From a proposed PRINT SEQUENCE 1986

Poem: Alasdair Gray © 2005

9 The Scottish Hippo


The muckle hippopotamus

spelders in glaur apo his kite.

A solid fact he seems tae some.

They arena right.


The hippos coorse digestive tract

erodes through frequent emptying.

The KIRKs the only solid fact

that winna ding.


In gaitherin o warldly gear

the hippo often gangs agley.

The KIRK can hunker on her rear

and draw her pay.


The apples hippo gapes tae pree

are oot the reach o sic a brute.

The KIRKs refreshed frae yont the sea

wi juicy fruit.


A hippo, fashed by fleshy thorn,

ejaculates in congress grubby.

The KIRK bel-cantos nicht and morn,

GOD is her hubby.


When cloud o mirk obscures creation

the hippo wakes tae hunt its meat.

The KIRKs suspendit animation

can sleep and eat.


Behold the hippopotamus arise,

clap his broad wings and, soaring,

claim the skies!

Angles sing him in,

saints bring him in

to paradise!


In pure flood

of lambs blood

hes laundered neat.

To gold harp

in f-sharp

he warbles sweet.


Clean o stain

amang his ain

each martyred virgin is his jo.

The auld KIRK

in the auld mirk

foozles below.