Tuesday, August 3, 2010

White Heron Rises Over Blackwater

I wonder what it is that I will accomplish today

If anything can be called that marvelous word.

It won’t be

My kind of work, which is only putting words on a page,

The pencil

Haltingly calling up

The light of the world,

Yet nothing appearing on paper half as bright

As the mockingbird’s verbal hilarity

In the still unleafed shrub in the churchyard-

Or the white heron rising over the swamp and the darkness,

His yellow eyes and broad wings wearing

The light of the world in the light of the world-

Ah yes, I see him.

He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.

Okay, I’m flat out disagreeing with Mary, although given the paradoxical nature of poems; she probably secretly led me into agreeing with her. I do believe that the poem on the paper is the light of the world as is the poet. The heron over the swamp is no more beautiful than the humans I saw in the hydrotherapy pool this morning. I’m at a resort/convention hotel in San Diego and after working out I limped over to the Jacuzzi to lessen the ache of my knee. In one corner of the Jacuzzi is a middle aged woman, her body bulging out of her suit. In another corner is an older man, he too rotund and big bandage covering a third of his face. I can go into judgment mind and ask what is right about we well-fed middle aged people relaxing in the middle of the day in an expensive hotel while billions upon billions of other beings are suffering? How is the work we putter with considered any kind of accomplishment amidst the beauty and tragedy that rises out of the ache of our hearts and the bodies of so many? I don’t rightly know how to answer this except to say that my inner knowing replies to the doubting mind that beauty is in all bodies and all words. And that means mine too.

What is it you hope to accomplish today, and is it enough?

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