Pond Song 4.47


Everything points to an affirmative giving of otherness as itself affirmative . . . G&B 254


the religious say just do it__runners in day-glo fleece

and shades crowd the path__no matter what brings peace


cut out against October glare__I see it through silver grass

the immobility of a great blue__mudflat’s glowing mass


this Sunday’s wild communion__this gift of otherness received

the heron’s awkward lift-off__more than one had believed




People say to you when you raise the possibility of doing something– say, getting pregnant, or drunk– just do it! I call these The Religious ( full of faith in all things). Then that thesis is developed in a series of examples: jogging, whatever brings you peace, just do it; then the poem takes a turn, the”it” is seen not in mobility/activity but in the heron ‘s immobility. So, just how do we do immobility? Meditation? Prayer?  The rest of the poem suggests a parody or subversion of conventional communion–or a reimagining of communion. But then “it” sort of explodes– the heron leaves the scene, awkwardly, thus freeing the observer from worshipping its perfect immobility.

And I would argue that this is a true version of communion and there’s real peace– again not soporific — in the more-ness envisioned in the last half line.



3 thoughts on “Pond Song 4.47

  1. from Wilbur’s “A Grasshopper”: The whole field did what it did,/ Peaceful now that its peace/ Lay busily hid.

    Miss you, good buddy. Hope we can meet for chowder soon.

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