Writers' Circle
On Shapwick Heath

Ewan MacPherson turns to the natural world for poetic inspiration


On Shapwick Heath, beside the tawny rhyne;
The clear, cold winter light; the low set sun;
And orange-brown, the chaffinches flew out;
A burst of colour when the day was done.
The great white egret; singularly rare;
Flew up from deep, green ditch to give us joy;
Like life itself, when we, without a care,
Look back from manhood and retrieve the boy.
Along the muddy track feet sliding; swish;
Up steps into the hide; the water shone.
Old heron crouched in grass; his only wish
Was peace and quiet, with all the greylags gone!
I saw a flock of blue tits fly from reeds
And heard the black coots strange and haunting song.
I learned once more how much I really need
To be a part of this; and to belong.
I watched the mute swans dipping down to feed.
The wigeon roosted and the wind was strong.
It whipped the water up and time stood still,
As if a crested grebe had tamed its will.
I turned to nature; left the centre stage.
Copernicus had turned another page.

     

Ewan A. MacPhersonEwan A. MacPherson (BA 1974 UC) received his Bachelor of Arts in English literature at the University of Toronto and went on to complete his Master of Divinity degree at Wycliffe College in 1978. He went back to the UK in 1986 to serve as an Anglican Parish in the Diocese of Bath and Wells until 2006.

     

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