Poem introduction

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society commissioned this poem to celebrate our national tipple. As I’m usually more of a wine-drinker, it was necessary to undertake a considerable number of research trips into a wide variety of Edinburgh pubs.

A Recipe for Whisky

Wring the Scottish rain clouds dry;

take sleet, the driving snow, the hail;

winter twilight; the summer’s sun slowed down

to pearl-sheen dusk on hillsides, city-roofs,

on lochs at midnight.

And, most of all, take the years that have already run

to dust, the dust we spill behind us . . .

 

All this, distil. And cask. And wait.

The senselessness of human things resolves

to who we are – our present fate.

Let’s taste, let’s savour and enjoy.

Let’s share once more.

Another glass for absent friends. Pour

until the bottle’s done.

 

Here’s life! Here’s courage to go on!


from Without A Backward Glance (Barzan Publishing, 2005), © Ron Butlin 2005, used by permission of the author

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Recordings

Ron Butlin Downloads

1A History of the Glass Kingdom

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2A Recipe for Whisky

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3All That We Have

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4Coming of Age

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5Darien II

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6David Hume Takes a Last Walk on Arthurs Seat

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7Disposable Buildings Are Made for Disposable Lives

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8EH1 2AB

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9Elegy

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10Frederic Chopin Tweets from the Edinburgh Hogmanay Party

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11Histories of Desire

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12Inheritance

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13James Hutton Learns to Read The Hieroglyphics

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14Kickstarting History

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15Mozart

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16My Grandfather Dreams Twice of Flanders

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17Near Linton Burnfoot

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18Nice Has Become a Suburb of Edinburgh

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19Our City Listens to Itself

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20Pairty Piece

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21Prayer

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22Rehearsals for the End of Time

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23Remembering a Good Friend

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24Scottish Mouse and Scottish Cat

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25The Circle Dante Wasn't Shown

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26The Electric City of Heck

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27The Kinder Artist

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28The Magicians of Edinburgh

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29The Other Edinburgh

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30The Roman Invasion of Scotland

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31This Evening

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32Tony Blairs Butterfly Effect

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