You Do Not Have to Be Good

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

Malingering

The streets that I stray…

dusty with emerald mystery.

Still they call my name.

All thoughts and fears…

pebbled with blind trust.

To be a wild winged bird…

I would not know where to start.

To whisper into the wind…

I would not know where to begin.

Drifting has become a part of my woolen and woodsy need to be there.

With every nesting squirrel.

With all wild lingerers…

I roam just to be.

Tomorrow from the Trees

Fast and current the muddied water

a flutter by,

a brown cardinal,

singing, heroically from a petrified tree.

Tomorrow will not be there for me.

Tomorrow will not be there for me.

In the dance of a well tuned song,

the grackle,

the squirrel,

in fury,

sing,

Tomorrow will not be here for me.

Tomorrow I will not sing to thee.

Skinny Dips

The road it took to get here,

had been some spare change on the ground.

An unlucky penny head side down.

A permanent ride behind a wheel.

The further back the seat?

The less I would feel.

A field of ragweed.

An all it sheds.

Fueling the dander in my head.

Visions of vivid lovers…telling me,

Learn differently then the others.

The road it took to get here.

Bohemian quips.

Family ties.

Sinking an already sunken ship.

The road it took to get here.

Began with sharp curves…skinny dips.

The road it took to get here.

Had been man-made…

No matter the seat in which I sit.

Therefore, it will never be a perfect fit.

Handles of Freedom

A fray, a strand, a clinging leaf, a handle.

What the cost of freedom?

Do I hang to all the is given to me, as though, it were my last breath?

Do I become everything expected of me?

Though it makes my movement less.

Years before my age, the distance of choice, further and further out of reach.

I am as free today…as I will ever be.

I dangle from fresh, baby pine.

I spin my web as I choose.

I do not need to enter the roads in which I have been led.