Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 248: Tantallon Castle

Tantallon
 
An East Lothian tricolour
wheaten gold and pale sea blue
below a whitened summer sky
and in the middle
gaudily escutcheoned
blazes a bright red castle.
 
A wavecrash rhythm
'ding doon, ding doon'
rises on the basalt cliffs
past fossilised coral
and ricocheted shot
and arrowheads that fell too short
 
to where these walls still stand
having turned a teenaged king
and a middle-aged protector
into poor and foolish gadsmen
vainly prodding at a sandstone curtain
strong as an eight of oxen
 
that look up for a moment
at the screichs and noise
before bending back to the plough
overturning and renewing
these
our fresh black fields.
 
David Eyre

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