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4th October 2008
Edinburgh 1987 / A poem
by Mike Scott

Someone asked if I would post another poem set in Edinburgh. Here's one:

I'm back in the old town
first time in years
and I'm seeing through new eyes
and I'm seeing Gods
Pannish Gods, dark Gods, old earthen farmer Gods
glimmer out from the faces of my companions
Capricious playful musical Gods
sign to me secretly from behind the eyes of my band members
A philosopher God from the morning of time
- Greek or ancient Celtic -
muses behind the high brow of Norman the soundman
and our wilful Dublin roadie Jimmy Hickey
stands forth, a wild bearded amoral warrior God
in the prime of Olympian splendour

What initiation, what veil have I passed through
that my vision is so altered?

My transfigured eye alights on a fellow band: We Free Kings
seven cartoon characters in search of a page
playing a song called Scarecrow on a foot-high stage,
a gang of ragamuffin fiddlers, tramps and bohemians
concocting wild stramash with music boxes, cymbals and bows
The whistler and drummer have puckish scrubs of goatful beard
The singer is plucked from The Bash Street Kids by way of Visions Of Cody
and in the crowd: maidens
the bloom of Scotland
with sweet wild apple faces
echoes of shortbread, tartan skirts, v-neck sweaters and bonfires

Arthur's Seat and the Crags
flit past the backs of buildings
always moving
and down on the street
Robbie the Pict wants to talk to me

©2008 Mike Scott