Monday, February 15, 2010

Dreams - February 15, 2010

When the rain is over

I go to the woods...

And the creeks!

...Now they are swollen and driven with muds and


they sense ahead-and desire it-

A new life in a new land...

...they remind me of...

Two great -uncles who went west years ago

And got lost in Colorado...

...watching the tame creeks boil away,

My heart in sympathy pounds like a quick hoof.

I think with pride of my uncles who went west

Full of hope and vision;

I think they became healthy as animals, and rich

as their dreams

Before they turned some corner and became

Two graves under the leaves.

It is not clear to me in this poem if the two uncles died in Colorado pursuing their dreams, or perhaps some decades into their older years. I want to know if the richness of deep meaning and purpose accompanied them all their years, or if they gave into the softness of tamed compromise. Either way, the tame creek or the swollen river, they both flow into the ocean where all become one, and in that knowing, all becomes won.

What dreams to you have that you pursue? Do you tame your passion because the next moment you may find disappointment, fear, or death?


  1. Well, I just commented in the last selection that I tamed and delayed my passion for fear of messing up the surgery, which probably isn't possible, anyway. As a result I am facing disappointment. It will pass.

    Disappointment doesn't stop me but realistic fears and death do. I follow driving rules of the road to avoid death. I will handle most any spider, insect, or snake except the poisonous ones. I consider that a realistic fear. When a black widow spider was found by my house, we captured it in a clear container and examined it closly enough without holding it before turning it loose in the woods.

  2. My wife and I have 'gone west', sailing by wind and human power in dangerous waters; healthy as animals and rich as our dreams.

    All prudence and plans will one day go awry, and we, too, shall become two graves. Perhaps a bit earlier for us, a bit later for those who accept no risk.

    But, if there is an end to life, isn't it better to have lived? And if not, get on with it!

  3. Thanks Dave for writing in about your inspirited journey west. Where are you now?


  4. Hi LoraKim,

    We're in Warmsprings Bay, in SE Alaska. The journey west was metaphorical for me... I'm only about 30 miles west of where I was born.

    Anke's from Germany, though (eastern hemisphere), so her journey was considerable!

    We're caretaking a lodge for the winter, but spring is lapping at our shores. The swans and geese have come through... hummingbirds any day now.

    Thanks for posting this poem, I was searching for it online, which led to your site. Mary Oliver is one of those rare poets who confers a gift with every poem.