Read a Poem

lockdown heron

over our postage stamp garden
churning the early air
between roofs I saw a whole

huge heron bank over
the neighbour’s ridgepole
and side-slip drop to draw
with grey-sky-elbowed wings
a ragged loop above our pond

from one lean eye it logged
our water then see-sawed up
each slow wingbeat ferried it
away by the width of each street

I watched it out of sight but
it’s hanging in mid-mind

isolate slant two metres up
above our pond not twice
two metres
from where I stand


This poem was inspired by the bizarre sight, in early April during lockdown, of a heron over our small town back garden. Its appearance, and flight, seemed to emphasise my sense of claustrophobia in this new order. The poem is published on WRITE Where We Are NOW website, created by Carol Ann Duffy and Manchester Metropolitan University .