Tern (II)


This irritating squark

a grating wheel that slowly rotates

an uneven scraping on un-oiled axle

without a washer

this lolloping, rusty squealer comes

flickering white in low Sun’s light

along the shoreline

above the shallows

head down


piercing beak at the ready

this black-skulled pirate

seeking shimmers

of silver



Of a sudden

a sharp stall, steep turn

a hover held by

fluttering wings to

hang up on the breeze

preparing to drop

shapes to dive

folds to a dart

sheers the surface

with rapier speed

and penetrating



The return to flight

is by ungainly struggle

from cold shock of sea

clambering to untidy balance

in air too thin to carry

such fine wings

and twin tail trails

a fight to regain


to screech

with glee

at finding fish


CLP  01/09/2018 (edited 19/09/2019)