Gary Witt

Heron And Gull - Poem by Gary Witt

The heron at gray dawn
Preys in stillness,
Then rises in muscular commotion,
Beating the air with huge wings;
A blue kimono lifting with
Definitive Noh drama,
Leaving the skin of the water
Grease-paint white,
Mask motionless.

The meditative gull soars
On updrafts of a coastal precipice,
Hovering on the edge
For eternity,
Eye to eye
With those who stand at shoreline.

This is learning, grasping,
Attention…then mastery:
Motion imparting stillness,
And stillness motion.

Comments about Heron And Gull by Gary Witt

  • (4/25/2008 8:13:00 AM)

    Beautiful work - acute observational skill on one of natures wonders and the streching of words to touch us, remind us not to take this wonder as common.I will save as a favourite - a poem to be proud of. (Report)Reply

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  • (2/28/2008 3:41:00 PM)

    Using motion to create stillness,
    And stillness motion. _ Same the first law Is.Nyutons

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  • (11/23/2007 7:26:00 PM)

    Gary this enchanting poem brings Sufi whirling to my mind - the stillness within the spinning. Your images are original and intensely satisfying and the whole piece flows like a moving meditation. Superb. love, Allie xxxx (Report)Reply

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  • (11/22/2007 6:47:00 AM)

    As well as the philosophical nature of this poem, it is an intensely visual write - I read it in tones of monochrome with a splash of steely blue - and whilst I contemplated the ideas you pose, I wondered if perhaps perception plays a part here - as a reader I was on the ground observing the heron as it 'preys in stillness' and then labours to make flight, using 'motion to create stillness' whilst I was on the precipice looking down, as the gull soared effortlessly and elegantly, 'using stillness to create motion..' Learning, grasping, attention then mastery..'.this poem teaches the reader, grasps their attention and shows them what mastery is...Justine (Report)Reply

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  • (11/14/2007 2:35:00 PM)

    The old adage, 'Look before you leap' applies, but might be better served with a variation that goes exactly like this, 'Eye the sky before you fly'. The contrasting philosophies are polar opposites. The heron attracts attention to himself by taking an arduous approach, and in the process chews up the scenery, whereas the gull chooses the more practical method by not making the endeavour more difficult than they ought to be. 'A blue kimono lifting with / Definitive Noh drama, ' is a delectable description, Gary. A heady piece that provides comestibles for comtemplation.


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  • (11/10/2007 4:14:00 AM)

    'Using motion to create stillness, and stillness motion...' What impact those lines have for me. Beautifully observant poem, a joy to read, Gary.

    Love, Fran xx

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 10, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 23, 2011

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