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#36709 - 03/13/04 05:13 AM Wild Geese
survive75 Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 304
Loc: Massachusetts
I found this poem today... in a catalog, of all things. And it hit me hard... and I thought that others might get something out of it here.

WILD GEESE by Mary Oliver

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.


"Even though I know/I donít want to know/Yeah I guess I know/I just hate how it sounds"

#36710 - 03/13/04 05:21 AM Re: Wild Geese
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1984
Loc: Flint, Michigan
That does hit you.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Something to remember.

Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

#36711 - 03/13/04 02:19 PM Re: Wild Geese
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
What a beautiful poem.

Thoughts of beauty and the feelings engendered heal me in places that nothing else can reach.


"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#36712 - 03/13/04 04:30 PM Re: Wild Geese
FlyWM Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Michigan
I really like that poem, and it does hit me. Thank you for posting it, I am glad I got to read it.


Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible in not a declaration, it's a dare.


#36713 - 03/13/04 09:14 PM Re: Wild Geese
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
This is what we do here. This is what we ARE here.

Thank you for sharing it. It's a good poem and a great sentiment.

Peace and love,


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#36714 - 03/13/04 09:59 PM Re: Wild Geese
Don-NY Offline

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Real Time

It's the most amazing thing.
As I clicked on this link, a large flock of birds descended onto the the two bare trees outside the window in front of me.

There were two crows sitting there, sitting there still, on the lowest branch of the closer tree.
They never even blinked, nor moved.

The gulls and terns that had been circling around all afternoon, disappeared.

The flock was decent sized birds, not sparrows, more like robin or jay sized, yet not a spot of color seen; more than a hundred for sure.

They flew down to the sunny lawn in groups; about a third or a fourth at a time.
Some pecked the ground for a moment, but all, all headed to the pond on the cover of the inground pool.

They drank their fill and returned to the lawn; in little groups, - 2, 3, 5 in a group - 4 or 5 groups at a time, coming and going to the water.
They maybe pecked some more or just stood waiting for the others to drink.

Now on the trip down from the tree, there was no sound.
They just sort of hopped off the tree and glided to the ground.

But each group taking off to return to the tree created a great rush of flapping and fluttering sounds.
I could hear the song of bird created wind.

There were about half a dozen trips from the tree to the ground.
Like every one got two shots.

Thirst satisfied, back in the trees and still, they all jumped upward and were gone.
The sound was wild and free.

I watched them get smaller and smaller.
The sea birds returned.

If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.


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