That kingfisher jewelling upstream
seems to leave a streak of itself
in the bright air. The trees
are all the better for its passing.
It's not a mineral eater, though it looks it.
It doesn't nip nicks out of the edges
of rainbows. - It dives
into the burly water, then, perched
on a Japanese bough, gulps
into its own incandescence
a wisp of minnow, a warrior stickleback.
- Or it vanishes into its burrow, resplendent
Samurai, returning home
to his stinking slum
By Norman MacCaig