Eleanor Wilner photo credit by J.J. Tiziou.


Interview with Eleanor Wilner in a previous issue.


Contributor Notes

Eleanor Wilner

Eleanor Wilner




Wading    in  the shallows     of America

                  on a fall day    the sun bright    and trying 

                                  in the big empty 

                                                       up there   for cheer         

         the heron freezes


      his reflection    

                                     watching for the flicker

              below his growing doubt     that means fish

    But the creek is thin    filled in when

                              rains brought the mud down   from the banks

the water has an oily sheen     and this year   silence hangs over the scene

       the desertion   of insects and frogs     To this stream   the heron had

     always returned     but now    his hunger bids him     fly    

          in a swift rush of wings    he’s air-borne       growing smaller

    until all that is left    is a blue figure    in the faded grass 

          at memory’s edge   mirage

time’s arrow bent     and turned back    the shrunken creek

  recovers its rush      the stream clears   insects hum   the fish swim

         into abundance again      as the blue elegance of the heron

riding the slipstream    of reality’s departure

glides down from the past       and     wings folded like origami

is planted back in the reeds     more ours now    than nature’s

    hybrid made   of letters   flesh and wish    poised to strike   

focused     on its reflection    shuddering in 

        a sudden wind on the water’s

back     a tearing noise  

    the image is dashed

          broken       as his neck

        unfurls    he strikes

raises his head

          beak clamped

        on an agony of silver--

       what          like mercury

                             can’t be held      or helped

     and     swallowed       is poison.