I Have Danced with a Heron


Steely blue-grey
Feathers cloud carving
Wind mastering
Arches full of sky
Settle stately
Ruffle coattail preening
Becoming schoolmaster’s hands
Behind back clasping,
Now to the lesson.

Subtle step slow
Long strider sure
Calm steady iron rigid
Yet reed wind bowing supple
Silence ripples
Pools in soft lapping
Slender hunter silhouette,
Barely a shape in gloaming
Save for dagger point,
Bright spear poised.

Patient eyes
Slow flick follow
Silver flash
Threading translucent ink
Telling moon gleam
From scale glint
Judging motes from meals
So never a stroke to waste
Dip diving neck
A true arrow cleave
Leaving no drops.

Old friend
For so I still call you
Though it has been years
Since we danced
Knee deep in shallows
Step for step waltzing
This graceless student
Yearning for your secret
How to be one
With the shore, the waters, and the night sky.

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4 Responses to “I Have Danced with a Heron”

  1. Excellent. Very different from your norm. I remember the heron the night it came up to me. It was one of the best moments of m y life.

  2. emisformaker Says:

    As always, your imagery is stunning. That said, I think this could be tightened to two or three stanzas, including the last one; it’s perfect – do not touch it. Try to make the rest of the piece capture what’s distilled in the final stanza, and you’ve got it made.

    • As always, I do appreciate the comments and feedback. I do take everything I am told into account, even if I don’t actually edit or revise the piece in question. I can’t ever seem to come back to a poem once it’s finished, I find poetry far more static in that respect than prose. Once I transcribe a piece from my notebook onto my blog it has reached it’s final state, for better or for worse. I do take any feedback though and try to internalize it, add it to my toolkit to make the next poem better. For me, personally, it’s not about polishing each piece to perfection, it’s polishing me as a writer. The poem is what it is and I may revisit the same material again over the years, taking what I have been told and applying it to the next work, each time maybe coming closer to that one piece that says what I want to say exactly.

      • emisformaker Says:

        Each to his own method, but I think that leaves a lot of great stuff in the gutter. I also think there’s something to be said for forcing yourself to engage in certain activities, even one’s you’ve told yourself you ‘can’t’ do. Energy put into personal growth is never wasted.

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