Friday, June 7, 2013

To the Common Loon

After a weekend of paddling and camping on the Green River Reservoir, a true gem of a wild north-country lake, I've tried to cobble together years of impressions of the common loon into one small poem. The effort is indebted (perhaps too much) to John Haines and his very fine "Prayer to the Snowy Owl," which I've written about before on this blog.

To the Common Loon

Black-throated diver, you
arrive where I least expect you—

rising from the sweet marrow of the lake
within my own life.

You who split the air with eerie falsetto.
Weird yodeler of the quavering, tremulous cry

that makes the throes of joy
and pain indistinguishable.

Wolf-bird prowling the night country,
steward of sky-water,

artificer of True North,
swift gulper of those who dwell in darkness

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