Most of the photos I post on the blog are of flowers. Indeed, most of the photos I take are of flowers. That’s partly because I like them, but also because plants are helpful enough to keep still when I point a camera at them.
That said, it’s been very windy recently which means that the plants haven’t been such good sitters. So I was looking back over pictures that I’ve taken in the last month to find something to post, and was surprised to find several quite successful ones of birds, who are normally far too flighty to make good subjects for my scant camera skills.
I have plenty of poems with birds in them, but none come to mind with mallards. Nor geese.But what more poetic image than the swan?And that gives me a tenuous excuse to repost this poem, which won the 2007 Barnet Open Poetry Competition, judged by Fleur Adcock.
When I iron the white cotton shirts, slide creases
from collar, cuff and tail, I weigh the heft and fullness
of a changing power.
The dragon noses mother of pearl, and her hot breath
insinuates the twisted threads which swell
and straighten as she sighs.
My mind spins graveyard nettles, and I
am the sister of swans, accused, condemned and bound
in silence, intent on my task.
Each sleeve, a spread wing, offers hope.
Then he dons the white shirt, puts on
the power suit and quiet socks; he knots a careful tie
and slips his feet into immaculate brogues.
I would be Leda to his Jove.