Feast – A Tribute to W.S. Merwin

“When a poem is really finished, you can’t change anything. You can’t move words around. You can’t say, ‘In other words, you mean.’ No, that’s not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.” – W.S. Merwin


What runs through mind, Your Highness,

as you balance on a single stilt

stuck into the marsh like a spear,

S-shaped neck thrusting from battledress

as you waylay in the wetlands

before fanning your five-foot wingspan

and sweep above the treetops scanning

for prey under the surface 100 feet below.

You slice thin air with your orange bill

skim clear glass like a flat stone

jab your dagger under darkest blue

and soar back into the autumn sky

searching for the silent meadow

where you glide to a flawless landing

bow your glorious down

and feast like Royalty.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in poetry, Poetry, Running and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Feast – A Tribute to W.S. Merwin

  1. Jim, it has been years since I saw the Schuylkill…enjoyed your video so much. A lovely sight are the Egrests, and your poetry is simply the best. Thank you.


    • Jim Brennan says:

      You are too kind, JoHanna. They’ve cleaned up the Schuylkill quite a bit over the years and now its great for kayaking, and the River Trail is developed for cycling and running. It’s a great local treasure.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LB says:

    such majestic birds! your poem captures in words what the video reveals


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