Yesterday, I stopped myself squandering a line on the “Cranes and Sheep” poem. Allow me briefly to explain. The tempo of “Cranes and Sheep” is lively, one does not so much savour its words as cavort with them. It occurred to me that the line in question would be better suited to a more contemplative work. That work, I realised, is the recently completed “Quietude”1. Its metre is the same as that of “Cranes and Sheep”, but its tempo slower. As if destined for the poem, the line fits unaltered at the end of its single stanza, rhyming word and all!

  1. The poems I reference are not yet published. They will be part of a themed collection—likely to be completed in 2021—and are, therefore, not available anywhere at present.

In a lyric poem, the shorter the lines, the more imperative that one achieves perfect rhyme, but in the expression of any idea, there are only so many words that will permit it; in a work of that kind, imperfect rhyme is jarring—it stands out like a sore thumb, as the idiom colourfully puts it. Presently, with lexical economy, I am foregoing all manner of good imperfect rhyme in an attempt to compose in perfect rhyme the laconic—and, I hope, pithy—“Cranes and Sheep”.

Whenever I see birds flying in the V formation, I assume they are ducks or geese. I photographed this skein a few days ago and later upon closer inspection, realised it was neither. Guided once again by the shape of their bills, I believe it to be a flock of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus).

Glossy Ibises in V Formation, 1 November 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.