Ah take an early mornin’ stravaig

Ah take an early mornin’ stravaig
Oan a Scottish winter’s day
The air light and trembling
Wi a drizzle. The sky a grey
Cap on greyer streets, it says
‘Nae exit this way.’

Av got earphones in ma pocket
And a podcast on ma mind,
Ah thought ‘If hings get too miserable
Ah can always still unwind’
But noo, in uproarious mornin’,
Ah’ll admit am no si shair.

Indeed, if ah had blocked ma drums
From aw these mornin’ sounds
Ah would’ve missed the hungry gurgle
Of a dozen chokey drains, so too
Machinegun prattle of cars ‘long
Puddled roads. Neither would ah
Have heard thon Rice Krispie
snap-crackle-n-pop
Of rain fizzlin’ oot against the sheen
O’ ma best waterproof Mac’.

Ah wouldni have heard
The whisper o’ blawin’ leaves,
Whae sing
Hushhhhh
Ti passing traffic,
And when traffic passes,
Ti me.

Against the curlin’ wind ah hear
Metal cables clang – a clanger’s
Riposte – and somewhere
A solitary gull strives ti be
Acknowledged amidst the blether.

Is that an army o’ dugs? Ah ask,
Lap, lap, lapping
Swollen water?
Or is it jist the drainpipes,
Emptying their guts aff the side
O’ thon convex giantess,
Wi’ wounds that seep wi’
Sluggish black tar,
The hing Glesga caws its
‘Science Centre’.

Through the yaw of slappin’ riverside
A lone cormorant watches,
Staking oot her prize, feathers
Aw sleekit, greased-lightnin’;
Nae summertime meditation
Fur her, nae dryin’ they wings
Beneath a hard September sun.
Naw, no the day.

Ah walk oan.

The gale’s a gale now,
A right blattering, and so,
Among the towering carcass
Of yonder observation deck –
Launchpad for some
Arcane rocket, streaming,
Pishing wet – ah huddle.

On the one side ah hear the wind roar,
Screechin’ through this ribcage o’
Steel an’ iron; hear it wheel and dive,
Turn, twist, thump
Across the spine; ricochet,
Fall and stoop, bank
Like a swooping craw,
Wailing evil and harpy-like,
Eldritch, undeidlike…

Fleein’, ah cower.

Ah seek refuge
On the ither side, safer side,
The side awa’ fri flappin’ wind,
Tucked neatly roond the corner.
And here, ah hear
Some’hing akin ti silence.
Strange, hawf-strangilit, slaw.
A police siren wails
And in the same breath, dies.

Across the city, a hear a train honk,
Watch it marchin’ solemnly
Doon tracks likely crippled
By this wee bit o’ winter drizzle.

Ah spy a Scottish flag, flyin’ desolate
From the prow o’ some skeletal ship
Moored, ah imagine, for all eternity:
Aquatic Prometheus.

And ever, ever is the pitter-patter
Pitter-patter, drip, drip, drippin’
O’ rainfall, soondin’ aff the metal
Base o’ this rocket-launcher.
It pools here, so as green algae’s
Got ti growin’, aw patchwork
And textured, in a pretty wee design.

Ah walk oan.

In the shadow o’ the ‘Science Centre’
All sound… dies.
Suddenly, there’s nihhin’.
Nowt.
It’s quieter here, ah hink,
Than in that pocket a’ reprieve
Ah hed, whilst sheltering by that toor,
That observation deck.

Makes me wonder,
Is the morning playing wi’ me?

Up ahead, a bonnie wagtail flits
Upon the pavement. Its tiny feet scatterin’
In time ti beeps and trills
Ah canni quite believe
Are cried fri oot his toatie beak.
He looks nervous, an’ yet
No at the wind, the weather, no like ah um,
Its nervous at me, at ma presence,
As if ah’m a trespasser, an’ aw this
Is his.

Oan ah walk.

Sure as ma jeans’ll take an age ti dry
Once am hame, the stillness
Is yince mair broken:
A generator groanin’ ti life;
Across the Clyde salaryfolk trudge ti work,
And am getting’ right cauld noo.

Ah take an early mornin’ stravaig
On a Scottish winter’s day.
In ma pocket are a set o’ earphones,
An’ as ah begin ma homeward leg,
Ah decide that’s where they’ll stay.

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