Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 121: Bannockburn

Our Stakeholders are Tomorrow's Shareholders

Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome to
the Bannockburn memorial car park.
Here is a guidebook; enjoy your stay

So you'd like to know your history?
Shuffle through with care on tar macadam
laid over what could be the bones of late scholars.

Where you're stood, John Stuart Mill could tut at our facilities
if Bronze Age arrow heads could nod
would they endorse
the battleground of Dun Nechtan,
Scotland's biggest fecht afore the pound, as being in the north
and not the east as my local tourist board
would have me believe:
our stakeholders, they say
our shareholders.

To those of you who say there's not much here
for all you know that spot may have been
where old Bill Wallace played Archie Gemmill in
to sink the oranje at Scapa Flow, on aggregate.

Where, just like that
Davie Cooper stole the stone of Scone
— consult your guide for local variations —
and lobbed it across the Irish Sea
shouting at Finn MacCool:
"you are my brother; I fuckin hate you."

Where kelpies 20 metres tall
lark on the churned waves of brown pasture
and dreadnoughts ply their trade under the banner Fisher Tours
— have you seen our Hadrian towel sets —
our stakeholders, they say
our shareholders.

Some divots in the sainted earth later
and a falconry display for some reason wedged
between Viking re-enactors and a talk about horse furniture,
you will file through shelves and shelves of iron pyrites
hawked at the guest shop
and then go back to homes
along the M80, the M6 and the A1 in fear-filled carriages
smelling faintly of disinfectant
more confused than before.


Richard Watt
This poem was written for Steve Fowler's Auld Enemies tour, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJizJchW6F4

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