An otter appears from the skein of bubbles on the water’s surface
popping its head up from the shadow snag of fallen trees
I’m surprised to see him; I stand and stare
and speak to him in a friendly sort of way
watching as he dives, slips back under and head popping back up
then slipping back under, fast mover, presumably hunting trout
in the water’s black wintry depths.
GREAT WHITE EGRET
In brilliant winter sunshine, a great white egret
lands in a field of horses,
I see him again a few days later as I walk along the Finchale Road
past the World War II ammunition bunkers
soaring through the air, king of the skies.
The sky slate grey, blustery wind, sleet bitten
I walk the dog feeling miserable
my heart lifts as I see three roe deer
bouncing through the copse
making their way across the grey concrete boulevard
alongside the prison’s high security perimeter wall
a flash of white rump in the dusk.
DEAD BARN OWL
After the storm I walk the dog, the wind still strong
trees have fallen, the path littered with debris.
I skirt the beaten track towards the lake
and catch a glimpse of colour in the farmers field, a dead bird lying in the grass,
striking browns, creams and buff, beautiful even in death
a barn owl, blood spotting feathers red, from a wound in his head.