High water but now calm.
A gentle Irish Sea pushes in
halted by jumbled rocks of alien limestone
holding long dead sea-lilies and shelled creatures
And now – the first wheatear
sharp-suited in black, white
and the purest of greys
flaunting his visibility and etched lines
just a momentary breeze
lifting peach breast feathers.
Rested, after flight of oceans and continents
leaving, swift as his coming
for inland moors
to startle with ‘whee-chak’ from drystone walls,
tail flicking, never still.
About the Author, Sheila Saunders: An Oxford graduate in English Language and Literature, Sheila worked on local newspapers and after marriage to fellow reporter Peter, while bringing up their three children, turned to feature and freelance writing. She has always been involved in community activities, and addicted to novels, music, art and theatre. Her poetry is especially inspired by her love of natural history, and life on the Wirral coast in Hoylake.
Image Credit: Page from Naturgeschichte der Vögel Mitteleuropas, courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library