Heron of Swan Lake

Heron of Swan Lake
Heron of Swan Lake

Heron of Swan Lake


A long legged fresh water coastal bird

sits still in contrast to the wind blown brush

and smaller birds take flight as if in a rush

or fulfilling their longing to be heard.

Proud member of family named Ardeidae

varieties of Egrets and Bitterns

deeply connected to the Earth’s concerns

below the water minnows swim and play.

To determine species by bend in neck

if one can crawl up close enough to see

before their wing span spreads for instant flight.

Every week I travel out here to check

to crawl  closer before they turn to flee

to struggle to bring neck into my sight.


At Swan Lake only lovers left alive

and one Goliath Heron standing strong

so far above the troubles of near song

a dish that swims below the Heron’s dive.

One walk to Lake I met a birdwatcher

who waved and asked why I still wore my scrubs

and points out small bird flying through the shrubs

as I explain Swan Lake literature.

Explains how new lens brings him out in snow

I tell him I work in a Hospital

about the Heron I say yesterday.

A Heron or an Egret he would know

a Snowy Egret living here since Fall

I thank him as I slowly walk away.


The birds who live in Lemmon Valley marsh

here a nearly impossible wetland

among many suburban homes well planned

where Washoe people weathered tumult harsh.

The tribe remained by Lake during Winter

to spend the day with ancestor Heron

or birds of prey who carry carrion

in taller reeds that never leave splinter.

Or maybe not the Heron but the Egret

the Snow Egret passed to me that day

but not a Bittern they are tawny brown.

The elegant majestic perched secret

that stands alone even when skies are grey

to look out over Lakes velvet blue gown.


Maybe a story about migration

unlike the flock that migrates with season

the Heron always migrates for reason

to leave their own after segregation.

Will break into smaller groups at nighttime

to fly to nearest body of water

to capture minnows as a new squatter

or stand alone in marshland muck and grime.

It seems we both migrate to stay alive

to place of employ where I build my home

our lives seem intertwined for this reason.

A fish that swims below the Heron’s dive

escapes to deeper lake away from loam

where both our shadows predict the season.

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Jamie Lee Hamann

My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished seven collections of poetry and plans for more. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website simplepoetics.weebly.com. The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

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