Neubooterdammerung, 15: Mandy Macdonald

The Famous Birdwatcher Visits Aberdeen

Look over there! Yellow earth-movers, a pair –
Feeding on shattered concrete, splintered glass!
See how elegantly they swan their metal necks,

how gracefully they dip their steel heads
to scoop up a particularly tasty morsel –
a crunchy wooden panel, a chunky joist,  

some new vinyl flooring, only just laid down.
Fortunately, they’re not endangered – far from it,
they’re multiplying here since the downturn

attracted them to these new nesting grounds
among the blighted office blocks, the vacant hotels
soon to be sacrificed to false efficiency. We’re finding

more and more breeding pairs: they graze
on the outskirts, among the demolition sites,
their steampunk dirge a groan of pistons,

rattle of tracks, grinding and flattening, unmaking.
But for the racket, their dance would be as eerie
as a Vettriano waltz in those empty open-plans.

Oh look, look now, they’re spinning round!
Circling in a courtship dance, offering each other
bucketloads of economic carrion!

They mate for life, you know.

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