(Malpas, Truro)

What force is at work scripting this egg yolk,
Sculpting the wet tangle of the shelled bird?
What code turns that concentrate of sunlight
Into unfurling down and scissor-beak?
Where others whisper, what loud script exclaims
In such a broadcast of feather and flight?

The big paper-rustle of pressing wings
Releasing the heron from its mud bed;
The mud registering its opposition –
A muddle of worms and shell-midden,
Fifty feet of leg-sapping anchor,
A stinking riverbed of umber grease,
A birth-paste that is unravelled hawser.

But the storm-tumbled sky draws the heron
Effortlessly, stepwise and stark white,
Across its canvas in a smack of wings.

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