What I am Not (For Mary)

This poem is dedicated to my favorite Virgo naturalist poet, Mary Oliver.  It can be seen as a personal literary response to two of my favorite poems: Wild Geese & When Death Comes.  Thank you Mary, you touch us all with the grace of your words.

IMG_2150
photo by Marisa White

What I am Not

(For Mary)

 

I am tired of being good.

What I want is

 

To howl

a sound

loud

guttural

and furious 

 

To paint 

the melancholy of my dreams

in the horizon

and grieve properly 

the death of the moon

with daily reverence

 

I don’t want to be good.

 

What I need is 

 

To give free

and generous

until my hands are 

callous

gnarled

and lifeless

 

To birth

the visions of my heart

so completely

that one day

I am 

healed

and can disappear

 

What I wish is

 

To leave 

this earth 

still dripping

in sweat

and tears 

shattered 

and whole

at the same time

 

To arrive

at the edge

of my life

with scars

and crevices

So deep

that the gods will see

i did the work

I was meant to

 

I will never be good.

 

What I am is

 

An animal of nature

with a song

inside me

strong

as 1,000 suns 

whose cry

is as piercing

as the darkest

night of winter

 

I am a wild but steady creature 

of the earth

with a wellspring 

of desire to 

to live 

unabashed

A curious life 

so full and loved

That my last words

Will be: 

I’m not finished.

 

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s