Arts & Leisure

Poet’s corner: A wild togetherness

TWO PIECES OF DRIFTWOOD

Let them find us, years from now, washed of color, eased of burden, elegantly perched side-by-side:

Two pieces of driftwood at rest in the high desert.

And when that day comes, in that ineluctable present, let them falsely imagine that our journeys here

were straightforward. That our independent migrations somehow synchronized. A history of wild togetherness.

But o god please also let them sense the truth of it.

A remote yet unmistakable, unhindered astonishment at our having arrived here (together) at all.

At the impossibly boundless navigation of the heart. For that is what this is. Impossible and possible.

A story with the same beginning, middle, and end: Here we are. Here we are. Here we are.

— Lucas Farrell

This poem was originally published in Lucas’s book “The Blue Collar Sun,” published by Green Writers Press in 2021.

Lucas Farrell lives in Townshend, Vt., where he and his wife own and operate Big Picture Farm, a small hillside goat dairy and award- winning farmstead confectionery. He is the author of two books of poetry: “The Blue Collar Sun” (Green Writers Press, 2021), which won the Sundog Poetry Award, as well as “The Many Woods of Grief” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011), which was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry. He has two daughters.

 

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This poem by Lucas Farrell feels like a micro story of the universe and all that happens when things are allowed to unfold in their own way. It holds at least two narratives — one suggesting the movement of human beings around the planet, city to city, continent to continent to somehow land next to each other as if that was the plan all along — and the kind of beautiful partnership that can come of that. And another narrative that speaks of the physical world with its shifts of earth, air and water constantly moving natural features around. Glacial erratic in the form of two or three giant boulders might end up in a vast pine forest. Littoral shifts can move parts of a beach by miles in a matter of months. We find two-hundred year old pines in our northeastern forests with roots wrapped around boulders in an unbreakable embrace. Or, as in our poem, two pieces of driftwood find each other in the high desert.

When deserts, mountains and water bodies and all that live within them are allowed to be tossed, rolled, or heaved to the spot they are meant to be, a kind of order and beauty is born. This poem feels like a celebration of those natural rhythms and events found in the human and nonhuman worlds. It feels like an argument for letting the unbridled find its way, for the encouragement of the “impossible and possible,” as the speaker says, not by interference or excessive guidance, but by following a deeper knowing — one that lives inside us and inside anything natural or alive. This is a celebration of heart and of soul, and the wellbeing and right path that can come from listening to them.

And so we too, when left to follow our natural way, our inner design, or our soul’s code might find our way to be where, and with whom, we are meant to be. To be and express what we came here for. It’s an old story, as old as the deserts and mountains, one worth following to the end.

 

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