This was originally written for Macclesfield’s Snow Goose Speakeasy theme of “Guilt” with one eye on this year’s Burns’ Night supper at the Egerton Arms, Chelford on 29th. January, 2016.
It’s still January, yet I’m up to the hilt.
My New Year’s resolve is beginning to wilt.
I’m tempted to pop my head under the quilt
for I don’t know why but I’m riddled with guilt.
A frail “house of cards” resolutions I’ve built.
On sands of temptation it’s starting to tilt.
That’s it. I give in. In a heap it has spilt.
I think that is why I am riddled with guilt.
I heard that fair song in the booze siren’s lilt
“Just one tiny sip. Abstinence you must jilt
for on 25th. Jan. they’ll be wearing the kilt”.
My friends, that is why I am riddled with guilt.
It’s Burns’ Night of course that wee reference to “kilt”
when haggis and neeps each man’s arteries silt.
Tonight I will toast you in whisky and beer,
a guilt-riven soul wishing you, “Happy New Year”.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The old year has ended in havoc and flood
and New Year hasn’t begun quite as it should.
The coastline is battered, the river banks bulge.
The rain gods and storm gods in orgies indulge.
Disasters are waiting – remember the Tay –
and in no little part that includes poems written in a very particular way
which I might emulate for you this evening as we celebrate Burns’ birthday
which itself forms a bridge between Hogmanay and St. Valentine’s Day.
Let’s return to our hero for whom we give thanks.
This evening it’s Burns’ words are bursting their banks.
We’ve feasted on haggis and beef piled in heaps
whilst Sassenachs dream of fish, chips, mushy neeps.
We’ve murdered the haggis. We’ve savoured the food.
Lassies were toasted and not a man booed,
but she who replied it is had the last word
and ended highlighting men’s foibles absurd.
With Mem’ry Immortal and battle of sexes
and men reeling back from blows to solar plexus,
I’ll finish by wishing, deciph’ring my scrawl,
“A prosperous New Year. Good Health to you all.”