We’d run by the burn when the burn
didn’t run at all. Stopped in summers youth,
low and still in the no flow time zone
when we had it all – warm summer light,
nights far off as the sea mouth gulping
greedy as a beer monster, our burn.
We didn’t know it crashing through bushes,
on the run across imaginary enemy-lines,
ducking behind NO DUMPING signs
people ignored to jettison their crap –
magpie-bairns salvaging scrap:
old washing machines concealed in leaves,
wheel-barrows, car seats, cupboards in trees . . .
One day we discovered old cassettes
from the fifties in bags beached by the burn –
compilations of voices recorded long before
we were born: discarded, flowing on
in the winter-gush fast-forwarding the burn –
archaic pop guddled by a new generation.
We ran against the current to an old soundtrack.
Ross Wilson, Scotland, UK