This first one is by Hayden Carruth, a poet who I was a little obsessed with in the mid-1980s. This is from Doctor Jazz.
Let me tell you, my dear, about the heron I saw
by the edge of Dave Haflett's lovely little pond.
A great blue heron, standing perfectly still, where it had been
studying Dave's rainbows and brookies beneath the surface.
And I too stood perfectly still—as perfectly as I could—
not twenty feet away, each of us contemplative and quiet.
Communication occurred. I felt it. Not just simple
wonder and apprehension, but curiosity and concern.
It was evident. The great bird in its heraldic presence,
so beautifully marked, so poised against the dark green water.
I in my raggedness, with my cigarette smoldering, my eyes
squinting, my cap titlted back. Two invisibly beating hearts.
Then the impetus lapsed. The heron nodded and flew away.
I turned back into Dave's workshop and picked up a wrench.
If goodness exists in the world—and it does—then this moment
was the paradigm of it, a recognition, a life in conjunction with a life.
But why am I compelled to tell you about it? It was wordless.
And why, over and over again, must I write this poem?