I know the damn things are just geese--
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White feathers, webbed feet, and that honk,
But some compartment in my brain
Makes everything into a symbol
And the white flock covering the corn field,
The crazy designs they make in the sky,
Reek of esoteric speech to me.
I could go to the doctor:
Doc, is there a disease
That makes you re-interpret everything?
That renders raw experience into clumps of meaning
Before I get to see it for what it is?
But by that time,
A snake is slithering around his neck,
The lighthouses on the wallpaper
Refer to that trip with the family,
And the song on the radio out in the hall
Is a message directly for me.
Everything on the surface
Gives way to endless depths.
Is it schizophrenia, fantasy,
Or hidden truths revealed?
And if I yell as loud as I can
And run over stubble at the geese,
What awesome thing sees me
Through those distant eyes?
When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis. ---H. D. Thoreau