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This is the short poem I referred to in the previous post : –

CITY SQUARE

Still life eyes sweep the perimeter
for truant gulls
The man at the end of the Jess
wears a migraine red top

echoed in a rolled up tabloid
The screaming puns throttled
it juts from a pocket
like a schoolboy’s hasty homework

The smart phone is welded to his ear
The owl makes soft ripples
of wing span music
Someone’s on the train somewhere

Just beyond the top of the square
Desperate Dan keeps heading West
Gulls stay off the radar while
the owl plays a nocturne

When I was a Teacher of English consumer resistance or groan rhyming with moan was sometimes the reaction to the announcement that Poetry was on the agenda. But with certain poems it was easy to engage a class. Among those which worked with kids I taught were ‘Tae a Moose’ by Burns, ‘The Pied Piper’ by Browning and ‘The Almond Tree’ by Jon Stallworthy. And that feeling of having got through to a class was hard to beat.

The beautiful owl is the hero of my poem. Certainly got through to the gulls – though having Desperate Dan behind you never does any harm! Dan’s statue sits at the South end of Reform Street in Dundee. At the North end is Albert Square and a statue of Rabbie Burns who visited Dundee and was treated like an 18th Century rock star. In the recently published collection of poetry from Dundee and its hinterland ‘Whaleback City’ some Rabbies and Dan make appearances. More of that later.

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