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with apologies to Paul, John, and all Scots linguists

‘Twas twenty years ago today
that this laddie cam tae toun tae stay
He’s bin gaun back ‘n’ forth a while
but noo for ever oan this isle
So let us introduce tae you
the chap ye’v kent fur a’ thae years
Scotty bides in Glesca ever mair!

Glasgow, 12 July 2021

Photo by Glaux

4:15 am: the Grinch is awoken
Shouting he hears, but what’s being spoken?

He peers out the window, below he espies
a band of young people, through his bleary eyes.

Students out carousing all night
completed their schooling, their caps all in white.
Sauntering down the middle of Strandvejen
(for those not local: a path death-defying!).

A cap goes a-flying, its owner oblivious
lying on pavement, it won’t remain niveous.

The Grinch makes a smirk; “Serves you right”, he believes
“One reaps what one sows, you sleep-stealing thieves!”

(Yet–in truth, he’s not certain a cap did go missing
but allow him some licence for this little dissing).

from Aalborg

The Grinch went out, with cap in hand
He saw some friends upon the strand
Got very wet; to home adjourned
Upon arrival the sun returned
(briefly) 😡

His cap gone missing, umbrella was busted
Ten days of rain, if forecast is trusted
Homebound he’ll be till the weather does break
Unless DMI did make a mistake.
(often) 😳

Resolved to search along the strand
The cap was found where it did land!
Many had passed, but none did grab it
’cause trusting is a Danish habit.
Crisis averted! 🙂

at Aalborg Regatta 2013
updated with additional verses 15. oktober 2013

TV2 Nord interview 2

At the museum, on live television
an interview needed, with a quick decision
my Danish not good, thus a bit nervous
but can I provide more than lip service?

The one question on every Dane’s mind
I must tell the truth, but try to be kind
to answer in public I don’t wish to do
in case my rejoinder one might misconstrue.

“What do you think about Danish…art?”
I hem and I haw, yet don’t fall apart

“Whilst interesting pictures, not all to my liking”
(at least absent was depiction of a Viking)
I struggle with the words, at last get them out
“deep meaning in pictures, what I think about.”

A friend later asks me, famous art critic?
(perchance it was so, my words analytic)
carpe diem, I think, and thus do remark
“Indeed, now am I, World Famous in Denmark!”

Epilogue

And later that evening, in café below
Kierkegaard’s words emblazoned, how apropos:

“At turde er at miste fodfæstet et øjeblik, ikke at turde er at miste sig selv.”
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily, not to dare is to lose oneself.”

The interview by TV2 Nord at International Tuesday, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg (9 October 2012) can be viewed here.

Efter karnevallet, lots of sun!
Jeg går en tur (not to run).
Mange dåser ålborgensere drink
So I’ll collect scads that stink.
Lots of pant, but it ain’t
to be, er jeg for sent?
Smaller than hoped for reward, er?
Bought their booze across the border 😦
Cleanup is paid for by our taxes
So I’ll press on to grind my axes.

There would have been more Danish in this poem, but all of the online Danish rhyming dictionaries decided to take the holiday weekend off.

from Aalborg

Det er maj

Solen skinner
men en kold vind blæser gennem min krop

Unge mænd har korte bukser på
men andre bærer vinterjakker

Iskiosken i parken åbnes
men jeg har lyst til en kop varm te

Træerne begynder at blomstre
men ikke på min side af gaden

Livet har mange men’er
aldrig bare sort eller hvidt

It is May

The sun is shining
but a cold wind blows through my body

Young men are wearing shorts
but others don winter coats

The ice cream stand in the park has opened
but I feel like a cup of hot tea

The trees are beginning to bloom
but not on my side of the street

Life has many buts
never just black or white

from Aalborg

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