Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 239: Kilcreggan

A Royal Pageant on the Clyde
The QE2 comes to the Clyde for the Last Time – 5 October 2008

A diamond day, as new October
Mocks the rains of submerged summer
The land and sea in Sunday best
Greet those who know as they head west

At the western end of Clyde
A sea-filled theatre resides
The hills providing backdrop green
The boards themselves the water’s sheen

The stage is set, a play to host
An audience gathers round the coast
Finding seats, their praise to render
To the leading lady’s splendour

A curtain call, then heading out
A tug pumps fountains high and proud
And in the channels now chaotic
The ferries stoutly brave the traffic

Vessels of all shapes and size
Bit players waiting curtain rise
Specks upon a washed out blue
All combine to fill the view

Senses tingle while we wait
The star herself the time dictates
To be here when she wants to be
And who are we to disagree?

Enter stage right – Her Majesty
Returning piece of history
Clyde built, coming once more home
Re-ascending to her throne.

Stately up the Firth she glides
Her fans, her subjects, mesmerised
Viewed with fondness and affection
For many, time for recollection.

Built here, then sent out to serve
In peace and war for forty years
Across the world, so many nations
Bent their knee in admiration.

An intermission till the night
A ten o’clock, to our delight
A royal firework display
Sees her off, along her way.

It is the time for valediction
In the darkness falls the curtain.
And in response to farewell calls
Her booming siren shakes the walls.

So QE2 now leaves these shores
That was for us the last encore
A day to stay in all our thoughts
Itself, an immortality of sorts.

Tony Bayliss

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