Sunday, October 9, 2011


The day was calm, the sea still like a salt marsh.
Everything still, its short perched body still
on the tip of a stone along the dam,
a cluster of still dots around the blue back,
the orange breast and the long beak.
Just before spotting it you had been stopped
by stillness itself, sand and air
in their absolutely settled vast velvet.
One step closer and it flew off
skimming the water-skin, a silent
straight line of fast beating wings.
All sounds were muffled
in this day of low, glowing haze,
so you could say it was in the air
the praised pace of those lines
-At the still point of the turning world…-
with the simple shiver of a truth beyond words.
No wing then answered light to light,
the colours of its body would retain it all.
But you sensed all the same
the mute fullness that makes the world turn,
the heart of stillness where the gaze
ready for marvels just waits.

This poem appeared in "Dream Catcher 18" in 2006 and maybe later I put it once also in this blog. It once more shows Eliot's persisting echoes reaching me but it wants now most of all to "converse" with a powerful "Kingfisher" in David King's latest post.
Actually the poem is also about the only time in my life when I could see a kingfisher on the beach, I had never connected it with the sea. Probably on that particular "still" day it had flown there from behind, from some canal or the lagoon.

1 comment:

Dave King said...

Fascinating, the connection with the sea. I, too, have never come across that, but then I have seen very few kingfishers all told. I do indeed hear Eliot's voice reverberating in the lines, but you have made the influence your own. An impressive achievement. (And thanks for the plug.)