We faked this Caledonian gig, you and I.
We lost the chaperone along the way
On Hadrian’s Wall perhaps he slipped his lead.
Driving your small car straight up
The Mercator while ignoring motorways
To the improbable barrel chested
Arts centre on a cliff’s top where
bearing lap top
And hand outs
I was to talk affably
on Something or other
to the Diaspora.
The whole shebang was initially probable
And then actual
but palpably illicit.
The only lecture I have given
When I was more nervous afterwards.
We celebrated afterwards along the shore
And in each rock pool
You held me under,
• Colouring left leg and head polka dotted khaki,
•Tinting trunk and feet a delicate paisley pattern
with cartouches in flock
•With right leg and buttocks airbrushed with scenes
from the Old West.
Carrying a set square and a rose bush
I marched in solemn conclave back
to the crowded foyer of the Moray Firth Hotel.
Your complicit chum presided over my transformation
And I undertook to remain there beyond time
Flat fee and multi-lingual
On the coast to entertain you
As a shallow relief in perpetuity,
a manikin of some merit and startling narratives
Always ready to be head down in a rock pool