Ducks, swans, fish & isolation

Looking back over texts and little bits of illustration / collage I was making during first weeks of isolation, my affinity to waterfowel seems be getting stronger every day and I am going to have to invest in some reading…
Bringing this together to mark the time,


The duck’s quack reminds me of toby’s half-hearted miaow (the cat i am in
lockdown with)
it’s tongue is pinker than i’ve noticed of a duck before
a soft and fleshy shade of white-pink
unlike the unnatural emerald green head he wears

i watch the wind’s fingers running over the water’s surface,
moving in a way that is hard anticipate

sitting there memories of events, moments passed at this site wash over me
including the yearly, loud-for-all-senses, rowing gala – a pride of
peterborough’s that it has a boating lake is big enough to

i recall knowledge of it’s origins, a man made lake, part of a a man made
country park, carved out from nature

Peterborough, always straddling that edge of utterly man made, utterly rural

the ghosts of past events collapse in on themselves and on today
this space is all these things ..
as i contain all my pasts, collapsed in on themselves.
right now i am 31, the boat lake is 40+
and we are both quite still

i take a breath
turn my MP3 back on
and get up to complete my run
my 5 min excusable pause has passed.


Out running, my usual Fen colour palette, that runs in linear lines,
of drainage-canal blue, concrete grey, grass green, hay beige
is finding itself disrupted
Stark, startling-white swans,
Plonked in the centre of grey paths

Showing no signs of moving out the way
I navigate around them –

I am enjoying seeing newly embolden ducks / birds out and about,
With them now able to take up a bit more space without us, or the threat of us,

getting in the way
To carry out there business (collecting twigs for nests, eating grass,

lolloping on greens)
without the same sense of nervousness,
of constant scanning,
of high alert,
of always ready to leave

In a time of little human interaction I am also being reminded how
fulfilling and also transformative it can be to share prolonged eye contact
with animals/birds/ducks, having shared a long stare with a swan this week
a swan this week

I am reminded during an isolated period i had and the same happened with ducks:
Working on an industrial business park and a bit lost, I would spend lunch

breaks by the duck pond and after a significant bout of eye contact with one
particular duck I found myself (in a relatively healthy way)
feeling increasingly attached to and curious about them, going to visit them each
– writing and drawing them,
and have felt distinctly more connected to them as a species ever since.

I’d recommend giving eye contact a ago if you’ve not already – birds, ducks, swan,
who/whatever you can find…


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