Wild Geese: A Poem 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.

Listen to me read Wild Geese

colors

deep in my earth your words survive

there beneath

the ageless,

the night,

the moon’s silken eyes

deep in my earth your words quietly stroke

a palace of blues,

of grays,

of an artist reborn

as a lover awoke

Colors – Black Pumas

let us slumber

let us slumber in the moonlight of our mind

where feathers drift with honeyed dreams in the quiver of breath before a dawn

then sail upon what it is we may find

let us slumber in the brewing of loons

beneath camomile leaves and northern winds crawling

let us make our own cocoon


let us slumber in twilight’s cloak

in essence of birds in flight

ne’er weary of our path

straddling the sway of our yoke


let us slumber in crescent moon

where love bathes softly

breathing swiftly more

in a summer heat where we forever swoon

listen to me read let us slumber
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