Subdued still… Paris, Lebanon, Nigeria … and others

 

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…

Author: Rising Over the Smoke

Rising Over the Smoke is me looking for larger patterns, hidden meanings in what goes on all around us. The world gets more conflicted and confused from one year to the next, or so it seems. Some days life feels fresh, open, energized, connected, others more nuanced, confused, distanced, lethargic. To me writing is a way of exploring my place, and perhaps that of others. I am Baha’i, thus my thoughts are affected by my faith. Beliefs include independent investigation of truth, equality of men and women, the essential harmony between science and religion, that there is one God from whom all the world’s religions spring, that we diverse humans are all of one family. The Baha’i Faith is unlike other existing world religions as it does not claim to be the only “true” path or religion. The Baha’i Faith acknowledges all sacred traditions and religions as equal.

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