Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 135: Edinburgh

The Other Side of Festival City

Mention Pilton, Craigmillar or Wester Hailes,
Reaction in Morningside never fails;
They see us as people who are second best;
In their high culture we don’t pass the test.
We live in the outskirts no in the centre,
There’s places up toon we never would enter;
Opera, ballet or the Garden Party,
Are just for the rich and the arty farty.
We’re the other side of Festival City
That tourists don’t see and mare’s the pity;
Edinburgh’s fine with church and steeple,
But the heart o’ a city is in its people.
Glasgow kens this and always ‘smiles better’,
They’re no reserved or held in a fetter;
They go oot on a toon that belangs tae them
To have a good time and who’s to condemn?
Save stuff-shirts and big-wigs who frown on “a’ that”,
Whilst sipping their cocktails making meaningless chat.
But go to the Doocit, Hailes or White Hoose,
There you’ll see real folk oot on the loose.
Our lives are an art form here to behold,
No bits of stuff to be bought and sold.
Artists of vision find inspiration here
Where people give crack over whisky and beer.
Burns or MacDiarmid, you can take your choice;
Blake, Brecht, Neruda, especially James Joyce
All came to where life is full of emotion;
And you can come too, if you have the notion;
To be where art and life come together,
And no where the pompous gather to blether.

Colin Bartie

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