Steven Lautermilch
2008 Contest Winner

Blue Heron

Long before dawn, solitary,
you were working the water,
casting the net of your reflection,

hauling in the river until,
come evening, even the sun
is spooked and hides, wary

as a speckled trout or shy flounder,
slippery hermit of the wandering eye,
under the whiskey milk of the bay.

Call it a day, creek
before you catch your death.

The harbor lights
are coming on now,
and the lovers.

Can't you see the young moon,
nudging the sea gate,
already climbing the walls?

It wants to see you break your
trance, step on water
and walk on air,

that long s-curve of neck
guiding you home, the arrow
of your prayer like a shot in the dark,

leaving the altar of this blue hour
in between twilight
and night.

© 2008 Steven Lautermilch

Author Biography

A poet and fine art photographer, for nine years Steve Lautermilch has traveled in the far west, exploring the sites of the ancients. Solo exhibits have been held at the Glenn Eure Gallery in Nags Head, the Festival Park Gallery in Manteo, and the Getchell Library Gallery of the University of Nevada, Reno. His photographs, stories, and translations have appeared in The Antigonish Review, The Connecticut Review, and The Uterary Review. New poems have received major awards from The Comstock Review, Kakalak, The Marlboro Review, the New England Poetry Club, and the W. B. Yeats Society of New York. Fire Seed & Rain is his twelfth collection.

©2009 Longleaf Press at Methodist University | Fayetteville, NC