Trails of the River Bank

A new poem


The river is not moving this morning.

It’s stillness matching the air above.

The polished surface interrupted by ripples

from fish burps and insects daring a drink.

Somewhere a distant sluice gate must be closed.


We take the bike path towards the red bridge.

It’s too early for wheeled ghosts to surprise us

or joggers to worry us with their sweaty slipstream.

She digs her nose deep into tufts of grass, hoping.

Today she finds no crusts that escaped the beaks.


Ahead a pair of Mallards take a stroll, the drake’s

purple head turned our way in beady lookout.

They choose water as the better part of valour.

On the opposite bank a Heron waits for mistakes.

A grey statue more adept than any street entertainer.


Around the bend Coots fight over water rights

while a mother duck shepherds her brood of fluff.

Numbers are down to six from ten yesterday.

Soon Grebes will be performing choreography,

but for the moment they’re invisibly corralling fish.  


We turn for home on a path beside a polder drain

greeted by tiny sunflower-faced celandine

taking in the sunshine before greedy knotweed

and sycamore leaves steal every square metre.

Circle completed, we’re ready for tea and dog biscuits.

© Guaj 2023
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Evocative piece chock full of honest observations. The river is not a paradise for what lives there but it gives an overall beauty anyway. Nice place to visit, but then it’s time to go home.


Great piece G – we must form a club for dog walking poets and writers!

You can sense the competitive edge that drives all the different species you describe so
well. In life there is conflict and we cannot ignore that, have to live with it, deal with and and even admire it.


Another excellent word-painting of the countryside – this time a riverine one, and I’d love to join the club, when time permits.

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