Butterburn (a poem)


Stare into the burn

Clear water three inches deep

Runs over small stones and brown mud

The fastest life is on the surface film

Pondskaters chase their own shadows

Making frog-faces on the stream bed

Shrimps on their sides swim past

Stick and grass tubes

And cones of rainbow sand

With caddisfly larvae safe-cased inside

A snail shell shines in the mud

Slowest of the water creatures

Especially this one (it’s dead)

Chiff-chaff and willow warbler take turns to sing

In the trees over the burn

A faded peacock stops

For five seconds’ charge of sun

Marsh marigold shines bright

Black ash buds explode purple-brown

A bumble bee lands on butterbur

The flower collapses under its weight

Wren and robin share soundspace with warblers

Lesser celandines peek through gaps

In windflat grass by the burn

Anemones glow white on a willow stump

And catkins fade yellow on the tree.

Kinross-shire, 16.4.15

Copyright Jan Hendry 2015

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