A Fable  about Kōtuku-ngutupapa, a Royal Spoonbill

An elegant white hunter scythes waters
with big black lips and red- ruby eyes.
Four Little Black Shags watch
from sand wedged broken sticks
where river meets tide.

that’s how we named her”,
the elder spoke, then regaled her tale:
“Out of elusive beginnings
as dawn’s mist arose she just appeared. 

Elegant Kōtuku-ngutupapa
over wild southern oceans flew,
sought the lightener of dawn’s stars,
head forward, legs trailing, plumes braced,
her restless desires sought gratification.

Empty horizons beckoned,
soul-weary fought futility’s guile till
Sorchar nan Reul, Jesus Christ,
Lightener of the Stars came beside.
His words redeemed discouraged eyes:

Spirit of God restored her heart,
plumbed the depths of her mind,
wrestled futility's contempt,
"Elegant Kōtuku-ngutupapa,
don't put a time bind on God.”
Lightener of the Stars warmed her heart,
spoke, “Who makes a wasteland?”
“Creatures deaf to your call, ” said she. 
He asked “Who makes a wilderness?” 
“Those who seek You, follow Your call.”

Lightener of the Stars stirred her heart;
“Look down, see where river meets tide
go amid this wasteland, Hymn to God
of wilderness, speak from your centre,
let them speak from theirs.”

The Elder turned to the Little Black Shags,
“Her flight disrupted, bewildered, 
Kōtuku-ngutupapa appeared,
Hymned to Lightener of the Stars,
the tide turned, a sanctuary born.”

© Craig A Roberts, 2022

[Sorchar nan Reul a Gàidhlig poetic name for Jesus Christ]
From Waymarks: Pilgrim Journeys.
Upcoming release.
Take a Glimpse

Photo: Adobestock

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