28 June 2022
  • 28 June 2022

Background Paper 3 (Proposed Housing Developments, Dykebar)

on 12 May 2021 0

By Morag Smith

An indicative masterplan has been prepared

for this teenage Devil’s Playground
where gargoyles smile from burrs on trees
and lockdown lovers kiss in the patients’ garden,
slow-grown, gone in a blink
Garlic. Daisy. Hawksbeard. Bluebell.

Owners confirm the overgrown buildings
are surplus to current operational needs

Life overwinters in rubble,
dead wood is never dead, shelter
found in the hollows of a snag
Earwig. Weevil. Stonefly. Spider.
Perforated steel sheets the eyes
of B-listed ghosts, all blind
to milky sweep of winter sun while moss
coats the trunks of their sentinels

Possible adverse impacts have been examined

Oak. Rowan. Chestnut. Elder.
From the hill you can see layers
of coppice sway in South-Westerlies
lustrous sheets of rain drifting east

One day, not a blade of grass left

from Hazelwood to Councillor’s Wynde
River. Bog. Meadow. Woodland.
These lungs can’t breathe without marshy paths
leading nowhere, nests of brambles that root,
hatch, flower in spring and pipe their warnings

To ease removal from the Green Belt
further detail may be required

Chiffchaff. Dunnock. Song Thrush. Starling.


Morag Smith’s poem – Background Paper 3 (Proposed Housing Developments, Dykebar) – is based on proposed housing development plans on green spaces. Her poem won the Paisley Book Festival 2021 Janet Coats Memorial Prize in the over 18 category.

  Culture
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