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What the Clyde said, after COP26 (poem) 

What the Clyde said, after COP26
Kathleen Jamie

I keep the heid. I’m cool.
If asked - but you never ask -
I’d answer in tongues
hinting of linns, of Leven,
Nethan, Kelvin, Cart -
but neutral, balancing
both banks equally as I flow...

Do I judge? I mind the hammer-swing,
the welders’ flash, the heavy
steel-built hulls I bore downstream
from my city, and maybe
I was a blether-skite then,
a wee bit full of myself,
when we seemed gey near unstoppable...

But how can I stomach any more
of these storm rains? How can I
slip quietly away to meet my lover,
the wide-armed Ocean, knowing
I’m a poisoned chalice
she must drain, drinking
everything you chuck away...

So these days, I’m a listener, aye.
Think of me as a long level
liquid ear gliding slowly by.
I heard the world’s words,
the pleas of peoples born
where my ships once sailed,
I heard the beautiful promises...

and, sure, I’m a river,
but I can take a side.
From this day, I’d rather keep afloat,
like wee folded paper boats,
the hopes of the young folk
chanting at my bank,
fear in their spring-bright eyes

so hear this:
fail them, and I will rise.

scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/p

What the Clyde said, after COP26 (poem) 

What an absolutely wonderful poem that is. So powerful.

Pure dead brilliant!

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