African Fish Eagle

This was not one of those
Swooping soaring
Photo opportunities, you know,
Where the bird glides in from
Stage left and
Exits beautifully
To the right
With a pristine
Pink and silver
Salmon or something
A missile ready to launch
From its claw
Flakes of morning light
Falling from its not yet barbecued

This was murder, a brawl in the shallows
Which ended badly
For the thrashing creature in the water
Which had not started it
But for a moment there I thought
Could have drowned the fish eagle
Dragged it under.

I must have shot
Twenty pictures
Intent on the action, thinking of
Flickr, of the prints
I would make. Only after
Did I see what had happened.
There was drama, certainly,
Struggle, death.
The bird had to eat, and the fish
Grubbing about in the mud or slime
Had no idea
How its world would instantaneously
Flip upside down.
They make a good series,
Those images, nonetheless.
I am happy to show them.

The morning light fell in flakes on the deck
That overlooked the bend in the river.
We are leaving here, I thought.
We won’t see this again.

Let me know what you think – comments and feedback are always welcome!

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