Saturday, May 9, 2009

this poem made my cubicle endurable

A Slant Message

Tell them how tame geese lure wild ones
close, and then what happens. Go ahead,
explain. Give all the usual reasons
that people use for their treachery.

Far off, mingled with wind and rain, coasting
their strong wings clearly down a long

staircase of air, the wild ones turn arcs
of trust,
mated for life by their truth.

Sometimes I wake, my wings are set, dawn
has targeted my face, I hear voices
calling me in. My steep dive true
into the world ends my wide dream.

Faint all day in the sky, trails thrill
their way, like this, into my talk, my telling.

--William Stafford

I kept this poem tacked on the bulletin board in my office cubicle for years. Long time ago now, and most of the miseries in my work environments have now melted from memory. This poem is what remains clear and true. I still turn to it in my mind at times when I'm faltering or falling or failing. There is validation here that bypasses acceptance for awareness. A strength that I've collected from this poem comes from the independence that breathes through it and its defiant secret that I share, mourn and embrace.



Lover of Life said...

Beautiful and meaningful but now I'm wondering - what do the tame geese do to the wild ones? Or am I being obtuse?

Terry said...

Beautiful photo with the poem.
The cubicle world and I never seem to become one.I need room to move ,to be,to breathe.
I often endured knowing nothing could change the inside of me ,I was still myself inside that cubicle no matter what that little cubicle thought.I eventually became ill and that sent me to bed for a long time which ended my working in the cubicle but once I was on my feet again I stepped out in new directions.Perhaps if I had your poem I might have endured and come to terms with the little cubicle.

koe whitton-williams said...

This is wonderful. . . never to be tamed. Thanks for posting it Lydia

Lydia said...

@Lover of Life- Good question, since I've never been on a farm with tame geese. I think of the one in a favorite old movie "Friendly Persuasion." It was surly, sneaky, and spoiled. Those aren't qualities that wild geese should want. :)

@Terry- I was myself inside the cubicle, and fought to remain that way, just like you. I also had a hand-done sign on my bulletin of a kite with the words: A kite flies highest against the wind.It sounds as if you escaped sooner than I did. I also got sick, but afterward headed straight back to another cubicle. Ultimately it took my finishing my college degree to get me out of cubicle land.

@Koe W-W- You are so welcome. Now the poem belongs to you, too.

the watercats said...

The tame geese turn the wild geese fat and content, the wild spirit is gone and ultimately..tame geese usually end up one way, around christmas.. I really enjoyed this poem, it was strangely silent as I read it..(if that makes sense..)

Erin Davis said...

I can certainly see why this hung in your cubicle for years. I will show this to my husband. He doesn't have a cubicle, but will appreciate it nonetheless.

Rhiannon said...

Reminds me of how as a young adult (and 0n) I would get in my old vw bug, get on the freeway (Los angeles county) and drive 30 minutes to the ocean..when everyone else was driving back home from the ocean I "arrived" and walked the sands, no one there..and I would watch the sun go down and the moon come always brought me such a feeling of being free and one with the most important.."nature". I remember my family and most of the people I knew always mocked and made fun of my "independence" and "going off all alone on your own" and I used to feel sorry for them not really knowing their true selves nor understanding their own "true nature" so to mock mine.

I also used to drive up to the mountains,(Box canyon) going up near Simi Valley and would find a rocky little mountain top, pull over,park my car and walk up it to the other side and sit on the top by myself and just "watch" the sky, the clouds, hear and feel the trees, the soft winds, and feel "at one" and such a peace and connection with the "wild"...

I want to go back..thank you for the lovely poem and reminding me that I still have my "Free soul" within me, it's just been held back too much these days with repsonsibilities.


Lydia said...

@the watercats- Thank you for the explanation. I honestly could only guess what happened when wild geese hung out with tame ones.
Yes, what you said made sense to me. :)

@Erin- That's great that your husband might like this. You two are artists so no cubicles for you.....!

@Rhi - Truly, your beautiful comments are like a post themselves! I hope you might share this memory over at your blog. It's too beautiful to keep just here.....although I'll keep it well if that's where it stays.



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