Wild Swans at Windsor

Wild Swans at Windsor

The stark beauty of early December
                  down by the river at Windsor
nature all but in disarray
                  confounded by the mild air
the barren trees barely moving
                  in this gentle twilight breeze
and upon the brimming water
                  the brilliance of these creatures
gliding past me close to the bank
                  their elongated necks thrust forward
lowly as they scan the dark waters
                  for what lies beneath

There is no clamour nor fuss
                  as they go about their business
foraging for what might see them
                  through the long night
and gently they sway their heads
                  from side to side missing nothing
as they drift homeward

There is a time for majesty
                  but this is a time
when such decorum
                  is no longer required
they have touched the hearts
                  of all who saw them earlier
in their full regalia
                  when they beat their wings
to demonstrate their
                  power over all that
took to the river

Lovers strolling hand in hand
                  by the water’s edge
take delight in the candescent purity
                  of their unruffled plumage
and the quiet dignity
                  in their mysterious eyes
lovers who would soon
                  be home to their bed
dreams nourished by this scene
                  in the fading light

John Lyons