From the archives – Blue Heron Comes — Daniel Milbo

Blue Heron Comes

We are koi people.
Our hearts dance in the water.
Ten, twenty, fifty years old
are the scales on our backs.

This is our land,
and the waters pour over,
pure as the first sun rays,
cool as the cold earth.

Carved from the dry clay,
the years have built us a home.
Brothers and sisters,
happily, we know our own.

In the algae beds, we forage,
watching the reflection of Dragonfly,
chasing the shadow of Waterbug,
following familiar tails to the surface.

Evening brings the rain and then
stillness of long shadows, and
tired leaves fall with halos
as moon rises.

Father spoke of
the Devil Blue
but Koi Koi with silver tail
never listened.

The others remember
in dark pools, their lost friends;
but one can only swim
in the depths for hours.

Slowly we rise
with the peace of sleep.
Our heads rest on
the tails of our mothers.

They say we forget
our ancestors’ stories.
They say we only live
their lessons in our bones.

But in the hour before
morning creeps over
the still lake’s lip
to peer inside,

When only dewdrop
disturbs the glassy sky
and the smell of damselfly
has washed away,

In our dreams,
Father tells us the Story,
and we wide-eyed listen
of how
Blue Heron comes.

from Autumn Sky Poetry 16 — by Daniel Milbo

Video courtesy of Concours Animation ‘Man vs Wild’.

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