life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

goodness runs wild everywhere 

Too bad you weren’t here six months ago,

was a lament I heard on my visit to Nebraska.

You could have seen the astonishing spectacle

of the sandhill cranes,

thousands of them

feeding and even dancing

on the shores of the Platte River.

There was no point in pointing out

the impossibility of my being there then

because I happened to be somewhere else,

so I nodded and put on a look of mild disappointment

if only to be part of the commiseration.


It was the same look I remember wearing

about six months ago in Georgia

when I was told that I had just missed

the spectacular annual outburst of azaleas,

brilliant against the green backdrop of spring


and the same in Vermont six months before that

when I arrived shortly after

the magnificent foliage had gloriously peaked,

Mother Nature,

as she is called,

having touched the hills with her many-colored brush,

a phenomenon that occurs,

like the others,

around the same time every year when I am apparently off

in another state,

stuck in a motel lobby

with the local paper and a styrofoam cup of coffee,

busily missing God knows what.

The Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska by Billy Collins

On vacation I witnessed
birds and whales

that had traveled farther than I.
They take with them

their memories, their songs

and the sacred longing
that guides their migrations,

that leads me

in all my rambling,
the silent knowing

that seems like hunger,

seems like not knowing,
the sure desultory path

that is life, the way

that is the blessing,
the holy wandering

to life that awaits,

always toward you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

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