"Remember that a kick in the ass is a step forward."
I'm putting two entries into Poetry Thursday today. I'm feeling rather discombobulated this morning as despite my furious believing in it, my manuscript received it's first rejection letter. (The blow was softened somewhat by my parents each getting on an extension when they called to tell me about it (they're my Canadian contact.) It was very sweet of them.) Last night I felt sorry for myself and my precious book. Today I'm letting myself feel a little sad before I kick start the whole process again. (Why does that process have to be SO HARD?! I mean, it's harder than writing the bloody book!) So today this first poem is me going back to basics - to a children's poetry writer I love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
This bridge will only take you halfway there
To those mysterious lands you long to see
Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk awhile with me and share
the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I've known.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there -
The last few steps you'll have to take alone.
I have just spent an amazing hour meeting a poet. I cannot say enough about how much I love this woman's poetry. I wonder how I missed her in my university years? I suppose once again it was my angel-book-therapist who held her back from me until I was ready for her. Now that I am, I have been reeling with recognition.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
- Mary Oliver
(P.S. Tara Dawn is starting a Creativity Exchange - it looks like it could be really inspiring!!)