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Poems from Francis Kerr Young
Gut Reactions

a Francois Villon ballade

Och, times can be hard when the wife's awa'
an' a man has got tae fend for himsel'.
Bit' if he cannae even cook at a',
a gurglin' stomach can be utter hell.
Sure, it's nice tae hae a waashin' machine,
an' a flappin' cloot can keep the hoose clean,
athoot a cookbook ane's oot o' the loop.
Bit he can subsist if he's really keen:
Oh, pies an' biled peas! Or a can o' soup?

If he could jist move back in wi' his Maw,
his belly rumblin's wid certainly quell,
bit she's lang deid, an' therein lies the flaw . . .
Has this auld spam's goat a bit o' a smell?
A slice o' burnt toast wi'a spinfy' bean;
Whit's this in the frig? It looks gey, gey green.
Stealin' cheese frae traps wi' mice in pursuit,
a hungry man needs some kind o' protein:
Oh, pies an' biled peas! Or a can o' soup?

An' then, of coorse, there's his mither-in-law,
bit she's passed oan tae her reward. Wha can tell
where guid cooks gang? Life (like this meat) is raw.
Puir auld Erchie sure misses his 'Belle;
that hollow knell o' the tattie tureen;
jist scroungin' aroon' for the oad sardine.
Aye, things are sad when the wife's flew the coop,
stervation jist hits ye atween the een . . .
Oh, pies an' biled peas! Or a can o' soup?


Mutton pies wi' biled peas are fine cuisine
bit efter a man's been through the hoop,
he's damn-near scunnert wi' anither wheen
o' pies an' biled peas! Or a can o' soup?

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