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Beauty: seen and unseen
 

Wetlands
Gorden J.L. Ramel

A wetland is a lovely place,
secret, fertile, full of life,
it has a very special grace
where birth and death are free and rife.

The Willows flowing, silent, green,
the Reeds and Rushes waving tall,
the furtive mammals seldom seen,
the Cuckoo's distant double call;

The flitting Warblers as they sing
small snatches of an ancient song,
that they in singing know will bring
them mates and trouble ere too long;

An Osprey watching from a tree
as Little Grebes play duck and dive,
and Moorhens squabble noisily
while bees sup water for the hive,

begin to paint within the mind
the wonder of this fecund space,
that Nature has so well designed
a planet rests in its embrace.

Where deeper waters bar the Reeds
the water lilies grow their best
and in their richness serve the needs
of Terns that seek a place to nest.

A Terrapin plops off a log.
The Grey and Purple Herons wait
to snatch a sad, unwary frog
too eager for a chance to mate.

Bright Dragons, flashing blue and green,
dogfight the warm and humid air,
though Bee-eaters now watch and preen,
they chase each other free from care.

The beauty here is so eternal,
and so essential to our earth,
for us it surely must be normal
to appreciate it is worth.

A spark of iridescent blue,
a sharp, repeated, strident note,
a fisher King sweeps into view
and settles on a sunken boat.

A Little Egret, sure, sedate,
by the flowering water-sedge,
with a spear sharp and straight
hunts along the water’s edge.

The picture changes, hour by hour,
a Kestrel lives, a Field Mouse dies,
a beetle whirs from flower to flower,
a Pied Flycatcher catches flies,

some Ducks arrive, the Spoonbills leave,
unseen an Eagle floats on high,
a Long-tailed Tit begins to weave
a nest he hopes some mate will try;

And through it all the water flows,
bleeding so slowly to the sea
and yet the mind that watches knows
it carries Human destiny.

Here where the land and water meet
and living wonders never cease
I take an hour to rest my feet
in this most special, vibrant peace

and hope that troubled human kind
will put aside its dreams of force
and then eventually find
respect for such a rare resource.


About this Poem

The author of this poem, Gordon J.L. Ramel, holds a Master's Degree in Ecology from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. Gordon also took the photo of a Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) at a marsh in Huai'an City, Jiangsu, China.

© Copyright 2012  Ecology Online Sweden.

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