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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: 118 words
+ Visual Art: Photograph
Poem by Robbi Nester, and
Photograph by Philippe Rouyer

Dancing White Egret

After a photograph

La Grande Aigrette (The Great Egret): Photograph by Philippe Rouyer
La Grande Aigrette (The Great Egret) by Philippe Rouyer
Image copyrighted © by the photographer. All rights reserved.*


Among the reeds, the Great Egret 
raises his wings, and I understand at once 
why he’s called “great.” Not just his size—
the way his whole body aspires to flight. 
White shreds of cloud, tinged with 
golden light, his feathers spread 
against the pale blue plate of sky 
like the flesh of roasted barramundi. 
Every bit of him drives the eye up 
and up, his long neck, muscular as 
an anaconda, white as the peeling 
branches of the eucalyptus, 
upraised needle of the beak, 
while his legs, jointed as a beetle’s, 
connect him to the ground. He is 
fish and fowl, air and water, 
the melding of the elements, 
embodiment of joy. 



*Publisher’s Note:

La Grande Aigrette (The Great Egret) by Philippe Rouyer is reproduced above with his kind permission.

(The photograph also appears on his Facebook timeline, dated 1 November 2017, and in his gallery at Nikon Club, France).

Philippe Rouyer
Issue 14, August 2022

is based in Lyon, France, and has been photographing nature for more than 15 years, including fauna, flora, and landscapes in different countries worldwide. Read more about him at his website: Photo Pleine Nature

And see more of his work at: Nikon Club, France

Robbi Nester
Issue 14, August 2022

lives and writes in Southern California. She is a retired college educator and the author of four books of poetry, including an ekphrastic chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), and three collections: Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag, 2019), Other-Wise (Kelsay, 2017), and A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014). She has also edited three anthologies: The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! (Nine Toes, 2014); Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees, which was published as a special issue of Poemeleon Journal; and The Plague Papers, recently published online at Poemeleon Journal.

Robbi curates two poetry reading series and is an elected member of the Academy of American Poets. Her poems, reviews, essays, and articles have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including Aeolian Harp VI, Book of Matches, Cultural Daily, Gargoyle, Live Encounters, Muddy River Review, North of Oxford, Rhino, Tampa Review, Tiferet, Verdad, and Verse-Virtual.

Poet’s website: www.robbinester.net

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

After Blossom, ekphrastic poem after an etching by Phil Greenwood in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 3, May 2020)

Three Poems by Robbi Nester in Verse-Virtual (January 2020)

Law of Attraction, ekphrastic poem after Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone, in Verse-Virtual (May 2019)

Night Tunnel, ekphrastic poem after a painting by Robert Rhodes, Philadelphia Night Train, in The Ekphrastic Review (21 April 2016)

The Locusts, ekphrastic poem after a collage of the same name by Mary Boxley Bullington, in The Ekphrastic Review (13 October 2015)

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