Wild Geese and Woodsmoke
The days are getting shorter and the geese are on the wing,
And there's just a trace of woodsmoke in the air,
And I just can't help but wonder if my life means anything,
And the drudgery seems more than I can bear.
I don't object to comfort, but I know there's just one cure
For the restless feeling in my soles and soul,
As I stare into the mirror and I wish I could be sure
I'm not looking at another faceless troll.
Have I faced my share of dragons? Have I fought my share of wars?
Can I say the scars I carry are enough?
Or have I become a creature who shuns the out of doors,
And whimpers when the bedclothes are too rough?
The wild geese sing their siren song of places far away
And the woodsmoke speaks of campfires yet unbuilt;
The bright boots in the corner should be caked with muddy clay,
And my fingers ache to grasp a weapon's hilt.
There are roads I've yet to travel; there are seas I've yet to sail;
There are fights and loves I've still to win and lose,
And I know I won't rest easy 'till I'm camped beside the trail
With dust that's unfamiliar on my shoes.
So I go about my business, and pretend that I don't hear,
And settle for the peace that I can get,
While the woodsmoke fills my head and whispers of the coming year,
And the wild geese sing that it's not over yet.
Paul Haynie 5/29/2003
When I finished "When the Tall Man Speaks", I knew that I was in a position to quit the game. I had no idea of what I wanted to do for the eighth poem, and "Equinox" could do double duty, so I didn't worry about it much. I did write another closely related poem ("Wild Hunt's Justice") in October, but it really didn't feel like the Mabon poem to go with this cycle. So it remained a seven poem cycle for just under two years, and then this poem landed on me, and it was VERY clear that it was the missing eighth poem of the cycle. It is also the most intensely personal poem of the cycle.