Friday, 11 April 2008

Poem: The Stone Room

Why is not
the stone of Scotland:

a pillar of Mull basalt
a weathered board of gneiss
the pink of Nevis granite
or crumbled muds of Fife
red vivid Angus heartstone
or whitened Atholl quartz?

Orange Merseland richloam
a lump of Lanark coal,
precious Lowther goldstone
black polished, Reekie's soul,
or silver-speckled slab hewn
from Cairngorm or Aberdeen?

A Caithness plate of split slate
grey as the eyes of seamen
a rough thrust of Skye gabbro
where torn skin made a free man
the fossil-beach of Jura -
or weathered Orkney sandstone?

Of all these I will sing.

But in the castle's stone room
can we really hear
the keening stone of Scotland?
This trapped stone pathetic
does it really fool us
and do we even care?

For boys of destiny
still play under Argyll skies -
freedom is a noble thing.
I found myself some bedrock
and - by radical convention -
have proclaimed myself a king.

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