This morning I see a goose moving steadily across a leaden sky, alone, strong in its purpose. The muse to my mind today.
I am goose
flying slow over the good earth
of forests, fields, lakes,
flying fast and high above ruins,
mangled, bloodstained earth.
I move north, I move south
cruising along clear ancestral trails in air.
Now I am Greylag, a thousand years more
and I am Canada, Snowy, Bean, African, Nene.
My ways never change with the cosmic dust that forms me,
though outward feathers, powerful feet,
beak, eyes, the blood that pumps me in my flight
renews in form every now and again.
I am always of the goose spirit
I am always of the Earth
I am woman, one of a kind
moving as I choose across the Earth but once.
Spirit made form, linked into her pulsing tempest of a life.
Sometimes it is pleasant, assured like goose
that the outlines of life, the existential forms,
the patterns that my growing years provided me
will guide me to where I need to be. But also
to hold me in my joy, my achieving,
my love, my sorrow, my rest.
Sometimes it turns vile, uprooting
my innermost being, that which is my soul and
tossing me through rhythmic tempests
like ocean waves seeking rocks
to beat themselves upon.
Infinity flows for me like watery waves,
in determination I do not die upon the rocks,
though my surviving means struggle
that almost tears my heart from me before
I stretch and hurt and grow.
My being resolves itself, like water smoothing after storm.
Patterns within this changing life go rising into
a place of unfamiliarity where I grasp at shadows
and seek again, again, again.
At last I sense a life line, and hold to my creative soul
to grow with each strange new pull and push —
all that nourishes a soul.
That which teaches me how to use one.
Once renewed, I sense there are two natures in a human:
The material, the warmth, the jobs, the homes,
the meals, the schools and jobs and bus stops,
the apples and the cookies
that point a family along its measured way.
What in their lack, for too many Earth dwellers,
makes choices in their suffering the sharper edged.
For who in their own hunger, whose children starve and shiver,
can think of things like schools and concerts,
great books or blogs? No more of the love
for fellow human except what is their own…
The fight for life is over a bit of moldy bread.
Humane-ness has missed those born along this way.
Choices are so few. To live, to die, to eat, to give that
small heap of crumbs, a few more hours, to another.
A man whipped in this condition
may feed his heart with hate.
Goose has no choice but to follow
her ancestral patterns
But I, woman of a certain standing,
have my choice and what I do next
makes a determined survivor
or a terrorist out of me
Spirit nature, balanced with material at birth.
All of us born as pure, clean beings
the twin natures each ready to be engraved
with life’s experiences.
At first absorbed by need and fulfillment
like high flying goose, no choice
but to seek what we need to survive.
Loving arms to hold and warm and feed and clean us,
Bringing us into sunshine, snow, ocean, mountain.
To family, to mingle with others of our own small size, to play,
then on to learning games, the strategies of life.
Older, when we make the choices of where, what, who, how.
The result of this is life. Our choices, our resulting selves.
Life lived with others, each having its effects upon all else.
Hardly one of us senses our secret powers to influence.
While some few veer far off the other end,
microbes who would be kings.
The color of my skin makes no more difference in me
than the patterns of shades in feathers does for goose
in her moments of cleaving across wherever skies.
But if she lands in mire, that goose will never fly again.
Spirit and material in balance in a life,
opens to love and grace, to share both gifts like a spring
emptying itself and constantly being refilled.
“Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity.”
I am goose, my gratitude is
in being who I am, going where I must.
If I delight a heart along my way
I do not know it, though my kind
may be the richer for it.
I am woman, my gratitude is
in sharing who I am, a wee speck
in an immense force
working quietly, mysteriously, unstoppably
drawing life into bright and balanced web,
each unique iota providing what
nourishes and supports the other bits,
the rest of everything that ever is, was, will be.
From goose to woman and
all between, above, below, around
and every other side to which we are exposed.
I salute you, Goose…