Edinburgh, Sept. 2005
from a distance, it resembles an elephant.
If, from close up, its elegance makes me nervous.
If, from the emotional ground of my own culture, I dare
to hold it to account for its immense beauty.
I, from my foreigner's heart, I acknowledge
its admirable design.
None of this obliges me to pause here
or to enjoy, on its ringing esplanade,
displays of war.
If, from my own political standpoint, I disdain it,
as symbolising power,
for one - or maybe for one thousand - reasons,
I love it. And that's because
Edinburgh Castle is more than just a haughty sentinel keeping a concerned
on tourist daybreaks. It's also a demure moraliser, born to drink fresh
in this splendid city.
It was constructed across centuries, with spirit and with verve, to raise
a country's self-respect, cheer hearts, never to lament or die on its
knees upon these grey, misshapen rocks.
I am witness to its covert history.