The Beat of Wings – a poem by Ken Gierke

The Beat of Wings

Hot in the sun, as I lower my kayak to the pad of the boat ramp. Far behind yesterday, but still 83 at mid-morning. No cooler in my vest, as I ready to step into the kayak, leave behind machinery and concrete.

But sliding into that seat, sitting on the water? A slight breeze, and it’s a different world.

There’s nothing special about this river, just a narrow band of water lined with trees, an occasional small bluff turning it here, there. Staying with the bank with slow, easy strokes, taking the offered shade as a gift, I paddle upstream, watch a distant heron take wing at the sight of this intruder.

Rounding a bend, I paddle due west, the sun at my back and no advantage from the trees on the bank shading each other, but not the water I cross.

Always away, that heron. Startled by my appearance, it takes flight, again. Leaving shore, it turns before me, heads upriver, its wings offering the breeze that cools me. And what is that breeze, if not a way to carry my troubles to another place?

water and wind
a tonic given freely
the beat of wings


Ken Gierke started writing poetry in his forties, but found new focus when he retired. It also gave him new perspectives, which come out in his poetry, primarily free verse and haiku. He has been published at Amethyst Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Vita Brevis, Tuck Magazine, Eunoia Review and formidable woman sanctuary. His website:


  1. rivrvlogr says:

    Thank you for providing a home for this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      My pleasure Ken 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. msjadeli says:

    Nice one, Ken! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rivrvlogr says:

      Thank you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. rivrvlogr says:

      Thank you, Merril.

      Liked by 1 person

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