Monday, January 14, 2008

A stinker for Mary

The season is all wrong and this is, after all, a decoy and nothing to compare with Mary's GB Heron pics, but I love the imagery in this poem from Mary Oliver's Owls and Other Fantasies. Hope you'll enjoy it, too.

Some Herons by Mary Oliver

"A blue preacher
flew toward the swamp,
in slow motion.

On the leafy banks,
an old Chinese poet,
hunched in the white gown of his wings.

was waiting.
The water
was the kind of dark silk

that has silver lines
shot through it
when it is touched by the wind

or is splashed upward,
in a small, quick flower,
by the life beneath it.

The preacher
made his difficult landing,
his skirts up around his knees.

The poet's eyes
flared, just as a poet's eyes
are said to do

when the poet is awakened
from the forest of meditation.
It was summer.

It was only a few moments past the sun's rising,
which meant that the whole long sweet day
lay before them.

They greeted each other,
rumpling their gowns for an instant,
and then smoothing them.

They entered the water,
and instantly two more herons--
equally as beautiful--

joined them and stood just beneath them
in the black, polished water
where they fished, all day."

There's a GB Heron who hunkers down at the edge of the farm pond where I often walk Luka when I get in from work. He is so still there, just before dusk, that he can't possibly be fishing and I feel badly for invading the end to his day with my noisy parade.

7 comments:

Lynne said...

Did you buy that decoy? It's beautiful. I bought that Mary Oliver book at the used book store a while back. Think I'll pull it out tonight.

Mary said...

Laura, I love you for this.

"A blue preacher
flew toward the swamp,
in slow motion."

Have you even seen something so regal?

Mary Oliver speaks so well for the stinker we all love.

Keep walking with Luka at dusk and enjoy the view! A virtue of the GBH is patience... :o)

Larry said...

I was fooled at first glance by that decoy.-I looked at it and said it doesn't look right.-That's one way to get good close up photos.-nice poem too.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Not long ago I drove cross country from Wash. State to Michigan. Herons and crows were the birds I saw everywhere!

Is there a big heronry around there somewhere, where they nest and raise young in the spring/summer?

Island Rambles Blog said...

I have really been enjoying your blog for a while and never commented so my new years resolution was to comment...I will mark you as a favorite on my blog links...I am doing a nature post of all the blogspot sites and will add you to it. Cheers.

Susan Gets Native said...

An old Chinese poet....

I love that.

LauraHinNJ said...

Lynne: Hi.. no, I didn't buy anything at this show but a few sets of notecards (as if I need any more of them!)

That's something that I love about her poetry; reading one makes me want to read lots more.

Mary: I think this is probably the best I'll ever do - not real, but close enough.

Larry: Cheating, I know.

;-)

Rabbit's Guy: There are a few places that I know of.. yes. Very neat to see.

Island Rambles: Thanks for saying hi and for the link!

Susan: Yeah.. me too.