And if or when the people’s surge subsides
to tourist trickles from this present spate,
do not relax or quietly desiccate,
do not raise dykes against their future tides:
push out your boats onto the rising seas
of all their desolations, hopes, needs, dreams,
flooding the city streets and housing schemes,
the hospitals, schools, farms and factories.
For in the end a Parliament is not
a building, but a voyage of intent,
a journey to whatever we might be.
This is our new departure, this is what
we opted for, solid and permanent,
yet tenuous with possibility.
About this poem
This poem was reproduced on a postcard for National Poetry Day 2005. Eight poetry postcards are published each year by the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate National Poetry Day and are distributed throughout Scotland to schools, libraries and other venues. The theme for 2005 was the future. You can find out more about National Poetry Day in our National Poetry Day pages, where you’ll also find resources to go with the poems.