The Wings of a Gadwall.

The Wings of a Gadwall.

A Story by Ken Simm.
"

An observation in the form of a Confounded Letter.

"
 

Hessian hides in a high treacherous wind. Textured roughness rain against a cold wet chin. Waiting for anything to happen across a never clear river filled with dead dog detritus. Stink and foot prints drawing sudden water. A Heron cupping air with legs dangling. Teal floating and up ending, floating and up ending, in some clockwork toy parody with sounds to match.

A hide to hide from it all. To watch and really see without distraction or be observed in turn. The back end of a sewage farm. Victorian red brick and slabbed runnels of miasmal stinking, sick soup. Darkly boiled cabbage coloured cloud reflecting briefly in oil stirred sick bottomless pools.

An obvious hide, two entering, one leaving to confuse all those who cannot count. Irridescence all around, on wings, mirrored in pools. Popping lava pools of stench ridden mud sucking at feet howsoever webbed, clawed or splayed.

Watching, waiting, listening. Whilst the rare Gadwall duck flashes its metal coloured wings. Rude sounds repeat, comfort flocks feted on small green growing pollution. Drear and dire. Waiting for something amongst the dead. Floating unreconciled. Flushed and forgotten.

Any person with dog or gun on this land will be prosecuted said a dozen signs, ironically pasted in white contrast dripped mute droppings. Interlocking streams, cassock tussocked islands, bare white s**t streamed beaches with rusting prams and unamed metal.


Now Ruff on a lek. Dandies of Tudor plumaged waders fighting for the dowdy dismal Reeve. Excitement and battle, unique and different. Colours arrayed as bright feathered and flame flaunted. Abstract ruffed, ruffled wind changed patches replaced and reflected in the dark. Fencing feet, high kicking with the staged sword pomposity of a battle.

Look at me said the gaudy, the strongest, the aristocratic, instincts intended for an audience of courtly love and chivalrous turn of phrase. Gloriana's virginal court dancing galliard with jeweled courtiers decked in finest dress and with pretty dandy manners.

Look at brick blood red, flouncing and black, umber contrasting and gossamer flicking white, billowing around an enlarged and ever so affronted neck. Look at the dandy painted in detailed miniature flashing approved at this court of romantic love.

Look now again and instead at the camouflaged Reeve. A protection evolved for the young. The insipid and dowdy woman. The earthy pallet of essential female survival. Intentionally and truthfully overlooked whilst the male masque actors ponce, prance, playfight and preen with an instinct that looks for all the world like self deluded love. This jewel of Narcissus floats with his courtly peers and the private peasant poor female hides unobtrusively calm in the wind blown reeds at this poor patch field of gold yearly breeding.


© 2010 Ken Simm.



Author's Note

Ken Simm.
The Ruff and female Reeve are wading birds. The male displays a conspicous feathered ruff around its neck. No two ruff are the same.

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Featured Review

Don't know how I missed this post .. this letter ..

As ever a writing that lifts the reader into space, in this case one where plumage shines as bright as your descriptive powers and near blinds the eyes! You have me choking to start, trying to ignore the pictures and stench .. then, you have me wondering at the wonders of courtship, the colours, the sounds, the sex and wonder of those uttering birds fighting for passion and past-time!

I swear there are more than twenty six letters in your alphabet!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

So vivid and intense, your brush draws something finer than nature...Exquisite!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ken Simm.

5 Years Ago

Never finer than nature but I really appreciate your lovely comment.
Marri

5 Years Ago

I grew up in a big city but my mother belonged to the mountain and the forest and the lakes, so she .. read more
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...
. absolutely stunning work, monsieur ... i am amazed and smiling at this poetic symphony that demystifies the "male persona" oh so exquisitely ... it's really very kind and generous of you to provide this rather comprehensive insight ... especially to us girls ... if we didn't know what you guys are all about, we do now ... you guys are amazing ... but so are we ... even though it's tough to convince you ... when you're so busy dancing to your own tunes ... :P ... :) ... the painting is stunning too ... i am in awe of your multiple talents, monsieur ...

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Don't know how I missed this post .. this letter ..

As ever a writing that lifts the reader into space, in this case one where plumage shines as bright as your descriptive powers and near blinds the eyes! You have me choking to start, trying to ignore the pictures and stench .. then, you have me wondering at the wonders of courtship, the colours, the sounds, the sex and wonder of those uttering birds fighting for passion and past-time!

I swear there are more than twenty six letters in your alphabet!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree...'No one else combines wordplay and an uncanny eye for detail like this.' Ken, you have extraordinary perception and ability to describe while not only educating but producing feeling and comparative thoughts as well... Incredible writing....

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You descriptive powers are wonderful. You have a rich palette do call upon and you show us things in our minds in a way that no camera ever could. I cld see the heron 'cupping air with legs dangling' quite clearly. The description is just right. I was put in mind of Graham (?) Swifts 'WATERWORLD'. I cld almost feel the mud and hear the reeds whispering. There are some great contrasts also, between the human junk and the irridesence of plumage, and between the male and female ruffs. Great stuff. I reckon a sequence of bird sketches like this might make a wonderful book. As you know the RSPB boasts many thousands of cultured observers of nature who wld enjoy this.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The things we do, the shows we put on...the most artistic we'll ever be to perform the most basic of acts, good old fashioned procreation. The first sentence reminds of Wodehouse at his best, in terms of the pace and the sounds. No one else combines wordplay and an uncanny eye for detail like this.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A reflection of that which is. Just is. No protection from the rudeness yet unwilling or unable to look away. Your words are again the beauty exposing the beast. Stunning.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Its interesting that as I was reading this they were showing Kew Gardens on BBC! A fitting scene for this story, and how they truly act like you have described. I could visualize all that you wrote about these birds, without actually seeing them. This should be submitted to a nature magazine Ken! Very well done!!!!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

if I could do to words what you have, I would be a very happy girl

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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505 Views
9 Reviews
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Shelved in 1 Library
Added on September 28, 2010
Last Updated on October 5, 2010
Tags: romantic love, self love, birds, breeding, ken, autobiography

Author

Ken Simm.
Ken Simm.

Scotland, United Kingdom



About
'I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience' Thoreau. For all those who .. more..

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