Of my childhood,
Down a passage of rocks
And cut-work ferns,
Came here and there
To the swirl
Of a pool
And I say myself–
As I knelt at one–
Then I saw myself
As if carried away,
As the river moved on.
Where have I gone?
I have looked and looked
Who I am, or where,
Or, more importantly, why.
I have had a wonderful life.
Still, I ponder
Where that other is–
Where I landed,
What I thought, what I did,
What small or even maybe meaningful deeds
I might have accomplished
Coming to them
As only a river can–
Touching every life it meets–
That endlessly kind, that enduring.
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.
4 years ago today I met this silly soul, and here we are.
Excerpt from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. I did this when we first moved to Philadelphia.. there’s a bridge there named after Whitman. Now I’m watching Breaking Bad for the first time and there’s a whole new association to this poem!
Sleeping In The Forest
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
– Mary Oliver