sheena blackhall

(18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Ship of Fools


38 poets are sailing across Loch Katrine
Over the city of Glasgow's public water supply
30,000 sheep were cleared from the hills around
To keep Glaswegian plumbing ewe-pee free

Their elders were not consulted in this matter
Driven lamenting off their ancestral pastures
The mutton clearances, a stain on Glasgow's character.

This loch is 500 feet deep
A water bull as large as a Clydeside bus
Stays in its icy depths, waiting
To hole the hulls of oily polluters
In the city of Glasgow's public water supply

Green Tagged Kate McLaren, the Gartmore Palmer.
Black Mini Muddler. Professor Watson's Fancy,
Black Zulu, the Middle dropper
All, have got their hooks in
The city of Glasgow's public water supply.

Meanwhile, above all those jugfuls of pub-mixers,
Throat coolers, juice diluting gallons,
buzzards swoop over the trees
red and roe deer feed on the slopes
pied flycatcher, tree pipit, wood warbler, redstart
soar and dive through the leaves
Occasionally dropping feathers
On the city of Glasgow's public water supply

Not to mention 38 poets, raising an ode or two
Like sails in the wind, as poets do,
Steering by sleight and illusion,
Over the city of Glasgow's public water supply.
Uisge beathe with a smidgeon of Bardic tang

Submitted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010

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