“DO not go gentle into that good night,

“Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

So wrote Dylan Thomas in 1947, in what’s believed to be an instruction to his dying father. But for those that have been watching Kilmarnock in recent weeks, one has to wonder whether Chris Burke has been brushing up on his poetry during the close season.

The 36-year-old has been in fine form so far this campaign, scoring three and setting up another two of Killie’s 12 Premiership goals this term – the latest of which arrived at St Mirren Park on Saturday, as the evergreen winger teed up Nicke Kabamba for the game’s only goal in the first half.

With his career winding down, it would be understandable if age was catching up with Burke. Yet, if anything, performances are gathering momentum. He accepts that one day the time will come when he must accept his fate and hang up his boots but based on his showing at the weekend, that day remains some way off in the distance.

“I think I’m enjoying it because I’m getting near the end,” he said. “You have to play every game like it’s your last, especially at my age. You never know what’s around the corner.

“Hopefully I can play as long as I can. I’ve always said I’ll know myself when the time’s up. I’m sure I’ve got good people around me that will tell me the exact same thing.

“At this moment in time, I’m challenging in the group and competing in the league. Hopefully it continues for a longer spell.”

The softly-spoken midfielder doesn’t exactly radiate aggression in his post-match interview but on the pitch, matters are altogether different.

One particular flashpoint between the veteran wide player and St Mirren’s Joe Shaughnessy midway through the second half comes to mind; the centre-half and Burke challenged for the ball, with the Irishman going in a little too high for the Kilmarnock player’s liking. Burke let him know exactly how he felt about the incident.

It seems it is not only the dying of the light that can be the subject of Burke’s ire; every so often, an opposition player can end up on the receiving end too. But, he stresses, it’s just part and parcel of the game and there are no grudges held.

Burke explained: “It’s a bit sore but when you’re a wide player and you like to attack, you’re going to get kicked. You probably see me shouting and complaining to the referee too much. I just need to shut my mouth sometimes.

“I’m not getting away with it as much with the referees! I’m surprised I haven’t been booked yet. But no, it’s a hard job for them, especially when there’s no fans. Everybody can hear people moaning and complaining and it becomes more intense.

“That always happens. Nothing’s changed, it’s just that you can hear it more. Now you can probably have some empathy for the referees!

“Listen, I’m not going to be happy with any challenge like that if it’s a little bit high but I was just looking for the free kick and I got it. That was it. The only issue I had was the reaction of the player, that was all. I’m not going to go down easily or dive. If I’m hurt, I’m hurt.

“It’s gone now, it doesn’t matter. We shake hands after it. People say things in the heat of the moment, that’s just how it goes.”

The 1-0 victory for Dyer’s men was perhaps a little more tense than it had to be, and only an extraordinary stop from Buddies goalkeeper Jak Alnwick to deny Greg Kiltie shortly after the interval ensured the scoreline wasn’t more commanding.

After missing his side’s last three fixtures due to returning a positive Covid-19 test, the former Rangers keeper says he is delighted to be back in contention for a spot in Jim Goodwin’s starting XI – and revealed that he put his time in self-isolation to good use by pouring over his side’s performances, looking for areas where improvement was required.

“It was frustrating but obviously safety is important,” Alnwick said of his time in self-isolation. “I analysed a little bit, I was watching the games and having a look at things I could come back in and say and help the lads out.

“It’s all well and good when you’re in a game and you get caught up in the moment but when you sit and watch things, you get a different perspective.

“I looked at the Celtic game. I watched that and thought we did really well against them and I thought we deserved to take something from the game.

“We sat off them and countered well and then there was the Hibs game where we exposed the midfield and we went long too early at times; the midfield couldn’t get up the pitch.

“That’s what I was trying to work on against Kilmarnock. Just taking my time, waiting a little bit longer, making sure that the boys in midfield can get up the pitch and in the second half, I think that’s what we did.”