Leith, water of…


Leith, from source to sea, docks
made modern living parks, new tenements
will be built here, reflected in a river that clots
into fish packaging and coffee lids

when you ride along water each day you sense
the tenuous line of the path we are taking
how the land below the old high houses
is being washed away, their locked gardens falling

retreating through trees, viaduct and folly
to the gallery grounds, here the water twists
round a rapid, some open grassland briefly wild
soon you drop out of the New Town, clipping glass

on stray paths, beercan and junkie huts
in the suburban thicket, then come allotments,
a vision of heaven watched over by HM prison
crossing two feeder roads you see cars drain

in or out, on the bypass they are different again,
circling slow and helpless or  fast and heartless
dried turd offerings under the bridge, warnings
not to approach strange unexploded objects

along the flank of these weekender hills,
even the source streams are criss-crossed
by tyre and treads but pushing a bike up the track
feeding on snow still left in patches,

warmth in the mouth melt
Leith, water of…