the heron

the heron appeared on Robert Okaji’s O at the Edges first time around, but i feel it was perhaps buried under so much waffling prose of mine in ebullient response to Robert’s questions, which was immensely therapeutic & enjoyable, but now i think i’d like to give the poem some space to breathe, accompanied by photography- i also fiddled about with the poem & made some changes, quite a few lines have been replaced to give the poem an alternative sense to the original. so…

the heron


look here see the heron stiff as a quill- sophisticate
:its slow footing sostenuto flight encumbered almost

heavy & somewhat awkward (if you’ve ever handled a quill
you’ll know exactly what i mean) & yet it plots easily

through troublesome wind- shifts it even- at will with steady
beats of its wing. avoids all threats & obstacles with gazelle ease

ripples the brook like a feathery Christ. still as taxidermy
it teaches like a nude figure in porcelain or stone

how to be oneself whilst on parade- rather than another’s object.
i see them flanked by sewage on all sides- their evolution

ransacked. yet a healthy colony teems these foul stench waters
outside 한림 town: & i’d read they prefer pristine environments.


i’m more like a dog: restless & sweaty agitated for next
-give brief sniffs at things- uncompromising in my forwardness

lash out from a leash invisible if concentrated on my anger
communicate with excrement & whines scratch myself recklessly

– but i’m looking into how i might become more like the heron
: evoke a clear response to noise with wet feet soft as ear lobes.

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. A classic of yours, thanks for reposting.

  2. Tim Miller says:

    one of your best, DPM, & considering all the competition that says something; “still as taxidermy” & “their evolution ransacked”; & nice to see you turning your frequent canine observations on yourself, in a way

    1. this one has received quite a lot of attention. all that time spent observing herons seems to have paid off.

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