N  a  p a  l  m     H  e  a  l  t  h     S  p  a  :     R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  0  7






The Great Blue Heron


Outside it is Spring.

The long rains have left the pond down-hill full.

Phillip fixed the fountain there which rainbows at different times

delighting my wife.

Look, the heron’s back, she calls from the deck.


It’s magnificent, standing water’s edge preening or craning its

question mark neck up and down, sighting schools of bass

or the carp released in Tibetan Buddhist long-life ceremonies.

Occasionally the heron rises, lugubrious, deliberate and awesome,

to take flight from a pair of mottled tan coyotes who stalk it close

to shore.


Nancy leaves for work and I’m cooking lunch, a little sad because

the world is sad—eating or being eaten—and I’m lazy on my day

off can’t write a word worth a damn so watch, with my coffee on

the deck, the heron hunt.


It’s poised, slash of orange beak-head, bobbing.

I briefly mistake a tree limb for another heron and think

Wouldn’t it Be Nice if it had a mate to share such a beautiful pond.

Stew is bubbling on the stove and I add spices and stir in wine.

Phil’s truck rattles by.

I peek outside to see if the heron’s still there…

                                                And now there are two of them

…startled from their stands to the air, circling the green water, the

darker one, larger and more gray, gyred up and up—long delicate

wings slowly moving air—until perched in the tall oak

waiting for the pond to be theirs again.