Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 157: North Bridge, Edinburgh

North Bridge, Edinburgh

An impressive Jackson Pollock splat
of puke decorates the pavement
in the exact centre of the bus shelter;

buses slide like glaciers
outlined against a volcano.

Now let's explore the topography:
an array of clock towers emerge
from the rock formations,
the galleries by the mound are a picture,

light's angle polishes a hundred glittering windows -
diamonds in no need of a crown -
though you can still make out behind some
the blurred shapes of mannequins,
more Pompeians
than sculptures.

They can be seen in sharper detail
on the stroll down through Princes Street:
staring out, hands by sides, full bodies tensed
so hard they could snap
at any point.

s'pure nippy as hell mutters one teenager to another
as they walk past a grand old statue, capped
by a heart-warming traffic cone.

Roddy Shippin

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