‘From troubles of the world I turn to ducks’

DSCF9740DSCF9746DSCF9749

Ducks by Frank-W-Harvey 

I’ve always liked this poem. In our family when things got tough, one of us would often end a conversation with ‘From troubles of the world I turn to ducks’.   Even if you don’t really care for poetry you might like this one.

Ducks

From troDSCF9761ubles of the world I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Beneath the pool,
To eat in various mucks
DSCF9762 Tails uppermost, or waddling
Sailor-like on the shores
Of ponds, or paddling
– Left!  Right! – with fan like feet
Which are for steady oars
DSCF8197
When they (white galleys) float
Each bird a boat
Rippling at will the sweet
Wide waterway…
When night is fallen you creep
Upstairs, but drakes and dillies
DSCF8196
Nest with pale water-stars.
Moonbeams and shadow bars,
And water-lilies:
Fearful too much to sleep
Since they’ve no locks
To click against the teeth
DSCF9766
And warm beneath
Are eggs of cloudy green
Whence hungry rats and lean
Would stealthily suck
New life, but for the mien
The hold ferocious mien
Of the mother-duck.
DSCF9763
II
Yes, ducks are valiant things
On nests of twigs and straws,
And ducks are soothy things
.And lovely on the lake.
When that the sunlight draws
There on their pictures dim
In colours cool.
And when beneath the pool
They dabble, and when they swim
And make their rippling rings,
O ducks are beautiful things!
But ducks are comical things:-
As comical as you.
Quack!
DSCF9775
They waddle round, they do.
They eat all sorts of things,
And then they quack.
By barn and stable and stack
They wander at their will,
But if you go too near
They look at you through black
Small topaz-tinted eyes
And wish you ill.
Triangular and clear
They leave their curious track
In mud at the water’s edge,
And there amid the sedge
And slime they gobble and peer
Saying ‘Quack! quack!’
DSCF8198
III
When God had finished the stars and whirl of coloured suns
He turned His mind from big things to fashion little ones;
Beautiful tiny things (like daisies) He made, and then
He made the comical ones in case the minds of men
Should stiffen and become
Dull, humourless and glum,
And so forgetful of their Maker be
As to take even themselves – quite seriously.
Caterpillars and cats are lively and excellent puns:
All God’s jokes are good – even the practical ones!
And as for the duck, I think God must have smiled a bit
Seeing those bright eyes blink on the day He fashioned it.
And he’s probably laughing still at the sound that came out of its bill!
DSCF9740
2nd Lieutenant Frank W-Harvey D.C.M. 1/5th Gloucestershire Regiment Harvey was a soldier with the 5th Battalion,The Gloucestershire Regiment and a good friend of Ivor Gurney, another ‘Gloster’. Many of his poems were often influenced by the Great War or his beloved Gloucestershire.
Apologies for uneven layout, it looks perfect in draft,  until I uploaded.  Wordpress sometimes has a mind of its own.
This entry was posted in Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up, Photography, Poetry - Creative Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ‘From troubles of the world I turn to ducks’

  1. I haven’t come across this poem before – thank you so much for sharing it here

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s