St James’s Park

St James’s Park

A swan with six cygnets in tow
takes to the water in St James’s Park :

from Duck Island it leads its charges
to the southern shore of the lake

There they waddle onto dry land
and begin to preen their feathers

the young aimlessly rolling in the dirt
their breasts covered in leaf debris

On the northern shore a black swan
lurks solitary and yet unconcerned

Here where camels, crocodiles
and even an elephant once roamed

and illicit couples came to canoodle
a picture post-card tranquillity reigns

and all this beauty just a stone’s throw
from the palace—and who on earth would

ever think of throwing the first stone ?

John Lyons


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