The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

wood duck pond

The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

One day hiking we came to Wood Duck Pond
and there we saw an older gentleman
sitting in a chair
eating his lunch and watching
just looking ….. and looking

He might have been a Buddha
He sat so still
But there were no ducks
on the pond
or in the air or on the shore.

He was gazing at the stumps and logs
and surface scum
unbothered by mosquitoes
or deer flies
or gnats.

Froth on the water
reeds growing by the edges
stumps rotting in the lagoon
and not a duck to be seen….
Didn’t bother him.

I asked him why he sat there.
He said he watched for ducks
and whatever else might come by
maybe a heron, “it doesn’t matter”.
He just sat and watched, looking.

Not wanting to disturb him further
we whispered good wishes for his watching
and walked quietly onto the wood’s path
where we saw butterflies and snake skins –
but still no ducks –
although I found myself also watching.

by caf
Photo and poem © carole fults

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Fishing

heron

Fishing
One summer’s solstice
the blue heron
dropped from the sky
to stand in wakeful stillness
in the green scummed pond
by which I watched from the shore.

Her twiggy legs and intent stare
alert to burbles source below the surface
she moved only once sparingly
darted, speared her dinner
flash of silver
returned to watchful silence.

Finally, weary of my unrequested presence
she casually withdrew to the air
and in full self-possession of her strong winged strokes
she flew freely
to fish in waters
of greater solitude.

by caf

© photo and poem carole fults