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Against the wind
in Peebles
Photograph by
Islay McLeod

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7 February 2013

Leith
Walk,
Edinburgh

Keith Armstrong

Leith walkers. Photograph by Islay McLeod

Leith Walk it was
where Thomas Carlyle realised
that God did not exist:
Leith Walk
where Stevenson lit
his student pipe
and leched
after a shopgirl's arse.
He spat
at dashing businessmen,
faces gripped
by hate,
and he loved
the night
did RLS:
the swinging hips,
and lifted dresses;
the tartaned whores spread
over a wild Scots wasteland,
showing their floodlit thighs,
keys flashing
in expert hands,
ready to unlock,
tease out,
the strangest dreams;
in full sight
of a devilish moon,
Leith Walk,
and a nonexistent God.

Keith Armstrong is a poet and coordinator of the Northern Voices Community Project's creative writing and community publishing enterprise which specialises in recording the experiences of people in the north-east of England