Saturday, October 30, 2010

Night Herons

Some herons were fishing in the robes of the night

At a low hour of the water’s body,

And the fish I suppose, were full

Of fish happiness in those transparent inches

Even as, over and over, the beaks jacked down

And the narrow bodies were lifted

With every quick sally,

And that was the end of them as far as we know-

Though, what do we know except that death

Is so everywhere and so entire-

Pummeling and felling,

Or sometimes,

Like this, appearing

Through such a thing door-

One stab and you’re through!

And what then?

Why, then it was almost morning,

And one by one the birds opened their wings and flew.

This morning it is brisk, colder than I have been in months. The reddish/pink sky patch of horizon in the east is crisscrossed by utility lines strung across dead trees now serving as telephone poles. You may think there is not much beauty in an urban landscape. Wait, perhaps I speak for myself. Then a marvel strikes through to your heart. Yesterday in this place of cars and noise, a bald-eagle flew over the road, hunting in the early hours. Someone will die today to feed this bird, and countless beings have died so that we are here today. I pray that I might know this death, let it stab me deeply, so that I use every molecule of nourishment that comes my way to fly, to liberate as I myself am liberated.

Where will you fly today?

1 comment:

  1. About an hour ago my young neighbor asked to borrow my bird books for his older sister (college age) to use to write a report. One of the children's books had a picture of a bald eagle on the front. He asked if bald eagles lived aroung here. When I said, yes, his eyes lit up and he said, "I'd like to be a bald eagle and be able to fly. I thought of you and said that you and I would like to join him in the sky. He opened the front door to leave and turned and whispered, "Come here. What kind of bird is that?" I joined him at the front door and we watched a red shouldered hawk eat his prey sitting on top of the telephone pole in my yard. Reggie reported that the hawk had been on the ground when he opened the door and flew to the pole with prey dangling. I will fly by way of the telephone to Virginia, Texas and California to visit with my children.