by Moya Pacey

It seems to me the whole purpose of art to the artist is that rare feeling of control/ illumination…life is alright, for the time being.

I see it perched on top of the dead tree
whiteness against pale grey
stillness against motionless water
tree and bird paired 
white heron beneath blue sky
without a breath of wind 
to ruffle its feathers
nothing stirs

slow, slow,
let this moment keep
waiting like heron
waiting like water
for the tide to turn
I see the great
white heron, the dead
tree, the sea, a flutter of feathers

Epigraph is taken from Elizabeth Bishop ‘One Art’ Letters 14 December 1957 p350

Herons are the most patient of birds. I saw this white heron, as I describe it in my poem, waiting for the tide to turn on Candlagan Creek on the South Coast of NSW. It was the first time I was able to travel outside Canberra after the lockdown closed the border between the ACT and NSW for travel. The heron, the instant of illumination and Bishop’s words, life is alright, for the time being crystallised the moment. 

Moya Pacey lives in Canberra, Australia. Her third collection: Doggerland was published by Recent Work Press, October, 2020. https://recentworkpress.com/books/product/doggerland/

 She co-edits the on-line journal, Not Very Quiet  notveryquiet.com.

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