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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Poem: The Crow and the Heron

The winter world is full of simple beauties. A thick blanket of snow, a perfect day for curling up by the fire and reading. The nip of the wind on your cheeks and the way they warm when you come back inside. A blue sky after days and days of seemingly endless gray.

A heron and a crow standing side-by-side on a frozen pond.

One afternoon, I was out walking our German Shepherd, Pfeffer, when I saw them. Perhaps they were just two birds standing on the ice. But it looked like the heron was taking council, receiving a daily report from the crow. Maybe a bird is just a bird, but a walk can also be an opportunity to live, to discover.

And a poem is never just a poem…



The Crow and the Heron

The crow cawed to the wind,
his voice swallowed up among whispers of change.
The creak of the ice beneath his claws
settled in an answer of sweet silence,
perfect stillness among the white winter world
stained by a single black spot, striking feathers.

The crow cawed to the heron as he glided
               down
                        down
          down
onto the lake, to take his perch on the ice
to hear the younger bird’s report.

The crow cawed about the days,
lengthening like a stretching shadow
drawn out by the playful dance of the sun.
Winter will end, the world will wake
up the crawlers, the diggers, the prancers.
It’s time to begin the song of spring.

The crow cawed about the dog,
like a she-wolf in her crouch
new to stalking the neighborhood felines and fowl 
hackles raised and teeth bared
only to lick the gruff hands of her master
who stoops to right a beetle,
overturned
on his blue-black wings.

The crow cawed a farewell as the heron took off,
gliding
            up
                        up
                                    up
amid the trees, over the red sloped roofs
of the jigsaw puzzle that is the village,
stacked atop one another in one way
until the world is sifted again.

***

Related posts: In Season, Shadows, and Weird Winter Weather

Let’s chat! When was the last time you made a discovery by catching a glimpse of something simple? How does this poem make you feel? 

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