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White Heron


Heron, white as new fallen snow,

Standing long legged, frozen in time and space 

Silent and still, neck fluidly curving

 It stares into slow moving water beneath.


I stop to watch for the flinch

Or the quick stab at a wiggle below, no…

Nothing but patience, stillness, and

Undaunted commitment to the task.


Moments pass without a blink of the eye,

Surely there will be movement soon,

I wait, turn the engine off and stare

Certainly now white heron will fly.


But no, minutes pass, white heron statue stays,

Neck still bent staring at the dark blue water below…

I think, now, this is commitment!

Oh to be able to stare at a desire like this!


Still statuesque, flawless uniformed focus

White heron becomes a being of envy,

A mentor asking me at this moment in time,

Why can’t I be so riveted to one single desire?


I want to imitate this pose, so patient

And calm, pursuing that slight ripple of chance

Below the water’s surface, always ready

To seize that one most desirable desire.


But wait, how can I let my other desires to drift 

Out of my life leaving but one for complete attendance?

How can I choose one source of food like white heron

And leave others on the roadside of my life?


Yes, of course, other desires could be road kill,

Things tossed aside in complete pursuit of the one!

Dismembered desires strewn across my final days,

No, no, no, too gruesome, cruel, and much too bloody!



Rather, I should mourn my lives not lived,

Bury them in a sad but respectful ritual way.

I could honor each passion separately or host

A mass burial at once for all that I just can’t seem to get to.


Perhaps, then, finally, maybe now, like white heron,

I can be with that single desire, 

And pursue it, absolutely, so still and focused,

No cares about the world around me, just like white heron.


Yes, this white heron before me will get,

The frog, minnow, or water spider.

 This is as certain to me as my death will come.

 Brilliant white bird, please give me your wisdom!

C. Doyle Hollister MFT

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