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Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Kingfisher

This is a response to Free Write Friday at Magic in the Back Yard to write a poem based upon a memory.

A path forever darkening; and then
a light, a lightening, an eye
that winked between the trees to say
"Come on!". I found a lake, its shape
dog-legged, and on its bank
a solitary angler, oil-skin caped,
with whom I passed the time of day.

There, as we talked, from trees
behind us and above our heads,
a rending sound, as leaves,
confetti-like, showered down.
Then from the fisher-man
a muttered curse as though he knew
a flash of blue would come,
would tear the sky apart
the way it had the trees;
and while that sundering
yet echoed in our ears,
an angry seamstress of a bird
would rip the faulty work apart
and leave its ragged seam
stretched out along the lake.

My startled movement released more:
a flight of butterflies rose up
from somewhere on the path
and merged with the descending leaves.
Pale pink, they caught
the day's one shaft of sun,
a stab of blood-stained blade.

I saw him later, that bright bird,
brown-bellied, duffle coat
of cobalt blue pulled back,
white flashes shining in the mist.
He'd perched upon a stump
in splendid isolation in a stream
that fed the lake, but he
was like an emperor or bishop
on his throne, and in his beak
a fish, a scepter of a sort.


The Unknowngnome said...

Ah, a wonderful poem of that majestic bird and season by the King himself! Good job Dave. :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dave this is wonderful - for me maybe your best yet. Why don't you submit it for entry into the next Poetry bus edition (due out at Christmas). Just go to the Poetrybus.blogspot.com site.

I just love the way the whole thing encapsulates a memory. Very well done.

Sailor said...


Cruise Pictures

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave, great poem,you presented that very well.and thanks for the comment Sir.you are absolutely right that some teachers left a very horrible effect of themselves on the student's mind,and sometime it spoils the personality of the student.Actually i wrote that poem for the teachers like you who do nt degrade newcomers,but encourages them.

Carl said...

I can see the whole scene play out wonderfully. Well painted my friend.

Isabel Doyle said...

I think that these:

a flash of blue would come,
would tear the sky apart
the way it had the trees;
and while that sundering
yet echoed in our ears,
an angry seamstress of a bird
would rip the faulty work apart
and leave its ragged seam
stretched out along the lake

are amongst the best lines of poetry I have read - not just in a very long time, but possibly ever

Very fine work, dare I say 'Kingly' again?

Isabel x

Brian Miller said...

nice...wonderful imagery...the stabbing blade of sunlight is intense but the majestic bird certainly takes center stage...

kaykuala said...

Fantastic Dave! It is a measure of great memory retention and keen observation.


Anonymous said...

This was gripping! Beginning to end I was completely engrossed in every line. Awesome work! Happy to have it as a part of Free Write Friday!
Thank you!

Gerry Snape said...

....brown-bellied duffle coat....how good is that line!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Marvellous Dave. And about a marvel of a bird I have also encountered and recorded in a poem which I had probably put once in the blog and I can't resist doing it again now.

JeannetteLS said...

This makes me remember days at "the lake." I'm not sure why, except it's so vivid I can see and hear it all, and feel the quality of the day.

Wonderful, Dave. Makes me want to curl up in the sun somewhere and simply remember.

Jenny Woolf said...

Evocative and excellent, as usual. The idea of the bird as a king with a sceptre, is stunning.

Windsmoke. said...

The 2nd stanza does it for me from "a flash of blue" to the end of the stanza :-).

Doña Eñe said...

A nice vivid memory, David, put to "paper" in transparent and slow words.
Nature has come to life in your personal experience.
An invitation from the trees.
A secret conversation with the fish.
Butterflies rising, leaves falling, leaves and butterflies moving together, how beautiful!
Good poets must be good painters and musicians, painting and singing with words:
you've achieved both!
These are my favourite lines:
Pale pink, they caught
the day's one shaft of sun,
a stab of blood-stained blade.

Monet is here.
Poor fish in the Kingdom of Dave and the bird!
At least he had a royal funeral as a scepter.

Mishi said...

Awww Dave how do you manage to play with words so beautifully! I wish I could do it..it was so beautifully written as usual!:-)

Dave King said...

The Unknowngnome
Very kind of you to say so. Thank you.

The Weaver of Grass
Wow. I must admit you've taken me a little by surprise. I hadn't expected anything like this. Thank you, though. I might just do as you suggest.


Thanks sunny.

So glad you liked it. As always, an encouraging response. Thanks a lot.

I've already said "wow" (to Weaver), this one's wow spelt backwards. Really, though, thank you so much, a very generous reply.

It's really good to have feedback like this. The stabbing blade was on e of two or three possibiities about which I tossed up, so it's good to know how i seems to others.

Thanks. It was / is a very visual memory, which I always think are easier to hold.

magicinthe backyard
First let me welcome you to my blog and thank you for that - and thank you for the prompt. It was all down to that.

I'm chuffed you thought well of that line. Thank you.

No reason why you should resist. No reason at all! Thanks for the comment.

Your lovely comment makes me feel I want to do that, too. Thanks for saying.

He just looked so regal. Really, king of all he surveyed. Many thanks.

Thanks. Good to know these things.

A warm welcome to you. Good to have you visiting the blog. Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. A poem in itself, not to mention the beautiful thoughts. I am most grateful.

Hi! Good to have you visiting. Thank you for doing so, and thank you for your kind remarks. They are most appreciated.

Muhammad Israr said...

well dave, i must say i have no words remaining to appreciate your work as with every post, i want to shell out so many adjective that now i am running out of words, how on earth can you play with words so easily? if wishes were horses, i would have wished to write like you...but :(

Dave King said...

Thank you for the generosity of your comments. I am really very appreciative. They are much valued.

Rachel Fenton said...

The NZ kingfisher is called Halcyon sancta - very fitting.

I think your poem reads so ealisy and beautifully, Dave. A real pleasure.

Anonymous said...

This is sweet...images so delicately expressed.

Mary said...

Dave, due to a busy few days i am behind on commenting. I think I am caught up now. Beautiful poem here, Dave. You seem to be a bit into memory poems / a bit of nostalgia now. I can empathize.

jabblog said...

Like Mary, I'm catching up too. This is superb, the imagery unique and imaginative - beautiful work.