Snow Geese: Miscellaneous Poems and Pictures
February 8, 2017
“The sound of geese in the distance,
in our minds
we rise up
and move on.”
— Robert Sund, “Spring Poem in the Skagit Valley”
“Wild Geese Alighting on a Lake”
by Anne Porter, from Living Things
I watched them
As they neared the lake
In a wide arc
With beating wings
They put their wings to sleep
And glided downward in a drift
Of pure abandonment
Until they touched
The surface of the lake
Composed their wings
On the rippling water
As though it were a nest.
“Wild geese fly overhead.
They wrench my heart.
They were our friends in the old days.”
— Li Ch’ing Chao, translated by Kenneth Rexroth
I didn’t have much luck photographing snow geese on my most recent visits to the Skagit Valley. I saw only a couple of flocks, and they were in distant fields. I could not drive closer. I love to witness big flocks taking to the skies, whirling around, and settling again. How do they swarm and yet not run into each other? I am always reminded of M.C Escher’s prints of birds:
In past years, I’ve gotten closer and came away with some photos that captured the breathtaking whirlwind of wings. One of my snow geese photos was chosen for the cover of Bearings Magazine‘s Autumn 2016 issue (it’s a publication of the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota).