Grey heron

Not so long ago, a step from the edge of things that must, And the lists to make to go forward, I saw, one winter’s dusk, As emotionless as Lego, a model of Father Time, a grey heron Figured among the reeds, and reflecting on the brackish waters. I thought I’d seen a put-me-there; broadcasting mottos Of faded purpose for some outfit: a local schools’ project To populate the marsh with a few deeds where the small creatures That should scurry and shriek there were the abandoned drafts. I looked again, and my tin-pot fancy had risen and flown away. On such bright days as these I may see a bottle or a bag Half-floating in the muddy stream, and convince myself How I have surprised it.


Christopher Cuninghame