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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 tress,
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

To strip off the physical,
and stand naked with
my essence exposed,
To become the wildness
of nature, of chaos,
To be the running river,
the singing stream,
To be the wave that roars
over the rocks by the shore,
To be the rock that accepts
stoically, the wave of change,

This is my dream.


Come, let us go, while we are in our
And take the harmless folly of the time!
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
And, as a vapour or a drop of rain,
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,
So when or you or I are made.....
A fable, song or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drowned within us in endless night.
Them, while time serves, and we are but
Come, my Corrina, come, let's go a-Maying.

Robert Herrick, (1648)

Thanks to P J Nair

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