Recently I had occasion to type the poem, The Last Picture in the World, several times, in different fonts, colours, sizes.
A friend was making a gift of the poem printed beside a lovely woodcut produced by an art student. Perhaps one day it will be available as a broadside, so for now, I won't share the image. Just you wait.
Despite all the industry, the poem lost none of its spell for me. Al loved the great blue heron. So do we. It's a talisman for us, always appearing as reassurance at very tough times.
|the point at the A-frame|
We parked at the library and walked to the A-frame, the route Al would have done on his explorations of the village in the early A-frame years.
As we rounded the corner of the house on our way to the point (how many people do you know who would build a point, when they couldn't afford to buy one of their own?), a great blue heron (very great) rose up from the point in high dudgeon and left us speechless.
That you, Al?
"A hunched grey shape
framed by leaves
with lake water behind
standing on our
little point of land
like a small monk in a green monastery
except that it's alive
brooding immobile permanent
for half an hour
a blue heron
and it occurs to me
that if I were to die at this moment
that picture would accompany me
wherever I am going
for part of the way"
(from New Poems, 1999 - in Beyond Remembering, 2000)