There’s an ottery dash
a lolloping flash
a plop and a splash

the lithe river thief
flows like water beneath
with a flash of sharp teeth

under ripples a glimmer
the light bends and shimmers
the sinuous swimmer

winds hither and thither
mud whirlpools aglitter
with fish all a skitter

there’s no hope he’s missing
despite their resisting
his spirals and twisting

for his whiskered dip
ends a-sleek and a-drip
with a shake and a flip

and the quicksilver whizz
of bubbles and fizz
has his watery wish:

a mouth full of fish

Otters face increasing threats, including habitat destruction for human developments, unwarranted persecution by fisheries and game-keepers, injuries and death in fishing nets near the sea, pesticides and pollution. However numbers have made a comeback and they are returning to rivers that have are managed to support a healthy level of fish stocks and wildlife.

Liz Brownlee

Liz Brownlee

Liz lives in the south west of England and visits schools accompanied by her assistance dog Lola. Liz is a children’s poet, poetry editor and film-maker. She has worked extensively with National Poetry Day and her series of film poems for NPD 2015 are available on her YouTube channel.

Her books include Apes to Zebras, an A-Z of Animal Shape poems, and Be the Change, Poems to Help you Save the World. Being Me, Poems About Feelings, Thoughts and Worries, and Shaping the World, 40 Historical Heroes in Shape Poems will be out in early 2021.

Follow Liz on Twitter.

Go to poet's website