Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 18: Cramond

Cramond Island


When families with dogs have gone

back to their Morningside retreats

and waves begin to slap away

at Leith's reflections on the flats

the punks and drunks turn out

to watch the stars.


Among the shadowed concrete cones

their tide slips with a glossy sheen

where mussel blue dips into brown

and Forth asserts its in-between:

here punks and drunks are lords

and rising stars.


Beyond the headland gorse, a spot

where hours before, kids unwrapped lunch;

now violence bursts like nebulae

in green and white of laugh and crunch.

The feet of punks and drunks

grind out new stars.


Where stripped-out gun-emplacements gawp

at ships that chug where no-one cares

while burned pill-boxes shield the snap

and flash of cigarette-lighter flares,

the punks and drunks summon

their shook-foil stars.


Julian Dobson

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