This week

This week has been crazy. Even my dreams have wild, sticking with me through the day. Still, the first day in this new home we were greeted by a gaggle of Canada geese marching down the street in front of our house & a dazzle of huge dragonflies flying back and forth behind the house. Two groundhogs were grazing in the grassy space down the slope, one or the other often sitting erect to check out the situation.

The Layers
By Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives, some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

Stanley Kunitz, "The Layers" from The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz. Copyright © 1978 by Stanley Kunitz.  Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Source: The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2002)


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7 thoughts on “This week

  1. Ah, you have been greeted to your new home by the animal kingdom and the plant kingdom and water and air!! All of nature is glad you’re there, knowing your appreciation for them. Such a beautiful new friendship!


  2. i am not done with my changes.

    Was there a photograph earlier in the day?, did i imagine it? i “saw” a photograph
    out your back ….across to a Tree

    i am so glad you have arrived.


  3. Bienvenida a tu nuevo casa Margery (Welcome to your new home Margery.)

    Someone once told me that we carry “home” within us so that no matter if we chose the move or had it chosen for us by circumstance, we have within us what we hold dear and that enables us to do all we can to turn a house into a home. Home, a place not only of walls and windows, but a place where what is outside, is just as meaningful as what is inside. Nature has greeted and welcomed you in such a special way – Canadian geese, dragonflies and ground hogs. In return, I know that when you plant your first seed in the ground, you will return the greeting.


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