Who Are You Really Wanderer?

It has been awhile since I posted a WIlliam Stafford poem. Coincindentally, if there is such a thing, I just found out that William’s 100th birthday would have been on January 17, and friends here in Oregon have been hosting events in his honor. For more info go here: http://stafford100.org/.

Or, you might enjoy reading one of his poems. I’m sending this poem out to all of the bloggers at http://shoe1000.wordpress.com/.

First Grade

Because we live on opposite coasts, the time I spend with my family is precious.

Perhaps as we get older and realize how quickly time is moving and how mistakes we’ve made stole some of that time away, it’s even more desirable to be around those who share our past, helping to bring into focus the people, places and events that tell the story of our lives.

When I was young, there was no part I could play that seemed to fit, so I tried to stay on the sidelines, but that didn’t fit either. When I first read WIlliam Stafford’s poem, First Grade, I laughed knowing that I had been Amy for a long time, and yet, my family never gave up on me. I owe them a lot for that.

They never remind me now of how difficult I could be and even now would probably say I was just being “Deb.” But the changes which slowly came, allowing me to embrace life, bring with it an increased desire for closeness and a feeling of gratitude for their love and their presence. I look forward to spending the next week or so with my sister and my niece and am very thankful that my husband enjoys these family visits too.

Here’s to my family and the play, the one that I now gratefully take part in.

I’ll be offline for the next week or so…

FIRST GRADE

William Stafford

In the play Amy didn’t want to be
anybody; so she managed the curtain.
Sharon wanted to be Amy. But Sam
wouldn’t let anybody be anybody else
he said it was wrong. “All right,” Steve said,
“I’ll be me but I don’t like it.”
So Amy was Amy, and we didn’t have the play.
And Sharon cried.

Allegiances

Allegiances

It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.

2013-04-06_14-18-05_51.jpgFar to the north, or indeed in any direction,

strange mountains and creatures have always lurked-

elves, goblins, trolls, and spiders: – we
encounter them in dread and wonder,

But once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold,
found some limit beyond the waterfall,
a season changes, and we come back, changed
but safe, quiet, grateful.

Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler’s ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.

William Stafford

Seaside

How far could you swim?

William Stafford

With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach

We would climb the highest dune,
from there to gaze and come down:
the ocean was performing;
we contributed our climb.

Waves leapfrogged and came
straight out of the storm.
What should our gaze mean?
Kit waited for me to decide.

Standing on such a hill,
what would you tell your child?
That was an absolute vista.
Those waves raced far, and cold.

‘How far could you swim, Daddy,
in such a storm?’
‘As far as was needed,’ I said,
and as I talked, I swam.

William Stafford

Wake Owl – Seaside

I was shaken, held the hand of you, 
looking at the bottom of my soul,
Crying out, crying out to who 
would lead from this place i didn’t know