Winter birds


WHY IS THE MUTE SWAN SINGING?

How calm the snow, how white it is,
How clear and pure the air,
How perfectly each little flake
Illuminates the atmosphere.

Why is the old fox smiling,
Trotting through the snow?
What is the rabbit dreaming
In the warren deep below?

Why is the mute swan singing?
Why is the wren so bold?
Why are the wild geese staying
And the spider weaving gold?

How calm the snow, how white it is!
How clear and pure the air!
How perfectly each little flake
Illuminates the atmosphere!

Why are the black crows cawing,
That were once so numb with cold?
From amongst the ice-flecked branches
What can they see unfold?

Why are they so excited
On such a winter’s night?
And why is the stable glowing
With such translucent light?

The kingfisher shakes off rainbows,
The river stops mid-flow,
Buried in the owl’s blood
Is something they all know.

by Brian Patten

Mute swans in winter landscape, Gudenåen, Denmark

(Nikon D700, Nikkor AFS 300mm 2,8 VR ED, iso 200, handheld)

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