This poem is taken from Stand 231, 19(3) September - December 2021.

Jill Eulalie Dawson Great Northern Diver
       Everything in the unconscious seeks outward manifestation, and the personality too desires to evolve out of its unconscious conditions…
                  — Carl Jung  

Peering out from my clapboard home on the edge

of Lake Memphrémagog,  I can see your dark shape

far out near  the  rock where children play hide-and-

seek on Sundays. You are ancient bird, a Loon, your

world once water. Red eyes burn pathways through

fish-home. I want  to reach you. My bird book gives

you colour: Black dagger beak; luminous summer-

green head; bones not hollow as tree birds’, weighty

for diving; has several voices.  Waves of light reflected

from the lake ripple my ceiling, stir up a longing. You

burst through  binocular lenses, your heavy body  low

in the tide as if you have just emerged. A weave of

summer’s camoflage patterns your back. You know

the tang of the deep, the swish-shwosh of life  there:

flocks of sea dragons powered by rainbows, their hues

constantly changing; unanswered  questions formed of

mud, cannot be shaped into words. Inveterate ferryman,

you travel between the world of light and a place of

darkness.  I clasp my hands, blow into the whistle-space

between them: Wot woh, wot woh, Can I join you?

You come to me, at night. Diving down to the depths

of my sleep you gather fragments of thoughts, dream

wisps, chunks of nightmares. Wrapped in your tongue,

held by your beak, you scoop up hag-seed steeped in

bitterness, red-hot with anger; a memory of four-leaved

clovers hidden beneath a kitchen window. You lay

them all with care on my pillow.  Fishy odours from

minnow and perch  crowd the air of my room as you

rise to regain the world of light. You cast your tremolo

call: Wah aah, wah aah; leaving now, back again,


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