Under a barbarians frown troposphere holding

Scant regard for dawns abashed first vestal flush

Bereft of sunlit obligatory mopping up chores

Upon unforgiving viscous wetlands well-nigh shanghaied

From under Neptune’s otherwise engaged snout

Each tentative step taken a hazard, actual or imagined


That a penetrating easterly ‘I’ll give you cold sores’ blows

Lacerating vital organs, flesh and soul to the marrow

This forbidding stomping ground is no place for an

Escapee from dog eat dog concrete and neon façade


“Careful you don’t catch your death

Why on earth venture out on a day like this?”


She reminds him for the umpteenth time,

“I’ve yet to see the heron again and we

Are off back to the grime come morning

I cannot leave without one more glimpse.”


“If you must then, go risk life and limb.

Be sure you are back before nightfall”


A cold feet mile and an hour later she finds him

Motionless, an almost statue stood bolt upright

In shallows polished speculum watching and waiting

Soon his fishy quarry will make an ill-fated entrance

All her thoughts of North London now evaporate for

Abruptly this erstwhile shitepoke tilts his head

Side to side calibrating exactly the distance twixt

Himself and the prey, then as quick as a bolt of lightning

His bill spears a hapless martyr, supper taken alone, no orts


It is late when she decides to head back


Darkness falls fast, plummets, no torch, no nothing

The old granite stone cottage base could be anywhere

No sight of smoke from the chimney, her satnav substitute

Disorientated she wanders this way and that, that way and this

Freezing, scared shitless in a panic becomes a one woman stampede

Then the monophonic base bark of a thicket away hound dog jolts

Stops her in her tracks, “Jesus how the fuck did I get in this mess”

Double quick the perceived heartlessness of the metropolis spells asylum


For his part, tucked up, safe and warm inside their holiday home retreat

He feasts on an Indian home delivery, a Prawn Vindaloo plus several side dishes

Swills any number of orgasmic iced Stella Artois before and with tight belt

He nods off in the comfy chair in front of an open fire even risking a cursory fart


18 thoughts on “FOR THE LOVE OF A HERON

  1. One more look always seems worth it, though. Sometimes it does exactly that: reminds us that which we so eagerly left behind and are so reluctant to return to is the only place we are clumsy enough to be safe in. The heartless haven of the city dweller

    1. Joni Mitchell (not very well presently) Song for a Seagull album covered this topic I recall! Obviously better than me plus she ended the album with Cactus Tree (brilliant song if you not heard it) whereas I settled for a bloke scoffing curry!

  2. What a beautiful bird. We have sandhill cranes twice a year but I am so loud and clumsy…they hear me a mile away and all I ever catch is a shot of them making the escape 🙂

    1. Sandhill Cranes! Brilliant. Well I’m guessing here you live in the US, Canada or Siberia then! We have to settle for the old grey heron in these parts but a beautiful thing they are!

    1. Funnily enough it isn’t. What happened was I was writing (or trying to) a serious poem and discovered it was going in a ‘sweet and nice’ direction and that would never do so I killed it off with an uncaring selfish bloke. Then when Shirl read it (checking out spelling mistakes and all that) she told me she loved it so I took the risk and posted it!

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