Kingfishers at Condat
by Gillian Clarke
This is one of three poems from a journal written on a holiday in France. It’s an account of an incident on a hot September afternoon at Condat, a small town in the Dordogne. The rivers Coly and Vezere meet in a confluence near Condat, where we swam and watched kingfishers flashing over the water. Later, into the peaceful scene where we sit thinking about our happy day, a gang of bikers roar in to the square, as bright as kingfishers, but loud, intrusive. The kingfishers’ electric blue flashed secretly, silently, like private joy.