Monday, 10 April 2017

The Daffies on Great Western Road

by Pat Sutherland

All the way from Kelvinside to Yoker
they stood in ranks, heads up, ramrod straight. 
Off duty, they'd nod to the early bee 
and gossip about the trespassingTazetta
exiled from some matchless garden, 
sneering at her common woodland cousins. 
I'd tell her where to stick her trumpet, 
said the tallest one.

But the North Wind fancied a change,
after months of levelling island hamlets 
and blowing a hooligan over Wick;
so whistling something Wagnerian,
he swooped south,
picking up ponderous clouds
eager for a free ride.
And as he took one long deep breath
above Bearsden 
they yelled, Bombs away!
And loosed a million hailstones.

The Botanics emptied;
umbrellas and hats took flight;
the alt-left outside Oran Mhor
turned their Guardians into hats
and ran for the bar;
an ecstacy of toddlers splashed
and stamped in deepening puddles.

Legless and without a tail to turn,
the hapless daffs were rooted to the spot,
while gleeful gale and spiteful hail
skelped them down,
rubbed their frilly faces in the dirt,
and left them all - wiped out -
in a field of glaur.

Content with his carnage, but
eager for more, the vandal wind,
hearing word of loose slates
in Coatbridge,
blew off north-east.

He left a quieter sky.
A few querulous rays squeezed
through kettling clouds,
touching the battlefield
with a smidgen of warmth,
just enough to stir bedraggled heads
and turn them skywards.

All the way from Kelvinside to Yoker,
now back in their blazing ranks,
the daffies stand proud, heads up,
unbeaten.  Whaur's your phoenix noo?
says the tallest one.

Indomitable?  Naw: gallus.

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