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Brassie rushed in.

Hi, guys!  Just back.

She placed her ridiculously unstable table number stand

next to ours.  Now we had two numbers.

Spoke to Clammie earlier, she gushed.  But how was Edinburgh,

Candia?  You missed the Festival.

Yes, but I gained the weather, I said.  I did manage to catch the

Kenneth Currie exhibition at The Portait Gallery on the first day.

Is that the guy who paints butlers on wet beaches? Clammie asked.

No, that’s Jack Vettriano, I corrected her.  Currie is a tad more

macabre. He is interested in how age affects the body.

Aren’t we all?! agreed Brassie, ruefully. What else did you

see?

Latter day examples of the Raeburn portraits mobilised on

Princes Street, I observed.  Leopards don’t change their spots.

Here, I wrote a poem about the sense of deja vu.  You can read

it with your latte.

Gee thanks, Candia, said Brassie.  Give me a break.  I’m just

back.

I’ll read it, said Clammie.  Pass it over.  What language is this?

You’ll need to translate!

Raeburn on the Streets of Edinburgh

A’ they pitten-oan, pauchtie Whigs appear

oan the Mound, or even wi’ Kirsty Wark,

debating devolution. Tartan-trewed

museum staff hae a look o’ Robert

McQueen, Lord Braxfield and the Kirk still skates

oan wabblie ice – no oan Duddingston Loch,

but at its ain General Assembly.

The Skating Minister

Next thing they’ll be a’ wearin’ pink trappins

as they tapsalteerie roon key issues.

Slidderie, crabbit, towtie judges

aye hae glancy nebs, and advocates

gaither airt traisures. Quate, lang-drauchit wives

keep oan winnin’ their marital chess games

and take unto themselves mair than thir marrow’s queen:

wummen catch oan fast tae Enlightenment.

Braw, harp-playin’ sirens still turn hoose-ends,

musickers are forespoken by thir world;

bairnies crack thir thoums, so ye gie yir tent;

chiels forget thir first wives efter echt days.

The high heid yins adopt designer cloots

tae hide the fact they are debt-bedevilled.

Thon sappie, pairted lips warsle tae rede

themsels. We can hear them bairge in New Town,

spoat thir reflections in Jenny a’ things.

Thir Portrait Gallery’s oan Princes Street:

there’s that carnaptious phizzog, they chollers:

a’ they bachles oan erstwhile buckled feet.

Reverend J. G. Bryden

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