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Mysterious Ones
Richard Swanson


Birds, yes. Or something like them. Big, though.
Not natural flyers, gawky rising from water.
They’re diver-swimmers instead, sleek submersibles
with Olympian speed, experts at instant vanishing.

The lake’s occupier-owners, if they judge you harmless
they’ll pose for close-up glimpses,
necks resplendent with ermine white and ebony rings,
feathered scallops on their flanks and backs.

Their chic appearance aside, it's easier to know them by calls:
lilting or tremulous, even hiccupy, teasing.
More often, you’ll hear tenors, Pavarottis, who’ve made
the forest woodland their very own opera house.

Gavia immer—the bird's scientific label, a victim of
inept or lazy translation in English language bird guides
where this striking creature is dubbed: "common."

Common? Really? "Common," applied to a . . .
        l o o o O O O O n n n n ?

© by Richard Swanson.
Used with the author’s permission.



Richard Swanson (1940 - 2023) taught college English and Creative Writing for 33 years. A devoted supporter of libraries and poetry, he was the author of two novels and several poetry collections. A resident of Madison, Wisconsin, Richard enjoyed cooking, fishing, and woodworking. He was well-known for his sense of humor, which was often reflected in his writing.

     Men in the Nude in Socks     Paparazzi Moments     Not Quite Eden    



Post New Comment:
Vividly descriptive, appealing poem!
Posted 10/17/2020 09:44 AM
Lori Levy:
Great line comparing the loons to Pavarottis.
Posted 10/14/2020 04:03 PM
Glen Sorestad:
You've nailed our loon perfectly, Richard.
Posted 10/14/2020 12:50 PM
Informative and delightful! Thank you.
Posted 10/14/2020 12:13 PM
"Sleek submersibles" is smooth.
Posted 10/14/2020 09:03 AM

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