By John Quinn
EVERY TIME YOU COUGH
Just off a road Romans watched from a hill
where Blind Harry’s Wallace sought weavers’ help,
outside the gate Claverhouse tried unlatch,
the hand of History’s Golden Fibre’s poised.
North of the West Port verdant in Blackness,
a Victorian A lister now minds
once green fields and textile lore spun here,
and story and struggle abuin the Tay.
Whence Fuadach nan Gael, An Gorta Mor
and Angus chiels and Perthshire queans came –
women and lassies who knew the weaving
and halflin men who’d fight more voteless Wars.
The High Mill stands Cathedral like in light
the people never knew last works standing.
Satan’s gone from a UNESCO City
but his horseman poverty stalks it still.
It’s treated not cured with culture today.
Enter the cobbled courtyard through the gate,
step back in time, stand by the well and breathe
but every time you cough know jute was here.