Practicing to Walk Like a Heron

I love the title of this poem, it sets up a tale of beautiful imagery
using an elegant bird. -Rachel McGuinness, age 20

My wife is at the computer. The cat
is sleeping across the soft gold cushion
of my chair. Last night there was a frost.

This is beautifully simple description here. It lets us see the scene so clearly. -Kyle Austin, age 24

I am practicing to walk like a heron.

I love how with these first few stanzas Ridl does not explain these things, rather he states them as facts. It adds a tone of acceptance and peacefulness. -Sarah Branz, age 21

It’s the walk of solemn monks
progressing to prayer on stilts,

I love the comparison to monks on stilts, majestic and deliberate. He disturbs nothing and nothing disturbs him; he is utterly absorbed in the act to the point that the rest of the scene, described very matter-of-factly in the beginning of the poem, seems to fade away. -Laura Crouch, age 20

the deliberate cadence of a waltz
in water. I lift my right leg within
the stillness, within the languid
quiet of a creek, slowly, slowly,
slowly set my foot on the dog-haired

I love the interplay of setting here, how the home of the heron and the home of the poet are merged together. -Kyle Austin, age 24

carpet, pause, hold a half note, lift

I like how he added in the dog-haired carpet, I think it really ties things together and reminds us he is inside a house. -Rachel McGuinness, age 20

the left, head steady as a bell before
the ringer tugs the rope. On I walk,
the heron’s mute way, across the
room, past my wife who glances
up, holds her slender hands
above the keys until I pass.

The typing of the computer keys becomes more like music, as he refers to holding "half a note" and his wife's fingers hovering "above the keys.” -Laura Crouch, age 20
While it may seem a bit silly, the way the poet sets the scene locks the reader into a focused mindset. The rhythm and slight repetition towards the middle keep us in tune with the motion of the poet. This poem is a meditation that leaves you smiling. -Rian Bosse, age 23
Practicing to Walk Like a Heron takes the reader into the author’s own home, as if you are another object in the room. You see the author become the heron. He is watching the events of the room and does not wish to influence them or disturb them. His carefully orchestrated movements minimize this possibility. The poem is effectively silent. The breaking of the poem into couplets slows the reader and lends realism to the slow speed of the heron. -Daisy Hall, age 14
This poem is engaging in that it skillfully manages to capture a moment of simplicity amongst everyday life, which is often difficult to find in today’s busy world. -Sarah Branz, age 21
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.