Week 8 – poem and photo challenge

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Here the latest stunning photograph to respond to. Used here with kind permission of Mac Mcree. Thank you so much Mac.

This week five excellent poems were submitted in response to the photograph above.

Please vote for one poem by Saturday 25th January – 10am

All poems appear here without names. These will be revealed on Saturday 25th when the winner is announced.

If you have a poem in the selection you can vote but not for your own or it won’t be counted.


Poem 1

Your White Feathers Captivate Me

Imagine, an urgency of running to you, to go over,

Whilst I close my eyes and put my hands through

The puffed up chest, to feel those feathers, to stroke each quill

And know, when I gently rub your long curved neck

The softness I will feel, like petals from newly spring flowers.

Fancy, my fingertips touching a tough but good-looking surface

My close-up eyes inspecting the black and orange beak.

Picture this, all the time you were in the water

Floating to and from the banks, it was your reflection

That mesmerised me to do the things I wanted to do.


Poem 2



When my father died

I was six and you were thirty nine

graceful in your mourning dress

you promised to stitch

the edges of the moon

to keep us safe.

After the funeral

we walked to the lake

swans fed on our tears –

all day the sky

making idle threats.


 Poem 3

On Avon

Green barge chugs on
Wide Avon’s wake, washes distant bank
RSC looms above
Red brick legend, echoing history of years.

Swinging left we approach the lock
Surrounded by tourists, day trippers, spectators
Luckily my aim is good, straight in
No bump, no scrape, no red face.

We join a line of boats, moored
I sit barefoot, enjoying cool beer in warm sun
Dangling legs dip and dabble
Toe tickling silver ripples.

A swan and her cygnet approach
I throw them some bread
Feathered flurry of friends gather
Eagerly squabbling for the finest crumb
Red legs beat fast
Swishing this way, that and other.

I stand, drain my glass
Slip on shoes
To join my crew, in town.


Poem 4

Lady Lantern

I look up at her back

White and glistening

Like untouched snow

Her feathers

Smooth and perfect

I gaze in awe

As water glides over her


Her neck extending

To reflect her wisdom

And I wonder

Why on earth

I deserve

To be blessed

With a mother so luxurious

And knowledgeable

That a white angel sails

By her side

Morning, noon and night

Always white

Lighting her path

In the dark deep water


Poem 5

Mother and Son

She guides him out on his first foray
over the silent black water cupped
white wings are sails inscribing
a reflected heart by her regal body
plumb depths only known by her.

He follows her tentative, trusting
head bowed, charting her path,
his new-born body writing
grey fingers of reflection
on an unexplored ocean.

She has chosen the stillness
of the late summer evening
for this initiation; it’s safe
no predacious eyes detect
or older birds mark their path.

Soon he will mount her back
sleep subtly beneath her wings,
last week he lay beneath her
un-hatched, listening to her heart
now her follows, learns, and grows.

Next year he will have grown, fledged
on regal white wings to father another,
his mother will teach again
the skills of water.