Bonnie Braes o’ Gight.
An’ thon lad, Robert Smith, shid rin
bare-dowped by yon river
While I chase him wi’ a tapner
an’ watch the limmer shiver
An get a wee thocht “rough in places”
usually nae exposed bit happit.
Aye min, fit wid ye feel like,
fair forfochen, unco crabbit?

Robert, as sure’s ma wife’s a besom,
ye’re a handy lad wi a euphemism.
“Na, Babs, I didna mean’t,
gweed sakes ye’re fairly fizzin.”
Noo see fit ye’ve deen, min,
she’s geen ma face a dicht
Wi’ a mingin’ cloot. T’ the deil Wi’ you
an’ yer Bonnie Braes O’ Gight.



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