Saturday, 15 September 2012


It is six o'clock in the morning.
The fish are in their pond.
They look all round their little world.
They do not look beyond.

They find a fly to feast upon
How glad are they to feed!
The youngest says, “O lucky day!”
The oldest says, “Indeed!”

They flick their fins in the sunlight
which is an act of folly.
They flash their splendid golden flanks.
The world, they think, is jolly.

The herons have lived on the Western bank
since Ex’ter built her wall
but sometimes one will cross the tide 
and condescend to call.  

The herons have been at Powderham
since Harold lost an eye
but now and again one flaps this way
and drops in from on high.

Oh,  noble is the heron
and stately is her flight!
She looks down on the suburbs
as a noble creature might:

the emerald of little lawns,
of bushes, trees and fronds,
the ruby rose, the sapphire phlox,
the diamond garden ponds.

“O do not leave me, fellows mine!”
So speaks the youngest fish
“I would not stay here all alone!”
The heron grants his wish.

It is six o'clock in the morning,
or maybe a minute more,
and all the fish who once swam here
ride high in the heron’s craw.

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