I read this poem by Mary Oliver on Honey at the Table and I just had to post it here. It’s beautiful. (She happens to have some beautifully appropriate photos posted with it). Thanks for the inspiration! I think I need to pick up a book of Mary Oliver’s poems…
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.
~ Mary Oliver
Here’s a poem that my friend Kerilyn wrote for me and about me back in 2005 (!). She just came across it and I thought I’d share. I love it!
From the Serengeti she arrived
Barebacked and frolicking
in the sporadic wildflowers that seem to
purple and full of life
Reminding us of the beauty found in the
Strangest of places.
Billions of stones in little fractions under Her feet
Gladly reminding us Of her presence…
Wild and untamed this girl is
Shown to us by flocks of tendrils
flying in the direction of the sun…
while her exquisite complexity
is revealed as a gift if you are quiet
and still enough to see thru the veil,
the mirage of this world.
So clear to me.
this Serengeti girl
taught to survive on pure wit and strength of will brought on by seasons
of running with the lions.
While I am sure you see her fierceness as a testament to her position in the pack…
you miss the infinity of moments where her gentleness would
and does bring definition.. and clarity to her person.
And stare.. cause just like the wind uses the mountains Of sand as it’s clock..
Her beauty is revealed as she explores.
This desolate and solemn world..
I can see her..
Poem by Kerilyn Fox (Russo) *the Russo will take me a while to get used to
Tipping her head back, she roared out
a laugh that was
Pain and defeat , rage and amusement.
She saw him in the stark light
At this moment
And felt the truth embrace her.
His tragic being glistening for her to see
As he slowly dripped crocodile tears
into the bay of emptiness around him.
He was nothing, she realized as she walked away.
Disclaimer: This isn’t about anyone I know. The love of my life does indeed piss me off sometimes, but the above is not him. Just inspired by a song.
I followed you through the dark winding street
Water dripping at my heels and sounds pulsing from my chest.
I donâ€™t think you heard them though.
Never allowing less than seventeen yards between us,
I wondered if you knew I was there.
If you did, you never let on
Your step never quickened and your neck never swung back to look
It felt like a dream but I think I was really there. And I didn’t dream tonight.
Maybe I was only visiting your dreams; maybe the dream king shared the memory with me
And now youâ€™re left with me in your dream, though you never looked back.
I wonder if you remember me.
I can still smell the rain on the dirt covered cement and the beer drifting out of the lazy dark bars.
First draft – working…
All those moments will be lost in time
Like tears in rain.
– Rutger Hauer, as Roy, in Blade Runner
You dreamed you were God
and awoke alone and cold.
Large giant of perception
with fingers of fire
Striking down the weak
around him. Fierce energy.
Your voice must have washed
through his empty intestines
as he became you
and in waking life
as you walk tall and speak sure.
God in your gaze and in the
notes and waves that swirl
from your tongue
Wrapping around everything
within and without reach.
Whose god was it that I heard
whisper prophetic truths to me
in the night?
Was it you, love?
I fall back into dreamland
with one eye open and no dreams.
I’m feeling soft tonight.
I feel like there are all these little soft spots and empty pockets around me and in me and on me that are yearning to be filled up.
I’m missing places that I wish I could hold onto better, though I know that’s really never the answer.
I’m missing friends who I don’t speak to enough, don’t see enough, don’t laugh with enough.
I’m missing the ones who I fear I’ve let slip away.
I’m missing the ones I’ve held at arms length.
I’m missing the deep, into-the-wee-hours conversations that make you rethink life and the world and what you are doing in the next day or week or hour.
I’m missing freedom and lack of schedules.
I’m missing hours of fresh air each day and sitting to watch the sunlight in the trees change into the gloaming as night approaches.
I’m not sad though.
I just feel soft and a little achey for these things.
Maybe it’s dream time…soft silhouettes and rich colors, sounds we never hear in waking life and fabulous touches unknown in the day…