When it was Sue's turn to share, she read a poem titled Wild Geese by Wendell Berry.
The Wild Geese
by Wendell Berry
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
I'd like to add another poem with the same title by Mary Oliver:
by Mary Oliver
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.
Two of my favorite poets have written poems about wild geese. I notice that whenever I see wild geese flying overhead I stop what I am doing and find myself transfixed by their spirits, their energy, their voices. My mind seems to jump a thousand feet in the air and my imagination begins to migrate north or south, depending on the season. Geese have the power to pull me out of my small human mind.
And, finally, to this Tuesday's meeting, Sue brought some exquisite white currants and scrumptious plums. Thanks Sue!