Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Bittern

The Bittern
By Arthur Stilwell

In the slow shallows of a shallow pool,
Surrounded by the fall of bare, grey rain,
Gauntly the bittern stands, stiff as a stool,
Alone with his thoughts like an outcast Cain.

Or from lonesome lair far-off in the marsh,
He hollowly tolls out the dead-march beat
Of post-whumping hammer. Poor, austere harsh
Bird, unblessed with colour, friend or voice sweet.

But he calls to the heart of prairie men,
Who also know unending field and sky,
Who too know space stretching beyond all ken,
And in its great loneliness also lie.

Published Onward Magazine 1962 or 3

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