Friday, 23 November 2007
The Turn of the Terns
Barbara's book 'Kairos' arrived the other day. I am waiting for a day when I can devote time to truly savour the poetry in it. (Of course I couldn't resist a sneak preview, so I have already enjoyed reading some of the poems.) From the deftly woven, strong poems I have read so far, reading the whole book is going to prove to be a very satisfying experience.
Today I saw some Caspian terns plunging into the water. They are the birds featured in the photo below, which I took a while back.
Over the inlet, they busy themselves;
with skipping-rope wings,
then with the weight of stones, drop
into the water and as swiftly
back up again; a reverse catapault;
to continue undamaged,
nonchalant circling. It's the red krill
they're after. In the air, the small
from flowering flax; dark malt.
This poem of mine was accepted, along with another one, for publication in the Sydney University English Department magazine 'Southerly', in 2005.
It is about seeing these Caspian terns en masse one day feeding on krill in the inlet. They are way-cool birds. I especially love their little black, Batman masks. And the way they dive straight down into the water, without a splash - just like svelte, Olympic high-board divers.