Fall is my favorite season (which may or may not be because my birthday is in October), and I feel blessed and grateful that I live in an area where fall rushes in a wild riot of color: Tennessee has delightful distinctions between the seasons.
Fall is a time of change, of transformation and turning inward for me. Reflection on life and little kindnesses. I’m surrounded by so much beauty in East Tennessee that I have to remind myself to slow down, look around, listen and lean on what enriches my life: for me, that is poetry.
I think Mary Oliver is one of the best poets writing about the natural world that’s ever picked up a pen – but that’s just my opinion. Here’s a fulfilling fall poem – let us know what you think and post what poems and poets you’d like to see here.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
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.
Complimentary Autumn Colors Aqua and Orange creative commons by D. Sharon Pruitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Tomi L. Wiley is the Poetry and Short Fiction Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee.com. She has written and edited for media including Southern Living and Oxford American magazines, has been published in the literary anthologies Milk & Ink: a Mosaic of Motherhood, Telling Tales, Maypop and the Southeast Review, has coordinated panels for the Southern Festival of Books, spoken on the creative writing process at Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a past president of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. She lives in Knoxville, where she is writing her first novel with the help of lots of wine, goat cheese and the Barefoot Contessa.