Sunday, March 22, 2015

Two Poems by Felicia Mitchell

For the March Red Eft video, our guest poet is Felicia Mitchell.

I've often found it strange that when painting a wild animal, I've glimpsed its essence most fully only after cleaning my brushes 
and flicking off the studio lights. So encountering Felicia Mitchell's parallel concept in "One Green Heron at Dusk" was like a 
summons to my own deep feelings in her act of photographing the wild. 

While in "Bat Moral," the second piece in this two-part video, Felicia is startled by discovering a bat in the grass outside her 
home, inspiring an unusual meditation on the struggle for peaceful coexistence between all creatures in the natural world.
                                                                                                                                                         -- Suzanne

For more about Felicia Mitchell, visit

"One Green Heron at Dusk" and "Bat Moral"        


One Green Heron at Dusk

That green heron needs a telephone pole
as much as I need a camera in my hand
but there it is--making do without a tree 
or without fish that used to be in this creek.
Tomorrow it will fly somewhere else.
This evening, nothing is the matter.
Dragonflies fly, the green heron eats.

Straining my neck as it shifts its neck,
I am seeking the perfect image of this heron.
That is the one I will leave by the creek,
the pictures in my camera just shadows 
of a time that has come and gone 
like the fish that used to swim here.

Later, if I close my eyes and clear my mind, 
I will see a green heron as patient as a green heron
without a camera lens between us.

Bat Moral

Sometimes a bat is just a bat.
It's not an omen, or a vampire,
or a rabid threat to your good health.
It's just brown, and lonely,
as confused as you are sometimes
when you turn to find someone
and he has turned another corner.
A bat can be as warm and fuzzy
as you want it to be, or cuter,
but it's still not a good idea to touch it
even when it ends up in the grass 
wrestling your dog at four in the afternoon
where it should be hanging upside down
like a good bat in the rafters
or turning some corner to find the woods.
Bad dog, bad bat, I'm okay, you're okay,
but it's still not so good to fight,
not mammal to mammal,
not at four in the afternoon
over who or what belongs in the yard
or who or what should go which way
when there are so many paths to choose from.


"One Green Heron at Dusk" was anthologized in Sunrise from Blue Thunder (Pirene's Fountain, 2011). "Bat Moral" was first published in Terrain.  Both poems appear in Waltzing With Horses (Press 53, 2014)


  1. One Green Heron at Dusk really speaks to me as a photographer. When I don’t have my camera with me, I still “see” the photographs I might have taken. Love Mitchell’s poem.

  2. It’s not surprising, the special connection Suzanne felt with Felicia. There is a connectedness and interactive ability with “life” that entails and produces art through a certain strength of observation. Through an artist’s eyes, thoughts, expressions, tools, subjects and themes it’s amazing how one can have a new experience – whether with an subject common to the observer or quite unusual. Suzanne expressed eloquently the substance and relationship one can have with artistic expressions. It’s clear why Suzanne ad Dan brought Felicia into their Red Eft realm.