An ode to Cygnus Olor – Carl Hier

The Majestic Mute Swan

Cygnus Olor

They’re often taken for granted, not given a second glance

They have no melodic song, nor an acrobatic, signature dance

As a juvenile some think they’re ‘ugly’, so says a famous song

To assume they’ll always be so, has been proven to be quite wrong

Sometimes even a common bird, deserves a closer look

Though they may not be a favourite, or mentioned in many a book

Perhaps not as widespread as sparrow, starling or crow

But hold up any picture, and even a child would know

They’re the definition of grace, a flawless, pleasing sight

Instantly recognisable, when on water or viewed in flight

Take time to look in detail, observe and you will find

A fiercely protective parent, who’ll not leave their young behind

Layers of luxurious feathers, a celebration of white

An image of perfection, whatever the levels of light

A sumptuous coat of summer cloud, of newly fallen snow

Natural, immaculate, spotless, as the seasons come and go

Gliding calmly on the surface, beneath, paddle feet succeed

Fighting the current on rivers, on a lake, exploring to feed

A long runway is needed, for such a large bird to fly

The power comes from their huge wings, when they lift and reach for the sky

White, as pure as pearl, ornate, immaculate, pristine

According to old legislation, on the Thames they’re owned by the Queen!

The sculptured curve of the neck, no craftsman could improve

Never imperfect or ugly, this, is a perfect mute swan

Verse & Images – Carl Hier, South Wales, Winter 2022