Suddenly the Swans

Suddenly the swans chose us

For no one knows why;

There were two of them, lifelong companions,

And the village has plenty of those.

They settled on our backwater

Like some portent from a mythology

That none of us was familiar with.

And folk came from Candlers and Farside,

Hewley and Pearson Garth,

Hurrying with cameras and kids,

Everyone wanting to marvel and ask

“Why us? Why did the royal birds choose us?

And where on earth did they come from?”

Mick said he’d seen them gliding downriver

Among reeds and rain oh a good week ago.

To Ryan’s dog, a wet barking bundle,

They were white ghosts on water

Whereas the cottage kids saw fairy transport;

To Richard they were nowt but lawn-wreckers.

Time’s hands did somersaults that August day,

Returning us to our long lost forefathers

And we all pondered if it was for good or ill.


I rose in the night’s hard centre,

Convinced all was not right with the world,

But through the bedroom window

I was relieved they were still there,

A protection against the power of deep,

Their heads bowed in symmetrical sleep.



© Alan Combes, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Alan Combes