Swans in a Blizzard

(Cullane Lake, Clare, Ireland, January 2015)

By the frozen lake, mute swans settle imperceptibly
on the grassy shore,
Embalmed in silent mounds, they have found harbour,
heaved-to like beached boats,
Only their fluorescent orange bills signal location by the reeds,
swivelling like beacons,
While they rest, insulated in arctic drifts, abreast of earth,
balanced, whiter than snow itself,
Entranced by thick flakes, dancing on their surrendered wings,
eggs in a nest, long necks lowered,
Tracks covered, warming their webbed feet, achieving clandestine calm,
all as one, one as all, embedded,
So many tranquil souls assembled in harmonious meditation,
I mark them melded with the freezing land and wish that Man
Could command such grace in place of ceaseless conflict with Creation.

© Arthur Watson (Valentines Day, 2015).

Swans in a Blizzard” appeared in the 12 June 2015 edition of the Clare Champion.

Photograph of Arthur Watson


To my dear wife Judith in London, I wanted to send you a love token for Valentine’s Day in acknowledgement of our long and harmonious love, especially as we cannot be together for the 3rd consecutive year. (I know it’s a small amount of time in 44 years but I miss you so much!) I wrote this poem today about the lovely intimate scene which I experienced close at hand recently. Please accept it with my all my Cobb swan’s love, Arthur.