Strumpshaw Fen: A Portrait

Something a bit different to celebrate the wonderful summer we have had. Hope you like it

All on a Summer’s Day


A light rain falls as a misty veil, so let us stay and talk.
Pour a coffee, play some songs, when clear we'll start our walk.
The intimacy of this place, in comfortably familiar guise
Seems dampened in the sultry heat of a summer's late reprise.

Once dry we leave the car to stroll familiar paths;
Through lush green woodland my friend and I look and smile and laugh.
Wonders of nature all around, dragonflies that jink and jive.
On such a day, in such a time, it's good to be alive.
It's lizards next, young and old, that bask in morning's heat;
Beady eyes jerk all around, long claws on dainty feet.
Both young and old laze still: alert. Awaiting hapless prey;
To wander helpless into jaws that snap soundless where they lay.
From the hide amid the Fen we scan heavy laden reeds,
Searching for a beardy, a bird my friend has never seen.
We hear a 'ping'; a dark form dives into the surge
Of dense impenetrable stems from which it didn't reemerge.
We'll leave that for another time, there are other things to note;
Herons, ruff, a water deer with rich toffee-coloured coat.
A harrier with green wing tags, some graceful swans; one black,
'Cobber', it's affectionately called, it's just a mate it lacks.
Reflections, pure, clear, serene, the image merged as one;
A perfect mirrored portrait, in colour form and tone.
An icon of tranquillity, and I realise whilst we’re here
Nothing else really matters, we can relinquish all our cares.

“Butterflies are beautiful”, we watched a green veined white
As it floated over nettle tops where something stopped its flight.
A garden spider snared it and swiftly put an end
To this delicate pristine insect that had so inspired my friend.

A fragile life of short duration; nature in the raw.
A micro world of life and death, a drama watched in awe.
For the spider too must eat, its life bound on the line
Of a silken, woven structure of such intricate design.

There was other death discovered, grass snake pencil thin
Flies, all shapes and sizes ensnared in webs within.
This place though throbs with life in all its many guises
Let’s celebrate the vibrancy; nature’s real surprises.

The afternoon wears on, the beer light strangely dim.
Unabated heat seeps into every pore and limb.
The atmosphere is heavy; our mood is rich and light.
Why wander chained and blinded when all the world is bright?

All good things must end they say and so it was today;
Flirting butterflies, swaying flowers, moody cloudscapes on the way.
But we will be back to sup nectar from the heart of Strumpshaw Fen;
A place that weaves its magic in the hearts of two good friends.


  1. Wonderful poem and great photos. Your post definitely makes me want to visit Stumpshaw Fen. I must get along there as it's not that far from me. Thanks for putting up a link to my blog. I'll have to get a links section on mine and put a link to yours. I always enjoy reading your posts. All the best, John

  2. Thanks John. Wasn't sure whether it was all a bit too flowery. However Strumpshaw Fen is a wonderful place to visit with or without my poetry. All the best, Barry


Post a Comment