Thin skeins of geese

pull against the low sky.

This is the season of

            blood in the sunsets.

This is the season

            of long whistling

            embraces of wind.

It is the time of

            lengthening shadows

and thick mists on big waters. 

I am listening to the

            wishboning of wings

            in the cool air

and my blood stirs to a pull

            stronger than my own history. 

I am thinking of migration today -

            my life a pause,

            a gathering of strengths,

            a tensing of muscles

                        and a blind instinct for flight. 

I am thinking of the

            raw moment

                        where intent becomes movement;

                        where everything

                                    is irrevocably changed. 

What wild defiance in me

            knows that it is

                        time for migration? 

What servile restraint

            keeps me here

            even with the geese

            singing down my bones? 

What tips the balance between the two? 

Geese do not waste effort

            in cogitation of

            such matters.

Migration is not a choice -

it’s the way geese live. 

Absolute choice

            is a trick of consciousness

            taught by the fear

            of losing what

            we are leaving.

Migration is a spiral -

            not a line stretched between two points.

There is no leaving

            that is not also a returning. 

Geese swim in the liquid sky.

            The wind laps against me.

Exuberant goose chimes

            jangle the autumn afternoon,

fading to the south,

and in silence I follow.

R.S. Russell
Migration ~ NuPastel & Charcoal, R.S. Russell