Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 410

Cathkin Braes, September 2020

Red-stemmed dock beside the paths
stand tall and straight as children.
On Big Wood's barely shedding trees
bone structure starts to re-emerge,
broadened by a season's show
of wry, adaptive growing.
Two months from now these colossi
will rear in stripped and pliant strength,
prepared for winter's beating.

Arcing up from Castlemilk
a siren's arrow splits the air.
Others loose their voices too,
some far, some near, a dreadful fugue
of chasings to disaster. Whinchats
startle from a dying ash, dart
and duck and whirl about,
gather back, tuck ruffled wings,
settle to consider.

The quiet after stays alert,
quivering in unthought prayer.
The turbine's triple blades describe
a blank indifferent carve of time
while walkers pause,
let others pass,
nod rueful recognition.
Slant against a thistle stalk,
resilient to the breeze's stir,
a spider's architectural web
sly-buttresses the future.

Denise Steele

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