Happy Birthday, Mr Burns

Robert Burns by Phil Burns

Robert Burns by Phil Burns

AnElephantCant write poetry like Rabbie
But then of course nobody can
It is almost a crime
To pen this silly rhyme
As a tribute to an exceptional man

January 25th is the birthday of Scotland’s National Bard, the much-loved Robert Burns.
So today AnElephant pays tribute with some words from Oor Rabbie, who believed that all men were created equal:

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

bear the gree = come to the fore

But he was also a romantic:

Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chaunt, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu’ o’ care.
Ye’ll break my heart, ye warbling birds
That wanton through the flowery thorn,
Ye mind me o’ departed joys,
Departed, never to return.

and even in English:

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white–then melts for ever;

Thanks, Rabbie, and Happy Birthday, wherever you are.

Posted in Life and stuff, Scottish Stuff, funny and serious | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

life and a 3-legged dog

life and a 3-legged dog by anelephantcant

life and a 3-legged dog by anelephantcant

I
can tell
from his skin
grey and tired
his hair
long unwashed
his clothes
worn and grimy
that he has
no home
he walks
the quayside
probably seeking
a place to sleep
shelter
from the rain
wind driven
from the brown
turbulent
Mediterranean
his companion
clearly devoted
has
no rear right
leg
I
approach him
offer
some too small token
for food
his voice
is educated
articulate
but uninterested
I
long to ask
where
what
why
but do not
so
he stumbles
into the dusk
with
only a rucksack
containing his
life
and a 3-legged dog

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The Best Laid Plans – Friday Fictioneers

AnElephantCant ever be organised
He is never on time he procrastinates
Although sometimes he wishes
He can wash and dry all the dishes
He usually ends up with broken saucers and plates

Once again it is Friday Fictioneer time.
Immaculately presented Rochelle creates a menu of tasty morsels to be cooked up by talented tale tellers.
And AnElephant burns the salad.
The idea is to write a very short story, circa 100 words, based on this picture prompt (below).
That’s it.

Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

The Best Laid Plans

The table is set perfectly.
The food – and the hired chef has prepared all of my wife’s favourite dishes – is simmering.
My instructions have been followed to the letter.
I stand at the window, waiting for someone I know will never come.
And my heart is breaking.
This whole thing is a charade, of course.
But I have to be here, I have to be seen to be here.
And everyone has played their part precisely according to my wishes.
Except her.
She always has to do something contrary.
She had the children with her in the car.

Posted in Daft Rhymes, Friday Fictioneer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Yesterday – Saturday – in Medville, there was a tribute to Charlie Hebdo.
Events like this took place in cities, towns and villages across France and, I am sure, much further afield.
There will be more today.
I have no need, and no desire, to revisit the appalling atrocities which have brought about this huge wave of public involvement.
But it is uplifting, even heart-warming, to know that so many feel so strongly about the freedom of the press.
And about what it represents, freedom of speech for all.
Here on the Mediterranean, a group of musician/poets called l’Emporte-Phrase organised the event, which consisted of short speeches and poetry readings.
For those of you who wonder at their name, it does not translate literally into English.
It suggests that poetry spreads words as the wind spreads seeds.
So, perhaps, Word of Mouth best conveys its meaning.
They included a French translation of Rudyard Kipling’s If, which was well received by the enthusiastic onlookers.
But my fellow blogger and very dear friend Emmy L Gant was the star of the show.
She read, in French, her own translation of Robert Burns’ A Man’s A Man For A’ That.
She received rapturous applause.
And brought a tear even to AnElephant’s jaded old eye.

Après tout, après tout
Cela viendra, après tout,
Que l’homme pour l’homme, partout au monde,
Soit un frère après tout.

For a’ that an’ a’ that
It’s coming yet for a’ that
That man to man, the world o’er
Shall brithers be for a’ that

Please Note:
This piece is shown on Sunday Photo Fiction by the kind permission of Alastair Forbes.
Or my friend Al, as I prefer to call him.
He feels that rules are made to be broken, and that some things are just more important.
AnElephant is grateful for his forbearance and his support.
But right now, AnElephant believes, we are all Charlie.
Nous sommes tous Charlie.

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Posted in france, Life and stuff, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

right and wrong

alone by phil burns

alone by phil burns

You tell me I will soon forget
That you already can’t remember
But you are sunshine in July
And I’m the east wind in November

I tell you that you’re always right
You tell me that I’m wrong
I say I want to stay with you
You say I don’t belong

You bring the music to my life
You are my favourite song
You tell me I am out of tune
When I try to sing along

You never want for company
Without you I’m all alone
You stand above adoring hordes
I am soon lost in the throng

You ask me why I hang around
Why don’t I just move on
Perhaps there’s nothing better than
The agony prolonged

I know I never will forget
And you will not remember
You’re the Cote d’Azur in mid-July
I am Scotland in November

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Route 66 – Friday Fictioneers

AnElephantCant sing rock n roll
Though he undoubtedly has oodles of swagger
You think this is hooey
But he can’t go to St Louis
And he is not Chuck Berry or  mighty Mick Jagger

Once again it is Friday Fictioneer time.
Trip organiser Rochelle maps out the way forward for terrific travelling tale-tellers.
And AnElephant goes down a cul-de-sac.
The idea is to write a very short story, circa 100 words, based on this picture prompt (below).
That’s it.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Route 66

The last song I ever performed on stage.
Back when I still had an uncrushed larynx….
I am 19 years old, at a famous Scottish university, and front-man for a pretty average student band.
I am invited to spend my summer on tour with a chart-featuring outfit, as backup to the voice on their recordings.
He is described, quite charitably, as unreliable.
Amsterdam, the second night, and I am on.
Afterwards, still elated, I walk by the canals.
I see an elderly tourist being robbed, go to his aid.
I am punched to the ground.
Then I get my kicks.

Posted in Daft Rhymes, Friday Fictioneer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

The Theft – Sunday Photo Fiction

AnElephantCant help feeling embarrassed
He sees something that puzzles him greatly
He has got no clue
He is surprised there are two
But he sees another object that is pink and unshapely

This is a weekly invitation to write a short piece of fiction (c. 150 words) based on a photo prompt (below) provided by Alastair.
Just click on the link to see a colourful collection of stories in response to this week’s excellent prompt.
But please first cast an eye over AnElephant’s confused contribution.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

The Theft

You stole it?
Aye.
What is it?
Dunno.
So why?
Just liked it.
And what are you going to do with it?
Dunno.
You don’t know?
Maybe just look at it.
Not much else you can do with it, is there, if you don’t know what it is?
Suppose not.
Is it valuable?
Dunno.
Where did you steal it?
That jeweller’s shop in the High Street.
Which one?
The posh one.
The one with all the security cameras on the walls?
Aye, that one.
Do you know what all those cameras are for?
To stop people stealing stuff, I suppose.
And yet?
Aye.
So what are you going to do with it now?
Maybe just take it back.
You think?
Or just throw it away.
Go see who is banging at the door, it’s probably for you.

Posted in Daft Rhymes, Other Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments