A few weeks ago I started hearing the distant, doleful sounds of geese flying overhead. They're already heading south. Early, it seems. What do they know that we don't? With the incredibly atypical weather we had last year, I'm wondering if perhaps we will be clobbered this coming winter?
In honor of the the intrepid travelers heading away from New Hampshire, I offer you this poem by Mary Oliver from Dream Work (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986):
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
The geese are heading home? Where is home? North or south? Does it matter?
I have written some poems inspired by wild geese (who hasn't?), this one I posted in 2009, and this haiga is from 2010.
Here's a geese-related comic from Harry Bliss.
Today's Round-Up is taking place at Write. Sketch. Repeat., and next week, the Poetry Friday Round-Up will be held right here!
Hiroshige print courtesy Library of Congress.