Flesh to Fur, Feathers to Flight

For My Flesh Had Turned to Fur and My Thoughts They Surely WereTurned to Instinct and Obedience to God... --Blitzen Trapper, "Furr"
These wild swans Yeats writes about in the poem below, to me, are the family of geese...now much more than a gaggle at almost 20, who fly and float upon the man-made pond behind my workplace, in an office park of three-story corporations, near the highway, the hospital, restaurants, and newly minted roads, where we, humans that we are, try and circle in around the wilderness, in awe and envious of the wildness, the instinct, the effortless ease of nature, of creatures who answer to no one but ancient orders held in their bones--indestructible even as hunter's bullets fly, as acres of grass and trees and water turn to cement and manicured versions of forest, as their enemies turn from hungry alligators to the roar of shining cars speeding to Starbucks.

For they have never known, or maybe have always known, the tyranny of the ego, of measured days, of rakes, and iPods, and e-mails...now they know only that air suspends them, wind and water carry them, worms live in the grass, strength comes in numbers, and the pond is cool and giving as they float from one end of the man-made lake to the other--while featherless, pale creatures come and go, buzzing with a longing and fear that engenders just the slightest bit of sympathy in their tiny hearts, if sympathy they could feel, if they even had to write down and put into words that love, ah love, is more important than knowledge, and how could they forget-- how could they forget--something they never had to remember?

The Wild Swans At Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodlands paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.

All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;

Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away? 

"The Wild Swans at Coole" by W.B. Yeats, from Collected Poems. Public domain.

{Image Sources-Girl with Fawns: We Heart It; Mom and Daughter Feeding Geese: We Heart It; Figure with Swans : We Heart It via Ali Scarpulla Flickr; Geese at Target: We Heart It via Swiss Miss; Cloaked Girl With Swans: We Heart It via Inspires Tumblr; Girl Holding Swans: We Heart It via Tybx Tumblr; Wild Goose Chase: We Heart It via Fiona Watson Art Flickr }

Comments

Anonymous said…
Superb blog. Beautiful lines. Beautiful poetry. Congratulations!
Run out of words!
Beautiful pictures, but what impressed me most, is the girl with the two swans in arms!
Magnificent picture!

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