A Villanelle is a French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza repeating alternately in the following stanzas. These two refrain lines form the final couplet in the quatrain (the Poetry Foundation)
Below is the complete version of the villanelle:
here by the river, our world seems beautiful a swan in spring feathers tidies the nest it’s time for growth, birth and renewal
big webbed feet are beginning to shuffle the swan feels happy the nest looks its best here by the river, our world seems beautiful
with a breeze from the east, still fairly cool the swan walks through grass, feet pointing west it’s time for growth, birth and renewal
his neck stretched out, feathers unruffled reflected in water, the swan knows his quest here by the river, our world seems beautiful
moments like these feel deeply spiritual he lands in the river assured, on his chest it’s time for growth, birth and renewal
loving, devoted and dutiful the swan and his mate are equally blessed here by the river, our world seems beautiful as time brings us growth, birth and renewal
The river bank and leafless trees are heavy with snow. Mallards, swans and cygnets mingle in the shallows. The sun is higher in the sky, her glow a little warmer. For nine months, this part of the river has been the cygnets’ home, their sanctuary. First there were seven. One of them, bright and brave, flew the nest nine weeks ago. Soon the remaining six will spread their wings to begin their own adventure.
These are the last images I have from the remaining cygnets. They were chased away by their parents the following day and encouraged to make their own way in the world. It’s been a joy watching them hatch, grow and develop. We wish them all a healthy and happy long life in the Highlands.
You can read about the first cygnet leaving the nest in last year’s post Into the World.
With love from Xenia xxx
Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.
Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5 – 1/250 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/800 – ISO 400 and f/6.5 – 1/400 s – ISO 400.