In these cold waters

In these cold waters

Low mist lying across
           the Thames at Erith
a wide stretch known
           to Daniel Defoe

no warmth in these waters
           where bream and perch
and pike and roach
           and rudd and carp
and gudgeon live out
           their cold-blooded lives

Between October and January
           salmon may be seen
heading upriver
           to Hampton Court
and rainbow trout
           are known to spawn
in the Wandle
           at Croydon

A Siberian sturgeon
           that had lost its way
was once caught
           at Dartford provoking
rare excitement
           among devotees

John Lyons

Hampton Court

Hampton Court

Half the shell of a coconut
             hanging by a piece of string
from the window frame
             of a room close to the Great Vine

a tiny blue tit appears
             out of nowhere
and perches inside
             the shell and pecks
at the white flesh
             and with each thrust
of its beak the shell spins
             round and round

and I just stand and watch
             until the bird has had its fill
and flies off into the last
             of the gentle April showers
on the last day of the month
             and the sun comes out
and it gladdens my heart
             and my day is made

John Lyons