There is no conversation to be had between us, no common ground that would satisfy either of us, you standing tall on a tree extending from the water, fresh catch lying at your feet, while I paddle slowly past not thirty feet away looking for some recognition in the eye that follows me as your head turns, some appreciation for sunlight glinting from the water or the breeze that lightly ruffles your feathers yet soothes on this midsummer day, but you bend to retrieve your meal and tilt your head back to shake it down your throat as I paddle out of sight.
Though some would call it midsummer, it’s just three days past solstice, and here we are celebrating the start of summer with a wedding on the shore of Lake Erie. There is as much poetry in the lighthouse towering above us, framed by beautiful blue skies as it waits to send to the world a signal of the joy that fills our hearts, and in the sound of the waves beckoning us as they have over the years, as there is in the vows that we share, the words that are spoken. Afterwards, there are words more solemn, spoken of our love for you and our sadness at your passing before you could be a vital part of this joyful day. We can feel your presence, as I know we will when we celebrate this day in the coming years.
great blue heron lands watches from the shore always in our hearts
Our wedding, a self-uniting ceremony held at the Presque Isle Lighthouse in Erie, Pennsylvania, was in June 2017. The ceremony consisted of poetry that I wrote for the vows, as well as for readings by my children and my granddaughter. A very dear friend was going to “walk the bride down the aisle,” but, sadly, that was not to be, as he passed away four months earlier. When we celebrate that day, we think of him as he was when times were good.
A leaf drifts slowly past me, going where the current leads. As my paddle meets the water, the water meets my needs.
Each time, there’s something new to experience, discover. The water meets my needs as my paddle meets the water.
From heron standing on the shore to ducks concealed in bankside reeds. As my paddle meets the water, the water meets my needs.
Many rewards can be found in each scene I encounter. The water meets my needs as my paddle meets the water.
This poem is my response to Poetry Form: Mirrored Refrain, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. A mirrored refrain is formed by three or more quatrains where two lines within the quatrain are the “mirrored refrain” or alternating refrain.
The rhyme scheme is as follows: xaBA, xbAB, xaBA, xbAB, etc.. (x represents the only lines that do not rhyme within the poem. A and B represent the refrain.)
finding new species
traveling while painting birds
heron on the shore
captured for posterity
life’s work of nature lover
This tanka is my response to the prompt for NaPoWriMo,net Day 24, which is to write a poem inspired by a reference book. I seem to be in a Great Blue Heron groove lately, so I pulled out my priceless copy of John J. Audubon’s Birds of America (Don’t I wish!) and turned to Plate 211 to view Audubon’s painting and read his description of this magnificent bird.
A quick glance my way,
the only sudden movement
in this stop action scene,
and the heron’s neck moves
forward, its legs bending
to launch that tall frame
as wide wings spread wider
in seemingly slow motion,
rising and falling in a graceful exit.
This is my response to Quadrille #78: Rise, the prompt from Merril at dVerse, which is to use any form of the word rise in a quadrille, a 44-word poem that does not require meter or rhyme.
Image: Great Blue Heron in the Niagara River Gorge, 09 September 2008
(click image for larger view in new tab)
The camera I used for the photo was a small Canon. It also took video, and I actually captured the heron catching a fish. I had been using the camera to upload to YouTube for two years. The video was a small format (320×240) and it was in flash video, so that was the format I uploaded. I found that file today and used a clip to create an mp4 video in 640×480 (thus a slight blurriness) for this video poem.