Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate

This week’s poem from a past column was chosen by Margaret S. Davenport, who writes: “In Rangeley, we love our loons, listening, picturing, and anxiously counting them.” The poem reminds her, she adds, that like the loons, “we also dive under, to catch that silver fish of an elusive dream.”

Listening for Loons

By Gary Lawless


wild roses down

to the water

one loon alone

northeast of the island



water lily or

loon white

on the water both


flowers flowers

on the surface of

this world


like loons we dive under

dive under and

come up somewhere else


every night now

i listen for loons

to hear their voices

to leave this body

to return to stars

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © Gary Lawless. Reprinted from “Listening for Loons,” by permission of Gary Lawless. Questions about Take Heart, which is no longer accepting submissions, may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected]