Picture courtesy of Ut-Tair, Mantiq, (1971) The Conference of the Birds by Farid Ud-Din Attar, Shambala: Berkley.
Hundreds of bulbuls around the lake
A large white heron as the conference chair
Drawn to the water’s edge for companionship and clarity
After endless smoke-filled days, our habitats ravaged by it
Noxious foods, nests and shelter
Consciousness from divine rays is barely filtering through,
We sit here for a while in silent meditation
There is a tacit, unspoken agreement to dive into the water
Silent meditation replaced by chirping relief
The white heron soars above
Is it offering protection?