I tell myself this pond should be enough;
why struggle vainly for poetry from within?
It presents its small beauties and dramas
profusely to my writing room window,
my gaze hypnotised by the cadmium blaze
of whin bowing to its rippled twin,
heavy with its buttery coconut scent.
Here comes petty officer robin on patrol,
mounts the same perches on every watch,
puffs his red breast to assert his minor rank,
ignored by chaffinches fossicking the reeds
for soft furnishings for the second brood.
And, ah, the swallows, arriving on the dot,
swoop to dip and drink, climb, circle,
swoop again, like a frenzied dogfight
for a few minutes, and then are gone,
leaving a spirograph of ripples, fading.
But a crow, stalking the pond’s bank —
its cocked black eye bright in its black nest,
spearing into the reeds to pull out a small frog,
stabbing, butchering, down in two gulps —
draws my eye beyond to a submarine
sidling up the loch; and to the far side
where, below the sunlit mountain tops,
the forest is shadowed and mute, a cloak
silencing the land beneath, masking its shapes
and the broken remnants of lives lived on it.
Cold afternoon rain comes, stippling the water.
The birds are silent now. The rain stops,
and bubbles rise from the hidden world below.
This pond should be enough, but my heart insists
it’s inwards to the silenced places I need to go.