love by the river in springtime is a perilous thing

the sky is bruised
with purpled patches,
gauze of white cotton
cloud strewn unsteadily
across the southern horizon.

many have come
with their beach chairs
and their expensive long lenses
to watch the herons
chase each other round

the naked winter nests
in the farthest branches.
i watch them watching
from the pipe bridge over
pregnant waters, the little islands

sunk beneath the brown and the rushing,
tree roots emerging from the current like
strange seabirds that reach
for the sky. from the squawk
on the other side of the river,

i know the herons aren’t
in the trees. they’ve found higher
ground among the shallows and
play their love games, as we do,
amid the rocks and the shadow.

19 thoughts on “love by the river in springtime is a perilous thing

  1. Loved this:

    “i know the herons aren’t
    in the trees. they’ve found higher
    ground among the shallows and
    play their love games, as we do,
    amid the rocks and the shadow.”

    I also like how you’re watching the others watching the herons in their love play – a delicate voyeurism, to be sure. Very well written.

  2. In May the babies will be fishing near the pipeline and you can get really close. You are always shooting into the light on the pipeline is the only downside.

    Come to edge he said
    No, we are afraid
    Come to the edge, he said
    They came
    He pushed them
    They flew
    ~Guillaume Apollinaire

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