Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Saturday Poetry – For Mark

For Mark (1950-2002)

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond

by Mary Oliver

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

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  • September 4, 2010, 12:26 pm Stacy

    The great blue heron is my spirit animal. It always appears at the perfect time to share its silent wisdom of personal path in the great Mystery. This was beautiful to read. Thank you very much, Beth!

  • September 4, 2010, 2:03 pm Ellen-Mary

    That is beautiful, Beth.

  • September 4, 2010, 10:34 pm suzan

    may i ask who mark is?

  • September 5, 2010, 7:02 am Beth

    Sure, Suzan. Mark was my husband John’s dearest, best friend from their childhoods. (Keeping a childhood friend is not an easy thing for a Marine brat). They were true soul mates. Mark had struggled with cancer before, but it finally overcame him, in 2002.

    I loved Mark, too. He was both smart and wise, wicked funny, in total love with the land of his homestead in Maine, and the kindest soul you will ever meet.

  • September 5, 2010, 11:20 pm suzan

    thanks for answering. what a beautiful way of paying tribute to him!