Friend and general, artistic instigator Tessa Lowe once invited me to a Burns' Night, asking me to do the Toast For The Lassies. I figured it was a Burns' classic that I just had to print out, show up and recite. No such luck. Hilarity ensued when I googled it the afternoon of the event (well prepared as always), and realised no such thing existed, that each toast should be individual to the man, and that I was going to have to write the damn thing. So, here is the Toast/bit-of-light-verse that I came up with. Came out quite well, and is free to be adapted/stolen by any bird that finds himself in similar soup :)


Toast to the Lassies 

When Tess, fair maiden of the noble sex 
First inveigled me with text 
To reach into my lusty quiver 
and instructed me to thus deliver 
a Toast to the Lassies on Burns's Night 
then I must confess that there just might 
have been some slight misunderstanding, 
I figured she was simply handing 
me the task to read aloud 
some prewrit verses by the lyric crowd 
 a job befitting any dunce 
I texted "I'm your man" at once, 
and then, at 4 this afteroon 
I nearly fell into a swoon 
and realised that I'd no such luck, 
that I would have to make it up. 

And so to the lassies, where begin 
when I have not the voice to sing 
to speak aloud, extol their praises 
hard as steel and soft as daisies 
sweet as summer, warm and kind 
endowed with bossoms and with mind 
bedecked with jewels, or fair, or plain 
yet sure to drive some soul insane 
expressing in their many faces 
all the virtues, all the graces. 
free of spirit, light of touch 
the tall, the shy, the short, the butch 
the overlooked, the never winning, 
the long of tooth and the just beginning. 

And if these words don't go down well 
then please forgive this doggerell, 
and if my line seem rushed and lazy 
and overall a bit male gazey 
and if at times I seem quite lost 
the point I hope i've got across 
that the girls, I say, deserve our backing 
for they possess what we are lacking, 

and so, in short, lets raise our glasses 
lift up our arms, get off our asses 
and toast, my friends, to all the lassies. 

Joe Smith

Other Poetry


Lay me on a mountain side 
Let the rain and the wind scour me clean 
Let the grass grow through me 
and the earth consume me. 

Let me be born again in the Spring.