The Clyde Paddle Steamers
Memory as clear as a perfect summer;
two-funnelled steamship, day trip
to Inverary. Pier to pier under fug
of smoke; going below
to watch engine cranks turn mesmerically;
on the way back people on deck
singing to an accordion band.
Most of the Clyde paddle steamers
scattered or scrapped. One lay berthed
on the Thames, lost. Just
the cash-strapped Waverley,
still sailing each summer day
for the islands or up the sea lochs;
Kyles of Bute, hills of Argyll, mountains of Arran.