Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Douglas Dunn

Tay Bridge by Douglas Dunn

A sky that tastes of rain that’s still to fall

And then of rain that falls and tastes of sky…

The colour of the country’s moist and subtle

In dusk’s expected rumour. Amplify

All you can see this evening and the broad

Water enlarges, Dundee slips by an age

Into its land before the lights come on.

Pale, mystic lamps lean on the river-road

Bleaching the city’s lunar after-image,

And there’s the moon, and there’s the setting sun.

The rail bridge melts in a dramatic haze.

Slow visibility – a long train floats

Through a stopped shower’s narrow waterways

Above rose-coloured river, dappled motes

In the eye and the narrow piers half-real

Until a cloud somewhere far in the west

Mixes its inks and draws iron and stone

In epic outlines, black and literal.

Now it is simple, weathered, plain, immodest

In waterlight and late hill-hidden sun

High water adds freshwater-filtered salt

To the aquatic mirrors, a thin spice

That sharpens light on Middle Bank, a lilt

In the reflected moon’s analysis.

Mud’s sieved and rained from pewter into gold

Conjectural infinity’s outdone

By engineering, light and hydrous fact,

A waterfront that rises fold by fold

Into the stars beyond the last of stone,

A city’s elements, local, exact.

Douglas Dunn 1942 -


  1. Stunning photos of this bridge. The poem is lovely!

  2. I love the first line -
    "A sky that tastes of rain that’s still to fall"

  3. Beautiful! The poem and the pictures! Thanks Neil

  4. Ah, Mr Dunn, he's one of my favourites. As are your sunsets, Mr Tasker. :)