A white-faced long legged
lonesome bird flapping,
graceful, soundless, focused.
Wings propel this blue-grey softly feathered
rippling river surface height
white cheeks glowing, eyes probing
shallows. Bill poised to strike.
On landing, skinny legs step
forth, adopt a stalking posture
seeking to transform an innocent
finning fish to weightless birdness.
My introspection rises to a gleaming surface to wonder
at the ease with which blue-grey heron
spears into turbid rippling zephyr-paddled
waters to pierce the wetted scaly
resistance of one more squirming bream.
I roll down the nearby looming grassy
bank into your inquiring gaze,
and retreat in morbid haste from your finely focused
unspoken disturbing query:
is it on, or is it off, do you fetter my
tangible signal with a dismissive smile –
or do you cry into the night, alone
with memories of touch and melting promises.
I surface from the reed beds bawling, as
you, my white-faced heron, fly
silently by into
a night darkened far too soon by freedom.
Allan Padgett is a Western Australian poet who performs regularly at Perth Poetry Club. He has been published in Creatrix, Uneven Floor, Creative Connections and Regime, and has read his poems on 89.7 Twin Cities FM. Allan’s poem “The Wheatbelt Turns to Dust” was second in the 2012 Creatrix Poetry Prize.
My “connection” to Martin is through the fact that I read a terrific two-page feature story in the Weekend Australian’s Review celebrating Martin’s life and in particular, his brilliant poems. I then purchased a book of Martin’s (Wild Bees) and fell more in love with his poetry, especially the “nature-based” themes and content.