Dundee renga for April

April’s the most Easter
ly of months: all bright whale clouds
and Arctic chitters.

The horizon heists its hem up on the Tay.
Windblawn wee boats daunce a wattery jig.

Hailstones evaporate from a ploughed field:
mist shimmies like dry ice and gulls
strut their stuff in the grooves.

Wren slips in by greenhouse vent,
zestful hunt for juicy worms.

Seasons collaborate on a to-do list:
flurry some snow; burn upturned faces;
pelt lawn with hail; storm-rattle gutters.

My bike chain rusted red and clunking
I ride towards your battered heart.

Tay sparkles in spring
sunshine; oil rigs awaken,
whirr, grind, stretch and sway.

The weekly delivery turns famine
to feast.  Fridge and larder groan.

A loop of rose stem
snagged around your arm,
not the first thorns nor the last.

Foraging in wet woods,
nose led by the scent of wild garlic.

Pale, unassuming,
pear blossom seduces
bees of mixed stripes.

Mingled waters, sea and Tay,
jolt currents in wintered flesh.

An otherness of smirr
dowses new scents from soil,
dampens last year’s nest.

Dog’s tooth violet bares no canine snarl,
only a kindly, lemony smile.

A fine line is trod
between the sunset through trees
and a pitch-black wood.

The spade chops into loam.
A new shine on the steel.

After a winter’s lockdown indoors,
bodies in all shapes and sizes lounging,
peely-wally in the noonday sun.

Heedless of streams of cyclists,
migrating toad perseveres.

Hairdressers effect their alchemy
and tables are booked; the scene is set
for moderate exuberance.

The first of the ruby-red strawberries:
Promise of summer on my tongue.


Fran Baillie, Forbes Browne, Gavin Cruickshank, W.N. Herbert, A.Z. Jackson, Gail Low, Beth McDonough, Peter Marshall, Loretta Mulholland, Rhoda Neville, Anne Prescott, Lydia Robb, Nikki Robson, Annie Rutherford, Harry Smart,

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