Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 262: Forres

The Tolbooth, Forres
Symbol of continuity and permanence,
the stocky building towers,
staunch, immovable in driving rain.
Bastion against time’s slow passage,
brooding in the town’s living heart,
pondering the glory-days,
times of power and punishment.
No horses clop on cobble stones,
no hawkers haunt the High Street,
only name-shadows evoke the past,
Hangman’s Well, Castle Hill, Bogton.
Funnelling through wynds and closes,
wind-songs whisper of days gone by.
Enduring, the Tolbooth stands
rooted in this place.
Ill-used through the gloom of years
now claimed at last by those who care,
Ghostly lights of green and red
and amber wash the night,
flash their unending celebration
through the velvet silence of ‘content.’
Andy Allan

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