Wild Geese

Beloved poet Mary Oliver passed away on Thursday at the age of 83.  Oliver’s poems were much inspired by the link between the natural world and spirituality.

When I read her poem Wild Geese back in 2015, it stirred me to write about my feelings of belonging, or lack thereof, and of my own place in the world.

Having lived through a number of moves, changes, and upheavals, my transitions often deemed me as a newcomer who will probably always feel a little like someone on the outside, looking in.*

Yet, when I read that poem and let the words sink in, they seem to grant me the freedom to love and experience all the things that mean the most to me. I can now belong in this life I’ve created, just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe, to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.*

Of course, Mary Oliver said it better than I ever could:

photo: jenniferkellandperry.com

*Excerpts from my blog post: Belonging, March 12, 2015.
Many of the comments on your own feelings of belonging were a real eye-opener for me!

What is “your place in the family of things”?

Birds of a Feather

Hi, Readers and Bloggers…
Because I just got back from vacation and have a few pressing things on my to do list, I decided to publish a poem from my creative writing course archive.  I will return to post a more current entry to my blog in a day or so.        – Jennifer

Birds of a Feather

Why are they afraid
of being individuals?
look at them, not unlike
a brood of chickens
scratching and pecking
at the outsider
feeling safe and unthreatened
in their numbers,
only trusting
the familiar.

The old hens cluck
their tongues, wagging their fingers
in unison, then
turn to preen themselves
once again.
The cocky roosters strut,
look to each other for support
as they begin to crow, then
look to their feet of clay
for lack of anything
more original.

They shun me,
for I have chosen to
stand apart
to sing my own song
no longer content to huddle as
a nonentity among the flock.
I have sprung the cage open
and flown free
lonely at times, but released
as only an individual can be,
never looking back.