Poem by UA Fanthorpe
Once it was after the battle. The beaten
Lay choked in their litter.
Now is after the storms. The weir groans
Like all-night city traffic.
The next field in, said the dog walker.
Unless it's the kingfisher you're after.
He's based by the sluice.
Plastic, shattered branches,
Rags, paper, binliners,
Dislodged from their lurking places,
Muffle the staggering bushes,
Like the fallout after battle,
Like the Ninth when it was over.
Fields seem to be river, and
The unbanked river has
Lost patience with its own logic.
It was the herons we were after,
And there they were, in the lee of the hedge,
Hunched, patient deadly.
Their killer's beaks. Their raucous shouts
From Queueing For The Sun
Peterloo Poets. Calstock 2003
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