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This is from my poetic friend who spent his childhood in South Africa

Nelson Mandela  July 18, 1918 - December 5 2013

Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918 – December 5 2013

AnElephantCant always be funny
And he can’t always write the best rhyme
But he can say thank you to Nelson Mandela
The greatest man in his lifetime

We remember the man in the green shirt
We remember the smile on his face
We remember he forgave the long hurt
We remember he united a race

Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
The words stir this elephant’s heart
Lord, bless Africa
Oh, Nelson, you made a great start

Ardmore Point

Regular BLFP correspondent John O’Hare sends this after reading yesterday’s post.

Ardmore Point



The rusting hulk of the bulk sugar boat


stuck in the craw


fast in the rivers gullet where it narrows


turned turtle,a hostage to the whims of wind and


maritime law


by the shoreline of youth curving,misted


where buoyed-up by hope and stainless vision


each day came and went unquestioned,unasked


there,we would root in rockpools for those other life forms


closed,hermetic unlike ourselves, who would give up their secrets


only after


being boiled alive at campfire inquisitions



john o’hare






This is a reconstructed life sized ‘heid’ of Robert Burns we encountered at Mauchline on Saturday.


Going by contemporary descriptions and depictions of Burns, this is not what I imagined at all.

This ‘classical’ engraved image of the bard was by John Buego, a friend of Burns in 1787.


This image was commissioned for the publication of Burns’s Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, published by William Creech that year.

It is said that Burns was very pleased with the print and that he wrote to Beugo to congratulate him on it. In a copy of the book given to a friend he wrote the following lines.


This image by Archibald Skirving two years after Burns death, bears a striking resemblance to the Buego work.


One wonders what Rabbie would have thought of the ‘heid’ in Mauchline?

Thanks to the excellent Alexandria Burns Club Website

Bletherin’ Bitch

BELOW thir stanes lie Jamie’s banes;
  O Death, it’s my opinion,
Thou ne’er took such a bleth’rin bitch
  Into thy dark dominion!

Robert Burns writing about his friend James Humphrey.

Epitaph on a Noisy Polemic

In fact Humphrey outlived Burns by 48 years so the epitaph was written well in advance of the event of Humphrey’s death in 1844.

I was at the Mauchline Holy Fair yesterday and noticed this in the churchyard:


Humphrey, a stone-mason from Mauchline who was employed at both Lochlie and Mossgiel.

He was interviewed by Allan Cunningham in 1834, and recalled Burns with affection, indeed he was flattered even to have been on the receiving end of his poetic dig.

Humphrey had a degree of education and would sometimes engage Burns in debate, hence the subject of the epitaph.

It was also included as one of the epitaphs in the Kilmarnock edition.

I found this on a search:


John Cooper Carke

He was on Have I Got News For You the other night and it was good to see he still retained his sparkling wit.

This is from 1982 when you could smoke on telly but you still cound’t say the F word…..

Oh God!

Let Sleeping Gods Lie

If God made us, in “His own image”
Does that mean he looks like us?
So I guess he’s bald, with long blonde hair
A moustache and a forty inch bust.
He’s black and white and yellow too
A hermaphrodite to boot
Wears stockings and suspenders tied
to the jacket of a pin-striped suit
And when it comes to language
well. from every single land
(s)he takes every other syllable
which is why we’ll never understand
a single word that’s been handed down
from book to mouth to book
the faith of each nation
so lost in translation
so the warmongers get off the hook.

Danny Reynolds.

Not the Pet Shop Boys


A duck-billed platypus and a fictitious rock ‘n’ roller

AnElephantCant live in a Pet Shop
Although it is usually a very nice place
Full of white mice and puppies
And tanks full of guppies
But AnElephant takes up far too much space

There is so much here you can buy for your doggy
A collar a toy a wee dish
If you have a cat
You can get him a hat
But you can’t grant his wish for a fish

They have all sorts of exotic foreign creatures
A chameleon a pink cockatoo
But never a giraffe
Or a hyena that laughs
For that you must go to the zoo

Now when you hang out at a Pet Shop
You are enchanted by the animation of noise
Here a coo there a caw
You might hear a hee haw
But there’s no music by those East End Boys
(Or West End Girls)

The Animals can set up a Rock Band
The drums played by an adroit octopus
Perhaps a bull with a horn
A lute-playing unicorn
And no Jagger but a duck-billed platypus

A Pet Shop can’t be confused with that old ship
Where the animals went on two by two
There is only one crab
And that is Big Rab
AnElephant likes to finish with a joke that is gnu