The Dockyard

By John Glenday

Buddleia does well here, at least.

It thrives on flowers of sulphur, concrete dust,

coiled sward and radon’s heavy bloom.


No wonder the petals gleam the utter blue

of a welder’s flame.  No wonder the blossom

rusts so easily, a shiver in the grass-chocked guttering.


In summer, butterflies briefly linger here,

all the colours of ash and earth and blood.

See how they diminish towards cloud and light


as their fragile clockwork unwinds through

the onshore wind, high over the dual carriageway

and corner shops, towards the hills