To be a heron

hone the art of stillness, balance on limbstem in green shallows, at the margins of minnowed rivers, silvered estuaries, stickleback streams. Stand in timeless pose on stone or on whalebone struts of abandoned boats, a ghost the colour of cut flint clouded in sun-sparked Ephemera. Shade-cloak water with outspread wings. Reprise primeval origins in kink-necked flight. Stir silt with splayed feet panning for invertebrate glints. Focus gold and sloe eyes on dart and glide in trailing weed and having by heart the laws of refraction, pierce surface deception with sabre beak.

Jenny Donnison