Where do you rush to Dolly Wagtail
With your hat upon three hairs?
Do you go to the shops
For the groceries
Without a bag in your hand?

I’m just bobbing along the shore
If you please
Just for a little look
To see what’s on the strand today
It’s all free you see
Never a need to pay.

I find all sorts
On this bit of sand
You never know your luck
A nice fat midge and a worm or two
A caddis fly and a pillercat
It’s amazing what’s to be had
All sorts of things to be had.

Harry Nicholson for:



About Harry Nicholson

I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. I write a few poems and short stories. There is an eBook anthology of them, 'Green Linnet' on Amazon. Also a novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' I've a blog of poems, stories and art at: https://1513fusion.wordpress.com/
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20 Responses to Wagtail

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Absolutely enchanting. x

  2. kez says:

    lovely poem very enjoyable read thank you x

  3. Wonderfull poem. Loved this one. Pleasant to read and well done. A poem with a liitle difference.

  4. Nice work….I can see the little scamp going from place to place

  5. thingy says:

    Hee-hee. Love the image you have presented. : )

  6. Mike Patrick says:

    Research complete, know much more about the wagtails, but could not figure out “your hat upon three hairs.”

    • It is rather obscure, Mike. The wagtail on the shore of the loch, dashing about, reminded me of my mother. A neighbour would say, ‘there she goes again, off out, hat upon three hairs!’

  7. Ruth says:

    Whimsical. Easy on the eyes and tongue (read aloud; if I had grandchildren around they’d hear it). I could see the bird “hat upon three hairs” rushing off to skim the ‘free shop’ for pickings… I liked that each stanza adds a line, and the repetition at the end.

  8. Morning says:

    rich, very lovely piece.


  9. Suzy says:

    Enjoyed that. loved the words … You never know your luck … It’s amazing what’s to be had
    All sorts of things to be had.
    Reminds me to take chances.

  10. tinkwelborn says:

    I like this piece…dunno what to call it; but I like it.
    it’s almost…
    a Ballad….but it starts of Dactylly.
    not a limerick, doesn’t match the rhyme pattern, nor is it anapestic.

    whatever it is, it is…and I like it very much.

    I’m Hittin’ the Like button on this one.

    • I’ve just looked up those terms and am now better informed – so thank you, Tinky. I’m now thinking, ‘maybe the verses have the motion of the pied wagtail – rhythmic and then staccato, then rhythmic.’.

  11. Ina says:

    lol I have been to Greece and I have an attic but I am not posh 🙂 I like the poem, it reminded me of an episode of Little Britain somehow. Funny! Good luck with the rally! 🙂

  12. You might have seen it before, Viv – I’ve merely freshened it up. But it is good to look through the cupboards under the stairs and among the joists of the loft (never been posh enough to have an attic – never been to Greece, even).

  13. vivinfrance says:

    A bit of the Harry that used to give us lots of lovely poems.

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