Dec 13, 2009

My Heart Knows What the Wild Goose Knows

The Canadian Branta is the common wild goose to America. Their honks are a beacon of changing seasons as they journey over Arkansas, and I love to listen. Here's a simple sonnet and reference to a  haunting folk song by Terry Gilkyson (1916-1999) that my mother sang for years. "Flip-flop, hurry up, take to the sky. Wish I had wings so I could fly........Wild goose, brother goose. Which is best? A wandering fool or a heart at rest?" My mother was a wanderer.

My Heart Knows…..

Sing your rough song, o wayfaring Branta
Which at grey dawn and dusk, pulls at my heart.
Far rhythmic discordant tune of patois
Pulls me up from my chair; seeking, I dart.

A patch of clear sky, wings glimpsed; stroke, move on.
In darkness of night or slick icy sleet
No iron compass guides the living chevron
From Canada's stone to wide meadow sweet.

The doors of this house, my shackles, fling wide.
I follow your trail, freedom seductive.
I sing of your courage, faith mystified.
Too swiftly you fly, I stumble, submissive.

Oh come again, wild grey feathers and song,
I shall plant new wheat and deepen the pond.

The links are Frankie Laine singing the song....though folk singers
sang it slower. And the bio for Gilkyson.

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