Great Blue*

July 24, 2013

Victoria Doerper - Great Blue
2013 Merit Award
By Victoria Doerper

Fish eater, water-stalker;
Killer of moles and muskrats;
Eater of roots;
Feathered squawker, flapper of blue-grey
Silklet strands, curved head plumes,
Neck like a snake;
Flies up before me like a first kiss —
Compelling urge upwells to awkwardness,
Slipping to a sweet, soft gliding grace —
Wings touch the clouds, then dip away
To the clay-blue bowl of the lake.

*Copyright 2013 by Victoria Doerper. Placard designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

Forgetfulness*

June 9, 2013

Andrew Shattuck McBride ~ Forgetfulness
2013 Merit Award
By Andrew Shattuck McBride

Morning fog swaddles like forgetfulness
as I walk through downtown streets toward
the water, always the water. From the top
of the bluff visibility is low; sailboats
at anchor are ghostly, half-remembered.
Noise from the graving dock and shipyard
thrums the stillness. The over-water walkway
arcs out through gauze of sea fog, is barely
visible at its north end. On the water two
goldeneyes push toward shore; their wakes
create a large W. Why is the statue Grace
gone? I’ve forgotten why I’m here—until
I see a great blue heron on a rib of sandstone
outcrop nearby. I put aside my discomfort
over losing something. There’s still time.

*Copyright 2013 by Andrew Shattuck McBride. Placard design by Egress Studio.

The Engorged Heron*

June 14, 2012

Bob Hicks ~ The Engorged Heron

2012 Walk Award
By Bob Hicks

The Engorged Heron

Throughout winter the Heron reassures,
reappearing daily in the tulip field across the road,
a field flowerless, gray, disc-drug, cloddy.

The gracious waterbird descends
to hover with wings opened to a four-foot cloak,
chest puffed in an awe-rousing crest pose,
pitching a landing on uncertain, reedy legs.
What an exact balance of glory and gawkiness,
another precision contrast of the natural world.

Only hours later, the Heron lights into our very yard!
Such an auspicious visitor is surely a good omen,
a whisper from God.

Is it bathing? Wading? Drinking?
The Heron stabs its beak into our koi pond,
snaps its head back and gulps hard.
We rush out screaming, arms waving, screen door slamming
as the brute flaps lazily away.
It’s too late — sixteen golden fish sloshing
in the bird’s belly after a day or two of plunder.

That tongue-lolling glutton has left
our tiny pond dead and empty.

*Copyright 2012 by Bob Hicks. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Four Blue Heron

March 15, 2012

Cindi Williamson - Four Blue Heron - 2011 Walk Award

2011 Walk Award
By Cindi Williamson

Four Blue Heron*

At once four blue heron lifted,
flying toward the lake
with necks curled up
like paper clips,
their feet fluttering like
loose threads behind them,
like long useless fringe.
I thought to wake you
But they were gone
as soon as they appeared.
And all that remained
were the swelling trees,
with hollow places
among the branches
filling up with green
water where the heron walk.

*Copyright 2011 by Cindi Williamson. Hear and see Cindi Williamson reading Four Blue Heron on YouTube. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Four Blue Heron*

July 1, 2011

2011 Walk Award
By Cindi Williamson

Cindi Williamson - Four Blue Heron - 2011 Walk Award

*Copyright 2011 by Cindi Williamson. Read the poem here. Placard design by Egress Studio.

Four Blue Heron*

May 27, 2011

Cindi Williamson reads her winning poem, "Four Blue Heron"

2011 Walk Award
By Cindi Williamson

Four Blue Heron

At once four blue heron lifted,
flying toward the lake
with necks curled up
like paper clips,
their feet fluttering like
loose threads behind them,
like long useless fringe.
I thought to wake you
But they were gone
as soon as they appeared.
And all that remained
were the swelling trees,
with hollow places
among the branches
filling up with green
water where the heron walk.

*Copyright 2011 by Cindi Williamson. Photo by Karee Wardrop.