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Sport 3: Spring 1989

Tom Weston — White Heron as it is Spelled

page 114

Tom Weston

White Heron as it is Spelled

The word, being water, follows the zig zag line
of the heron
as it casts low
through the reeds, wings that scrape the water

and scrape the reeds,
a whisper of white in the great forests
of taut language.
The index of movement is the art
of very being,
an instant that holds the plume of the heron.

Reeds stand or fall in the shallow water.

In the early morning of understanding
there is the half-thought word, its ghostly form
on lips and a moistening
by the tongue, the word
that commands the dark to stand still.

A bird moves in the frost of morning
and it is black as it comes from the lake,
eyes to the sun,
the sun that is only yet a smudge on the hill.
And in the first light of language, the hill
brightens and is no longer
plain nor lake, and the bird is white.