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An elegy

By Ian PikePublished 4 months ago 1 min read
Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash

A clatter of webbed feet,

of wing tips, hard –

hollowed bone and feathered blade

(rachis, chevron, chivalrous)

- beating against water.

It rises, flies, head and neck straining forward

against the weight of air

against its wings.

Its sinuous mass passes by at head height (my head)

above the water, barely rising.

Its wings hum. No...!

Its wings whine

in complaint against

the resistance offered by air to its flight

(the verb, to offer, like a gift,

or penance to an unknown god),

this struggle against substance.

The surface of the water records its own responses -

a trail of footprints, wing-prints, expanding, dissipating,

a submerged reflection to the quick, observant eye.

How else to describe it?

How better?

It is what it is -

a swan,

a white swan,

cob or pen:

no simile or metaphor can contain it.

Adjectives explain only reaction

(solitary, sacred, sad...)

they do not explain the swan.

nature poetry

About the Creator

Ian Pike

I write and publish historical novels, set in various periods, as Ian Pateman. After many near misses, still looking for that one chance to break through to a wider audience. Any support or input greatly welcome.

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