by Mike Pedde 04/09/1997
submitted by Tom Meyer
Today I stand and become a tree, my roots stretching deep into the rocky soil and clinging
I am a heron, fishing in the small pond. Balance, poise and grace are mine here, though
tightly, lest the wind usurp me from my perch upon the ground. I lift my fingers to the sky,
less in flight. I have earned a watchful eye, and unparalleled speed when necessary. Today
and feel the tickle of my leaves being blown to and fro. Gently the wind rocks me into silence
I will enter once again the domain of the minnows, frogs and snakes, who share my home,
and I drift closer to sleep. Sensing this, a gust attempts to blow me over, but my roots hold
and we will continue our dance of life. Maybe someday they will gnaw on my bones. Slowly,
fast. Slowly, I turn my face to the sun, and follow it as it traces its path across the sky. I
ever so slowly, I walk among the lily pads and mosses with my head held high and my neck
stand, tall and motionless for eons, as the seasons unfold their play before me. From time to
outstretched. A shadow, a slippery form beneath my gaze, and I crouch, then strike.
time the wind plucks my leaves from me and assembles them intricately, in a mosaic pattern
Shaking the water from my beak I swallow, taking care to ensure that the spines of my
on the earth at my feet. In winter the wind's gentleness turns harsh, and the snow bolts down
captive do not lodge in my gullet. Over and over, the cycle repeats itself. A human stops
and clings tightly to my skin. In time though, spring returns and I can feel the deep stirring
too near and I freeze - a blue/ gray statue hidden in the water. Perhaps they won't see me,
once again within my bones. New growth wriggles inside me and then rushes forth in its
but she is already pointing me out to others, and babbling as humans do. Please, not so
struggle to be born. Home again, the birds return to alight in my branches and sing their
close; humans make me nervous. I stop to stare at her; uncertain as to the danger she poses.
journey songs of where they have been, the adventures they have shared in my absence.
But she turns and leaves, her curiosity satisfied for now, and I continue my hunt for minnows
Now I sit, and become a stump, my journey near completion. No longer have I branches to
in the pond. Slowly the sun begins its inextricable journey toward the horizon, and I stretch
reach to the heavens, no longer leaves to dance with the spring breezes. Their time is now
my wings twice before lifting from the water. The pond is not safe at night. Rather, I
done, and mine soon to follow. I look over and watch a part of myself, long since fallen,
journey from the pond to a stand of willow and aspen. Night starts to set, and the songs of
being reclaimed by that from which it sprang. I feel the ants and termites bury into my flesh,
the days change their tune, becoming a symphony of crickets, mice and owls. I have a
and slowly I am renewed - taking new form from that which I have been. Now I am
favorite evening roost; a place to collect the thoughts of the day and plan for tomorrow.
complete; now I can say good-bye, and dream the journey songs of the birds. . . .
Plucking a quill for pen; I use my own blood for ink. Perhaps I will write of trees. . . .