Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Dogging in EH7

A friend recently sent me a link from the local tabloids; one more story about a couple caught in flagrante, in Portobello. While the Old Bill might turn a blind eye to certain practises, they couldn’t ignore it happening on their proverbial doorstep. Now Sex Offenders will be banned from Children’s Parks, Royal Parks, Business Parks, Bristol Parkway, Edinburgh Park, Parks-and-Rides and in addition: Police Car Parks. The Sheriff decided against placing the Portobello Doggers on the Sex-Offender Register. Sensible: less paperwork for the Rozzers, right enough.

This poem refers to an incident that was ‘caught on camera’ by a local vigilante: the gutter press scooped it up, and the Readers’ Comments (many deleted as ‘unsuitable’) were rife. I wouldn’t condone those performing such an act in a children’s play-ground; nor comment on the insobriety of both participants. But for the press to print the (albeit, fuzzy) amateur snap, in the name of journalism – it just seems utterly reprehensible.

Dogging in EH7

“One 59-year-old man, who was walking his dog in the park at the time, said he was ‘disgusted’”

for Victoria, who helped me see both Spring and Summer

What if I’d taken pictures to record
The pecking order in the Pond?
Parental Pride of Dominant Swans
Beating off the impertinent ducks,

Protecting their fluffy flotilla;
Mindful of the Stately Heron who
Strut and dive; the oblivious coot’s
Miniature staccato-tweeting progeny.

Toddlers in pushchairs, tiddlers on swings;
Tough adolescents trying their luck
With the opposite sex while preteens
Knotted in monkey-puzzles preen

For mere effect. Recently a copulating
Couple were caught in the act. Presumably
CCTV was installed to protect the children.
From whom: perverts; or the paparazzi?

At the easter convergence of EH7 and EH6,
The birthplace of a wasted walk,
Owners of dogs release the euphemistic
Excuse from the leash: gape and gawp,

Engage in non-illicit banter with fellow
Handlers whose footpaths handily cross.
Who’d have thought that ‘walking the dog’
Could be thought as ‘dodgy.’ Innocence

Corrupted: what is deemed acceptable
In places, or is lent a blinded eye
By some is celebrated. Like graffiti
Sprayed on gravel, worn away with time.

The squawking gulls emulsify Bass Rock,
Squeal inland, deposit their load in the docks.
On the links, at the end of a tunnel of trees,
More graceful birds flit, swoop and flick,

Squirting their cypseline shit on the tarmac.
The dog-walkers pick up their canine crap
In plastic bags. Soggy chip-papers flap
And crackle with yesterday’s sleaze,

Soaked in drizzle and vinegar, dried in winds
Of? Nothing changes. Nothing stays the same.
The sun rises on Leith Walk, but in Lochend
And Dalmeny Park, sackclothed ash descends.

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