city of happy lilts and kilts,
of plump haggis with
buttery mashed tatties
and earthy turn-neeps.
polished wood firelights
where the weather cannot reach,
cannot tarnish these merry souls
sharing a wee dram of warming whisky
or a pint or three of brewers beast.
A castle on the hill
has seen victory and defeat
now testament to the spirit
of this proud lot
who believe in brotherhood
for all are Scottish.
Monuments not to war alone
but to writers and thinkers
and inventors do commemorate
the Scottish creativity and ingenuity.
Sir Walter Scott has his gothic rocket,
Robert Burns a columned gazebo,
and James Young Simpson like
the loyal Greyfriars Bobby
is preserved in statued pride.
On the end of the Royal Mile
stands the Palace of Holyrood
where an abbey once flourished
‘round a holy rood crucifix
found in the antlers of an angry stag.
The absentee Charles
remodeled it French
by happy chance
for later Mary Queen of Scots
brought her coveted
six-foot, fair-skinned beauty
and childhood French sensibility
to these cold stone walls.
The stones now host
Poetry for the Palace
chronicling the royal Laureate ditties
and rhymes of flattering phrase
beginning at the beginning with John Dryden
to the old duffer Carol Ann
with her mumbles written in colorful art.
Her mumbles reach down a little close
where the Scottish Poetry Library
tucks away a haven for poets,
where readers can while away the day
with book sculptures, poems on tape,
and quiet shelves of the world’s verse.
The skyline of Edinburgh
does not stop at castles and palaces
and masculine monuments
or even tiny poetry nooks
but delights the intellect
with museums galore.
There’s the National Gallery of Scotland
not to be confused with
the National Museum of Scotland.
There’s the Portrait museum,
the Childhood museum,
the Edinburgh museum,
the People’s Museum,
the royal yacht Britannia museum
and The Writers Museum
where hangs John Singer Sargent’s rendering
of Robert Louis Stevenson.
So bring your hungry bellies
and hungry minds to grand old Eddie
and lift your pint high,
toast this great breed of hardy Scots
who are quick to lend a hand
and a laugh
and tell you a tale of history.
“Lang may yer lum reek!” (May you live long and stay well.)