Tranquility O Juniper Green by Alun Robert

Early evenin sun sets ahind Corstorphine Hill
wi offices emptyin efter another lang hard day.
Princes Street crowded; pushin an shovin
through yon absence o sirens at least until nicht fall.
Yon squashed together jostle Edinburgh’s finest:
bankers, accountants an comptometer operators
wi finger tips scarred frae incessant keyin
an hair tinged white frae incessant worryin.
As filthy smoke bilges across crowded platforms
frae engines, Woodbines an Capstans full strength
while idle chatter ensues aboot the trauma o War
drowned oot by hisses an guards’ sharp whistles.

Fur the last slow train exits frae Caledonian Station
en route tae Balerno wi my stop at Juniper Green
where air is the purest though discussion is puerile
fur the line is bein axed; ma village abandoned
six miles frae Auld Reekie o intrinsic opportunity
though a venture far tae far by bus or by car
through sprawlin suburbia tae eke oot an existence
wi pencil leads sharp an wit even sharper
tae rise above the tedium; tae honour the brave
fur oor sons are in France, North Africa an Asia
amid the rippin o bullets an the shriek o shells
well beyond the tranquility o ma Juniper Green.

***

During the summer of 2018, poetry by Alun Robert has won third place in the RNIB’s Writing Competition, received Commendation in the Federation of Writers Scotland Vernal Equinox Poetry Competition, been published in The Curlew by Wild Wood Press and displayed in Nine Muses Poetry and The Ekphrastic Review websites.

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