Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 102: Powfoot

For Those Who Dream

Bootle red brick,
Natterjack toads,
distinctive items round here.
Like all the villages that hug
the Solway shore,
this one parades
its particular delights.

A low water swimming pool,
sometimes smothered by silt,
a lakeside path that swallows
its tail, shrubs and trees,
wild cherry and willows
tangling limbs,
a summer snatch of swallows,
toads wallowing in song.

Across the Solway and beyond
Mrs Heelis, cast off bunnies and
dreamed of gaunt grey sheep
grazing mountain land, while
John Bell & Joseph Burnie
dreamed of Blackpool riches
by way of the railway.

It’s all around,
the debris of men’s dreams,
a defunct sluice, a clogged stream,
rows of red English houses
on a grey Scottish shore,
and yet, also all around is
shy pride in the idiosyncratic,
an uncompleted place
where even unrealised visions
have left their mark

For those who dared to dream
there was something in the air
in 1910.

 

Vivien Jones

NB Mrs Heelis was Beatrix Potter; John Bell & Joseph Burnie were speculative builders

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