Wild Hair

April 15, 2009 § 6 Comments

geese20on20the20deltaToday’s prompt was different: take a favorite poem’s title, change it and use it as inspiration. I’m not well read, although I’m working to remedy that, but a poem immediately came to mind – Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese. When I first read it, four words almost stopped my heart. They still do.  What about you? Favorite poem?

Wild Geese

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.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

I chose the title Wild Hair for the prompt.

Just once
I’d like for things
to be themselves.
My salt shaker White Sands,
butter bloom like daffodils,
orange Jack-o-lantern grin and
daughter newly born.

Just once
I’d like for things
to fix themselves.
Bumpers smooth as Scottish hills,
windows bright like Star of Hope
fans helicopter smooth and
memories of Groundhog Day.

Just once
I’d like for us
to be set free.
Like Marlo and her friends.

Writer’s Digest prompt April 15, 2009

                                                                                                                Photo credit: Thea Hess

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§ 6 Responses to Wild Hair

  • Neil Reid says:

    I don’t have one favorite. I have many, many. But this is one.

    With Kit, Age Seven, At The Beach

    We would climb the highest dune,
    from there to gaze and come down:
    the ocean was performing;
    we contributed our climb.

    Waves leapfrogged and came
    straight out of the storm.
    What should our gaze mean?
    Kit waited for me to decide.

    Standing on such a hill,
    what would you tell your child?
    That was an absolute vista.
    Those waves raced far, and cold.

    “How far could you swim, Daddy,
    in such a storm?”
    “As far as was needed,” I said,
    and as I talked, I swam.

    William Stafford © The Darkness Around Us Is Deep

    And I’m not even a father, but maybe could wish, like this. And father or not, “and as I talked, I swam.”, is a state of being I would endeavor to realize.

    • Simple and beautiful. Why is the simple the most beautiful?

      • Neil Reid says:

        This is something of the essence of this man. It is not unreachable; it is something we can learn to embrace.

        And pardon this old log, pardon those who deem it trite, but if we allow a little room I think it applies.

        Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all
        you know on earth, and all you need to know.
        – Keats

  • DOMINO says:

    Mary Oliver’s poem is lovely.

    I want to be free like geese and Marlo too.

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