I have been a little lax with my “poem a day” format and am finding it difficult to keep up with it and getting all the other things done that I want to get done (including working an eight hour day). So, I’m using the Daily Show format of Monday through Thursday (wasn’t posting anything for Sundays anyhow).
The point of this is enjoyment after all, and I wasn’t really enjoying it, or paying much attention to the poems, so I think a shortened version will help keep me on track (perhaps next month will only be a once a week poem, and by April it’ll be once a month – thus is the way with resolutions; the resolve dissolves).
Anyhow, Saturday, I’m turning into an optional entry day (they’re all optional really, but don’t tell anybody – our secret!). For my very favorite poems.
This one I loved from the moment I heard it. Truly wonderful! For me, it’s all about love and what really moves that inner part of us, that soft wild animal instinct part that needs to play and fly and dance and cuddle up with its loved ones. That part that is prone to tantrum (it’s mad as hell it’s not going to take it any more!!), that playful, anxious Loki part, that funny, messy child that loves to play with mud and will offer you a handful if you ask nicely. This poem is about giving yourself permission to accept that this messy, moody and immature part as also a wonderful beautiful and perfect self.
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to 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 your 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.