The wind’s economy: Footdee, Aberdeen ~ A poem by Mandy Macdonald

The wind’s economy: Footdee, Aberdeen

The North Sea wears blue today,
edged with tawny sand, green frills of seawrack.
Behind the old fishertown,
a regiment of giant silver-armoured silos,
glutted on oil and cement.

The wind will not be ignored. He jostles, harangues.
His ozone scent is elemental. Before all,
he knows, he makes our city’s wealth.

Once, he bellied the russet sails
of herring fleets, sang them out of harbour
to plenty or to death. The silver shoals dwindling,
he crooned a new song of gain
around flarestacks and platforms, long supply ships
like dazzle-painted icebergs.
Now he leads the slow waltz of wind turbines.
His gale-rage tamed, he is his own harvest.

But in the old village, the fishers’ cottages
crouch like grey granite cats, turn their backs on the sea.

Mandy Macdonald

Australian writer and musician Mandy Macdonald lives in Aberdeen on the cold, beautiful North Sea coast of Scotland. Her poems appear in journals such as The Poets’ Republic, Causeway/Cabhsair, Coast to Coast to Coast, Marble and Firth, and in anthologies from Luath, Arachne, and Grey Hen.

Photo credit @Ianjsimpson at

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