October 25, 2011

'It Dives into the Burly Water'

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

That kingfisher jewelling upstream

seems to leave a streak of itself behind it

in the bright air. The trees

are all the better for its passing.

It’s not a mineral eater, though it looks it:

it doesn’t nip nicks out of the edges

of rainbows. – It dives

into the burly water, then, perched

on a Japanese bough, gulps

into its own incandescence

a wisp of minnow, a warrior stickleback.

- Or it vanishes into its burrow, resplendent

Samurai, returning home

to his stinking slum.

Norman MacCaig


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