About a swan, in verse.
I jumped the gate
to better see her sanctuary
a lone swan in a broad pond
beneath the old weir
of stone and rusted gears.
On the other side, upstream,
a family of mallard ducks, a moorhen and a gull,
here but she alone
proud queen of the lower reaches.
Did you see the cygnets?
A voice catches me unawares.
I start, expecting a reproach
but he is alone and means no ill.
I answer ‘no I did not’.
There were eight before,
and then two. He pauses,
his thoughts his own.
Perhaps they have fledged?
He shakes his head.
We discuss the possibilities of predation
by fox or heron.
We will never know. He moves on…
I turn back towards the pond
my heart going out to her,
proud and tragic regent.
Does she feel the pain of loss?
To see a thing
One must look.
To see a place
One must look collectively,
as muscle fibres are to the muscle,
each a component on a quantum palette
related in space and time.
Through my dilated pupil each single photon
again and again, in constant repetition
discharges upon my retinal receptors,
creating an illusion of constancy.
The river flows, we see the reed bow;
Yet it nods and returns, nods and returns.
The ripples shimmer and distort the glassy interface
between air and aqua,
but the composition remains essentially the same.
We see collectively and it is enough, for now,
to see it so and not to consider the uniqueness of the moment,
the infinite variability of trajectory and velocity,
each molecule of water a voyager in the quantum lattice
oblivious to the palette of my mortal mind,
forever moving onwards in accordance
with thermodynamics laws.
I marvel at the minds of cleverer men than I
to deduce such things and to rejoice in their deduction.
Empowered to explore, manipulate and dissect
the palette becomes a mirror to our minds.
But if this is our ultimate trajectory where to the collective?
The palette of river, tree, sky and cloud?
Why should I dissect what is enough
to soothe my beating heart,
my yearning soul?