My beard was not symmetrical in the bathroom mirror that day: that kind of morning
It was dull – still dark – it rained, I got to work and got engrossed.
Bursts of rolling thunder overtook the light of dawn that day:
It was dull – grew darker – it rained, the workday passed: nothing remarkable – nothing bad.
It was dry when I stepped from the Leith Walk pavement into the 25A:
Dry I think – misty – or was it drizzle?

Oh, I was nicely tired as I slid into the front seat on the upper deck: I like the view.
We surged our way up the city, slowly – gruff diesel engine punctuated with monotone bell.
Princes Street, monument, the castle – I should be impressed: too tired.
High finance, pneumatic drill, IT – I should be distressed: too tired.

The bus lined up to land – in Shandwick Place.
Abstractly I gazed through the window, through the crowd, through the mist:
To the grass – Atholl Crescent – an opaque spread of green.
Then…totally unawares – unexpected – strange:
Like when you first notice a spoked wheel, in a movie, going round the wrong way
My attention was drawn.

Glowing in all this greyness – a rowan tree!
Glowing! But not such as can be described in an ordinary sort of way.
These berries hanging heavy:
Vibrant, vermilion – pregnant with a deeper kind of red.
Time stood still – my focus zoomed in close.
An explosion of colour! – The berries burst! – I zoomed on…
Cutting right in, I mean – how can I say?
Through the spaces in these atoms – beyond and all at once – I saw a million distant stars!
This rowan tree, my Dad… he wants to talk with me.

Feel that warmth – this peace – the glow – now on me.
Amazing glimpses – countless views – and all at once: the sound.
Free-falling through the cacophony – a blizzard of seagulls laughing:
Swirling white like a satellite picture, but moving faster,
Down to the frothy silent roar of a thousand tons of water as it crashed against the rock.
This rowan tree, my Dad… he’s whispering to me.

It’s like every care this world has ever known is bundled tight as in a sling
And hurled like a stone into the whitest blue of the farthest sky.
I sit secure in his cosy lap – my spirit dancing – to the pounding
Of the heartbeat that has always been.
This rowan tree, my Dad… he’s reassuring me.

The bus drew off – Haymarket – and took me back into the day.
The buildings – just the same – the mist, the grey: nothing outwardly apparent.
And though my beard still wasn’t straight, something changed – deep inside – that day.
This rowan tree, my Dad… with me.

Share →