Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 141: Dunbar

Sunny Dunbar
(or Sunny Dunny Welcomes You)

She rests her head on aquatic pillow
where the mouth of the Forth
kisses her shoulders cloaked with velvet green links
while she breathes in rhythm with its ebb and flow
to the North Sea, where men trawl for silver
and blue lobster treasure bobs in creels
beneath buoys battered by briny waves.
Valiant Black Agnes’ castle crumbles
where once she triumphed over Salisbury’s siege
half a millennium before John Muir was born,
fated to America, naturalism and conservation
after Robert Wilson torpedoed to fame with his screw-propeller,
and the first seaport lifeboat was harboured.

Dunbar snuggles beneath rumpled, battle-weary eiderdown
that covers the Doon and floats from the Lammermuirs
in a patchwork of gorse and heather,
wheat and potatoes, cement and atoms

and glass-eyed seabird swimming pool stands sentinel
over the watery grave of Scotland’s largest outdoor pond
where bathing belles contested with It’s a Knockout
and gooseflesh was soothed by hot orange juice.

Rita Bradd

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