MONDAY: Great Blue Heron


First published in Ruminate. Copyright is held by the author.

Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

  — Mary Oliver, “October”

Busy inhabiting my world —
blazing car, radio blather,
coffee buzz that wouldn’t last —

I somehow caught a left-hand glimpse
so quick I didn’t see you flinch,
yet so outstanding, you could’ve been

a plastic cousin to the prank flamingos
that another morning
enthralled my neighbour’s lawn.

Stark still, ankle-deep
in that transitory water,
only the one side, one-eyed,

wide as disbelief, you looked
just like you looked, posed
in the Natural History Museum,

1963: for again,
all those slender angles,
the spear of your bill,

that deathless intensity
marking your stick-form way, only
now in a mid-May puddle poised

between the intersecting rushes
eastbound, 196, southbound, 31.
And you, still doing

what you’ve never known
you do, still finding your life
wherever you find yourself —

while I, still fixated as always
on finding myself,
as if that were to find a life,

saw again how wildly
I am alive —
how I always want to know it.

  1. This is bird week for me. Yesterday’s poems about crows, pterodactyls, and smooth-hulled gulls by Patrick Friesen and now this stick-form one. Today, I will attempt to likewise still do what I have always done and never knew I did.

    Thanks to Poet James and Editor Kay

  2. Wonderful poem. Love the Heron who visits the shores of our cottage.
    Martin Bueno aka: the Rainbow Alchemist

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