A solitary heron,
silver-grey, his stature great,
resides within the river village,
old man hunched and scouring.
Bending legs to catch fish stirring,
face intent and gaunt and grave,
the pin persistence of his eyes
is trained to strike, devour, digest.
He is a noble fisherbird,
the fine line of his feathers
etched in wildlife wisdom,
as he slaves for prey, the taste
is water fresh,
the flesh pressed to
The village rumbles on, its song,
a chattering game.
Take a run at the gate
the heron, bleak and still
straining not to hear.
K. S. Moore
Herons are such handsome birds and will often obligingly stay still for a photo. They seem to have a very clear territory and live quite lonely lives, ensuring they are in the best position to catch fish. The above picture was taken in Clonmel and is one of several I have recently captured on my new camera.
The poem ‘Heron’ is another from my 2006 collection: ‘Of Mermaids and Moonfish.’ Casting my mind back to when I wrote it, I remember being fascinated by the posture of the heron and his commanding presence on the riverbank. The heron’s ability to shut out any background noise also caught my attention, as did the fact that we, as curious humans, are able to witness his hunting technique, due to his fearlessness and total focus on his task.