From Arthur’s Seat by Stewart Conn

Taken from ‘Luckenbooth, an anthology of Edinburgh Poetry’, edited by Lizzie MacGregor, Polygon, 2007

North-east the Firth, a bracelet
merging with mist; south-west
the Pentlands, sharply defined. Directly
opposite, the castle. A sudden gust
makes me lose my footing. Gulls slip past,
eyeing us disdainfully.
On lower ground, we find respite.

Strange to contemplate this spot,
gouged cleanly out,
as going back millions of years;
its saucer fire and ice, volcanic
rock shaped by glaciers,
where now cameras click
and lovers stroll in pairs.

Such thoughts cannot be further
from the minds of those golfers
on the fairway below, heads down
and eyes on the ball, oblivious
to the shadows
furtively closing in,
the imminence of rain.

Tempting, watching us
loll here, to deduce
the same; whereas
it is often when happiest,
we are most conscious
of darkness. See, it sweeps
towards us, the rim of an eclipse.

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