The year is 1794 and money worries have forced the young Rabbie Burns to take up work as a labourer at a farm near Mauchline in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Good fortune has smiled though for it is on this farm the he meets his first true love, young Nelly Kilpatrick.  As the pair wander together amidst the stunning landscape, hand in hand and every so often sharing a furtive kiss Rabbie finds himself – or so he thinks – in the zone to knock out a swift poem for his new found beau yet is stuck as to exactly how to get over the hurdle of the first line!

“Oh Nelly darling I’m feeling a tad flummoxed on the poetry front today. I so want to write a special love poem just for you my sweetheart yet all I’ve got in the locker presently is ‘O my love’s like a red, red…something!  I mean, a ‘red, red’ what?”

“Well Rabbie I really cannot help you out there as I am quite devoid of poetic skills. Why don’t you just pick a word that reminds you of me? I am so very, very excited though as no boy has ever before written of his love for just me.”

“That is what I’m trying to do Nell…um…um…a London omnibus, they’re red aren’t they?”

“Oh, Rabbie you make me sob so likening me to an omnibus. I mean people say of ugly women that they have a face like the back of a bus. How could you?”

“Sorry Nell…don’t take it the wrong way. What about, ‘My love’s like a red, red Whisky Drinkers Nose. How’s that one?”

“Really Rabbie, whisky drinkers noses are all red that is true but they are also pock marked and bulbous and I am neither. Pass me a handkerchief…not one covered in snot mind…in order that I may dab away the tears that are flowing in torrents now.”

“Crumbs, this poetry malarkey is a tad more difficult than I presumed. Right here we go again, ‘My love’s like a red, red…um…um…Red Light. That’s more like it I’d say.”

“How could you be so cruel? Do you really see me as a common harlot for they hawk their wares under the red light…or so I believe…and I am not a lady of the night by any way, shape or form?”

“OK I’ll try tomato….no not tomato…what about blood transfusion in a casualty department of a hospital on a Saturday night in Glasgow?”

“Take me home to father now Rabbie for I can take no more of this.”

“Fine Nell but one last try…you must at the very least give me the opportunity for that. You mean so much to me darling.  Here we go again, ‘My love’s like a read, read book.’ You like books, don’t you? Anyway that’s the best I can come up with presently. I’ll maybe give it another shot later.  By the way that poesy of red, red roses you are holding is so very beautiful and truly enhances your raven-haired beauty…so very, very ‘red’. Still mustn’t let my mind wander from the task at hand…now, ‘My love’s like a red, red…oh bollocks this is going nowhere.”


    1. ‘Nellie the elephant packed her…um…um…false teeth’…no, that won’t do…um…um…packed her packed lunch…no, can’t think of anything! I must admit elephants do have long trunks, yet mustn’t get side tracked here.

      1. What about Nellie Nellie, you are quite the contrary? Oh I don’t know… best take some coffee first or a long stretch and a walk. Haha!

    1. All these ‘writer’s block’ tales I knocked out, no matter where the artist heralded from are written using upper class English. Such English lends itself to accidental insensitivity…as I know to my own cost sometimes. There’s nothing like an Englishman pondering out loud his concern about a test match in the middle of a romantic moment. On a more serious note, Burns really was exceptional, so I trust this bit of satire is forgivable!

      1. It is quite a wonderful accent that way. I say and all that. Of course the satire is forgivable. The satire is brill. I just imagined Rabbie in the midst of his romantic moments suddenly talking in that accent. He certainly had plenty moments but yeah Burns was exceptional. I once did a blog on him, s way back looking at his general sexiness for the times you understand….

      1. How cool is that! 🙂 So he did struggle to find the right word 🙂 Good for him, at least he has found one and now it is one of the most famous songs in the history 🙂

  1. It’s funny because it’s true… sometimes it’s so hard to find the right word. I hope your wife is more patient with your poetic process, Mike 😉

      1. Ha! When in doubt, Wisconsin’s always ripe for a bad cheese joke, especially when one considers the American football fans where giant foam cheese hats. Damn, I wish I was making that up…

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