Heading Home Again


I cannot write as Mary Oliver has written

About snow geese and the song of dawn

Over a living pond far away,

Because she’s far away from me

Now more than ever, more than forever


She commanded nature by

Never giving orders

She sensed through more than senses

All she met and came to understand

I think we can rely on her, through

Words and more she left us


I wish like wishing on a star

That I could have sat with her just once

Maybe we would not have been good company

My inclination would have been

To do little more than listen

And maybe she would not have left it that way

But like nature as she cast it

Only settled for full participation


In my place under town lights

I cannot see the stars

But on the inside I can travel like Thoreau

And other theories

And read her words to let them sink

Like stones returning home from the rim they

Had been cast upon, long ago


We can all love the world better

Through our pastored mischief-making

There is need for redemption

But we need to look more closely, all the while

To remember all the places where love sits

Or rises now and then to play


All the people who will take us home

Or simply push on gliders made by wind

As we arrive


C L Couch



Oliver lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Hobe Sound, Florida, until her death in early 2019 [which is now]. She was 83.



Wild Geese


Mary Oliver



John Fowler [destined, if not predetestined] from Placitas, NM, USA – Snow Geese, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24663639

Incoming snow geese fill the dawn sky at Bosque del Apache.