#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

Avocets – Week 33 #52weeksofnaturepoetry (Raising money for the RSPB)

This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!

[Apologies for how these poems are formatted. I do write them in stanzas, but WordPress rarely decides to keep them, no matter how much I argue with it.]

Shallow water waders,

elegant bills swiping beneath the surface

where pockets

of insects and crustaceans dwell.


En masse, young fluff balls move in

on eager, clumsy feet,

shyly copying the unique motions

 of chessboard-coloured adults.


Undisturbed this time,

unlike the morning’s encounter

with a web-footed trespasser,

audacious enough

to approach the wobbly learners —

a charge (or two) from furious parents

soon inspired adequate distancing.


Centuries ago, daring fowls

were not the only ruffians these birds

had to handle.


Facing drained wetlands,

marshes converted into farmland,

eggs stolen for breakfast,

feathers used to adorn ladies’ hats

and fashion fishing flies,

they lost everything


and vanished

for a hundred years.


Then came the sirens, shrieking warnings

of rigid spitting dragons.

Calling for blackouts, hastily built shelters,

and land to be strategically flooded.


A ward against opposition, forgotten

after turmoil ceased.

Yet these new wetlands were not dismissed

by everyone.


Drawn by their richness, avocets tiptoed back,

pale-blue legs

rediscovering the touch of home.