October 31, 2014

Migrating Birds

That summer with its total lie;
O pang we learned at autumn's hands.
Under the cloudscape, slow and high,
A blackwing bird before my eye
Wheeling for southern lands.

The wildgeese magicked into flight,
The clamoring cries of cranes that soar
Over the land in gilded light.
And then the shadow pulled down tight
In winter blackout till they trek once more.

Sensitive heart, senses laid bare!
You have no nest in east or west,
Landsick and restless here as there.
Just learn to love life everywhere
Or what is left of life and rest.

--- Hubert van Herreweghen
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

October 17, 2014


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

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