Flash Fiction: To Edinburgh by Valerie Gillies

  • The List
  • 12 November 2014
Flash Fiction: To Edinburgh by Valerie Gillies

A poem from her forthcoming collection The Cream of the Well

Stone above storms, you rear upon the ridge:
we live on your back, its crag-and-tail,

spires and tenements stacked on your spine,
the castle and the palace linked by one rope.

A spatchcock town, the ribcage split open
like a skellie, a kipper, a guttit haddie.

We wander through your windy mazes,
all our voices are flags on the high street.

From the sky’s edge to the grey firth
we are the city, you are within us.

Each crooked close and wynd is a busy cut
on the crowded mile that takes us home

in eden Edinburgh, centred on the rock,
our city with your seven hills and heavens.

Valerie Gillies is a poet, and was the Edinburgh Makar from 2005-08. This poem is taken from her forthcoming collection, The Cream of the Well, published by Luath Press in late Nov.

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