I’m delighted to share a gift with my newsletter subscribers: a complimentary Reader’s Companion to my latest poetry collection, The Boxer of Quirinal. In it, I do not explicate the poems; instead, I give a taste of the context in which I was writing — the circumstances that influenced each poem’s coming into being.
I’m including below a sample excerpt from the companion, which includes my poem, “Heron,” and a response to it.
for Warren Douglas
He comes when the light is right,
banking the pond’s perimeter
to land and step into a statue’s stillness.
When the light is right the fish come in to feed,
feeling it safe to nose among the weeds,
to risk the proximity of feet, of legs
that rise like reeds to a distant body above.
Once I saw him come in heavy rain,
knowing it would roil the fisheye view.
I watched his neck — a question mark — release,
his beak harpoon a startled shape,
and saw it go head-first down the hatch.
Perfect hunger. Perfect hunter. Perfect prey.
I wait for the heron to come.
Commentary on Heron
Hunter or prey? As living things, how can we not be both?