18 Poems About Ducks

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Casting the common Wild Mallard as metaphysical, mechanical agents of disruption, portent and hysteria; observation and infinity. © DB Fishman, 2011.

Text of 18 Poems About Ducks


    DB Fishman, 2010, 2011

  • The ducks are not my friends - My Wrongs #8245-8249 and 117 (Chris Morris, 2002)


















    Dead Duck

    Im sure, like me, youve wondered why no one has ever written a collection of poetry that casts the common Wild Mallard as metaphysical, mechanical agents of disruption, portent and hysteria; observation and infinity - flying, feeding and fighting, their existence predicated on violence and rape. You can stop wondering.

    DB Fishman, Oxford Canal towpath, 2011

  • +0

    Crossing over the bridge

    A sunny mood is tainted

    A feeling of unease

    becoming an awareness

    All the ducks are traversing

    the other way

    At speed.



    The ducks are in formation

    Coathanger heads tearing through

    the surface

    As storm-grey ferments

    in rising winds

    & land clings to the waterline.


  • #4

    Like a living room wall

    Brought to life; Bombers,

    Darts in mid-flight, free

    of target

    Their incessant honking a

    Rising demented chant

    Reaching frantic flurrying pitch

    In the red brick curvature

    of sheltered underbridge

    At sunset they trace

    The true length of water



    Their straining pull

    Drops into a fall &

    They sunder surface to

    Two trailing ribbons of wake

    With the satisfying, full

    Sound of a childs shoe

    Plunging into gravel

    Bulbous as a brandy glass

    Like swollen balloons of buoyance

    They jacknife, buckle-fold

    In on themselves, imploding

    Geometrically, angles carved of

    Burnished green stone

    Paperweights, with one beady eye.



    Folding in upon its own being, reaching

    For some buried discomfort, some


    Becoming sphere-like, self-contained, surrounded

    by concentric circles, sitting

    In the centre of the world


  • #+4

    Bending matter with their movement

    Heading up stretches of ripples

    They are force & effect, infinite

    Undulation running on

    Into eternities

    Ducking in and pulling

    Fluency over their head like

    Some dispersing bedsheet

    And sleeping, pulled in

    Like knotted scarves

    They stand solid, like

    horizontal commas.


  • #8

    The spastic lazy lolling

    Of a single orange flip

    Steadily maintains the still


    Of nothing but unblinking


    Once and again, one circling,

    Circumnavigating others

    Motion, turning everything

    Into cross-confluence

    Of disruption & velocity

    Rising to a vertical stretch

    Above & beating

    Wings, battering things

    Forward, commanding

    Before dropping

    dipping, bobbing

    Up and through - tearing spaces &

    Falling through surface.


  • #10

    A slick, smoothed shape

    A droplet, a tear

    Cut into space amidst the

    Overlapping planes of fracture

    Trailing a train of

    Circular dissipations

    Dark head ploughed, skewered

    Into the flow, hunting

    Thrashing it all up and

    Shredding to froth that

    Instantaneously returns

    To unity.



    Heads of turquoise jade shading

    To rich, regal purple

    Beaks like broken woodwind

    Seeking sustenance in murk

    Rising from out the water, before

    The shake, glimmering beads hang,

    Gems bejewelling plush fabric before

    Lateral motion restores normalcy.



    Heads in line like

    Novelty cane handles

    Garnet eyes twinkling

    In burnished jade

    Texture feathered, intangibly

    Fine, softly staticy &

    Transient to the touch

    Before footfalls launch them

    From the waters edge

    One by one

    In order.


  • #13

    Preening masculinity

    Resplendent in its finery

    The dowdy females sporting stripes

    Like military ribbons

    Upper limbs folded back, they

    Have the air of inspecting generals

    Resting back on their heels, poised

    Pinpoint inkwells alert.



    Flapping the full cathartic

    Burn-off span of a yawn before

    Lurching over broken ground

    In the low-slung, stunted surges

    Of a childs remote control car

    To a thrown launch,

    Up over water, flying

    Like already hanging in

    A butchers window:

    Neck ahead on the descent

    Before landing into dispersal

    With the sound of a

    tin of spilled nails

    And all the breadth

    The entire length impacted

    From a single action

    Everything is ripple


  • #+3

    Forward propulsion neither

    Ground nor sky -

    Through movement, like

    Soaring bowling pins, they

    Plot surrounding space, &

    Descend like parachutes

    Under duress & pull

    Their contact cutting in curves

    Pushing against surfaces

    caught resistance

    Drifting across the calms, heads

    Elongated & droplike

    as blown glass

    Swivelling, beaks clapping


    In clockwork binary alarm

    Before coming to rest

    In a stare because

    They think

    You look like food.



    Crumbs hit the surface of the murk

    Like circuit connectors

    Boatlike bodies snapping to motion

    Like started dodgems

    Wakes fanning out like

    Slender solar wings

    Spun gold behind

    Wind chime jaws -

    Snatching vicegrips pince, shaking,

    Shredding in water and the wall-to-wall

    Clamour of hungry calls; a

    Double Ouroboros arising

    Beaks clattering at tails

    Wings rigid, battering at

    Full span, a circular

    Whirlpool tearing surface up skywards

    Like a death struggle in Jaws

    A churning engine of envy

    & competition, starts & stops and

    Through all, the body

    Of the river remains

    wholly unchanged.


  • #+2

    Followed by & outrunning

    Their effects they set in motion

    Untouched & moving on

    The last light captured

    from a failing sky

    Flown only to return to

    Their patrolling, gliding

    On a stillness full of dusk

    Pulling an unfurled wingspan

    Of epic, reflected flame.



    A form halfway between

    A pinned moth and a crucifixion

    They hold themselves vertical, backs to the sun

    Beating - with all their force - against air.


  • #22

    Her neck gripped

    In a snap, from behind

    Forcing head down, under-

    Water, and again, his

    Weight above, pinning, in

    Mid-morning broad daylight

    A whole swathe of

    Biological deviations entailed -

    Here at the end

    Of frantic flutter & grip

    Is your answer to the right

    Of whats natural.


    Dead Duck

    The arrival of death on the towpath

    Electric jolt of primal recognition

    His back to approach, at eye level

    Holding on by his skull

    Squeezed in the crux of two branches

    Limbs hanging loose, as if

    halted in flight

    A little blood on the underside

    like watercolour

    Lifeless, left as omen,

    a symbol

    The abstract concept rendered fact

    in deactivated flesh.