Why Geese Fly in a V-formation:

“Gramps, why do geese fly in a V?”

The pair were sitting together on a shoreline bench when they’d heard the loud honking behind them. Now, a flock of geese, in a telltale V formation, flew over their heads.

“That’s a very good question, Max,” the old man responded.

There was a pause as the older man and his grandson watched a sky filled with honking, flapping V’s sweep by.

“First, geese are cooperative creatures. By flying in a “V” form, they greatly reduce their collective air resistance and so increase their flight range.

Man and boy continued to stare upward as more and more formations of geese rushed past.

Gramps continued, “The goose at the head of the V is not necessarily the leader of the flock. Geese take turns leading. As one bird tires, it drops to the back of the formation and another takes its place. Flying in a V-form increases visibility as each bird can see what’s happening in front of them. Now that’s teamwork.”

The boy considered this information, then asked, “But why do they honk so much?”

Gramps smiled, “When flying, geese honk to provide recognition to each other helping them maintain speed and stay in formation.

There was silence as the last of the migrating geese faded into the clouds.

The boy sighed, “All those geese getting along, flying in formation, getting where they need to go, nothing like the traffic jams Dad complains about driving to and from work. Why don’t people cooperate like the geese do?”

The old man put an arm over the boy’s shoulder and hugged him, “another very good question.”


Moral: In Nature, the truth is plain to see.


tio stib

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Blind Man on a Bench

a surprise lover
the cool breeze kisses my cheek
my body delights
in sunshine’s warm embrace

wavelets lap softly on the sand
the scent of seashore drifts into my nose
a fly buzzes by

birds surround me
chirping behind
squawking above
honking across the water
laughter approaches

raucous conversation
“good morning!”
“Good morning to you”
the footsteps fade
a blast of male perfume persists

I bite an apple
crisp
juicy
sour
my lips pucker

smile

immersed in a beautiful day
mind swimming in memories

a blind man on a bench

tio stib

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The Hummingbird

he visits as I warm my soul
with rays of noontime sun

I hear him swoosh and flash about
the buzz of feathered wings
drinking nectar hung for him
to fuel his journeying

he makes me pause
to wonder
marveling

how does something so small
vibrate so joyfully
to simply be

tio stib, 2022

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First Snow

first snow
white oblivion
whispers
to sleeping earth

hush…

let go
frantic mind
surrender

hush…

forgive your past
your sins
your separation

hush…

a blanket
of serenity

hush

white oblivion
cuddles me
in love’s eternity

first snow
melts,
drips
slowly
down the face
of my soul

hush…

Tio Stib

2014, 2019, 2020

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High on Gratitude

in the muck of news’ day platitudes
I’ve lost my cheery attitude
midst hate and anger screamed and spewed
what happened to beatitudes

but past these ugly, mindless feuds
beyond behavior simply rude
there is another world that can be viewed
in Nature’s holy latitude

in this world outside our doors
flowers dance, birds sing, and oceans roar
a world that heeds not human news
where souls soar high on gratitude

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Tio Stib

2016, 2019, 2020

Breaking Trail

in winter stillness
ancient aspens watch
a chickadee flitting past
feathered music
bouncing
over infinite blue

alone
atop the buried meadow
a man paused
turned
looked back at the trampled snow
the trail of footsteps
each print a shadowed testament
to sweat falling from his brow

all he could see was white
reflected memories in a sea of snow
light’s harsh truth
stinging weary eyes

a deep sigh
a gasp of icy air
a hesitation in the heartbeat of being

a smile

he chooses life

again

tio stib

2016, 2018, 2019

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In Nature I am Home

I’ve Never Felt alone

on countless journeys
off the maps
on trips of whim and circumstance
without a friend and miles from men

I’ve never felt alone

on stormy nights 
and raucous seas
rivers wild and mountains free
near howling wolves
and singing stars

I’ve never felt alone

sitting by a sparking fire
aspens whispering in the breeze
morning mist outside the tent
no footprints
whichever way I went

I’ve never felt alone

there is a peace in wilderness
where souls can breathe in openness
midst meadow flowers and humming bees
the stillness of majestic trees
clouds that melt in azure skies
watchful eyes as I pass by
a world where love embraces me
a love beyond what words can be

when I’m torn by fear and loss
when smallness grabs my soul
the memories of my wilderness
comfort my heart

sometimes I’ve wondered 
how this might be
to wander lone and absently
with no need for humanity

one thought keeps coming
back to me

in nature, I am home

tio stib

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Finding Home

it’s a feeling
fleeting
flying off like a nervous bird
when my heart gets too close
yet memories whisper
and I wonder
what was it
that feeling
what was
home

I know I’ve felt it
the Onenes
of place
of people
of shared meals
and wild laughter
in silent awe
watching the moonrise from a porch
sliding up a far mountain
beaming shimmering light across a silent river
sparkling in enchanted eyes

I’ve felt it
in the garden
in the sweet scent of strawberries
picked by eager red fingers
wrapped in buzzing bees and flitting hummingbirds
in the joy of harvest
in the pleasure of shared
plenty

I’ve felt it
in warm murmurs around the fire
in the clink of glasses
in the evening glow of satisfaction
gained from sweating together
building a shared world

I’ve felt it
in smiles and greetings
in walking through community
in waves to passing friends
in bonds formed
by standing together
through tough times

I’ve felt it
in grief and solace
tears shared
remembering those lost
aching for those
forever gone

now I wander
the frontiers of being
soul seeking
heart hoping
to find home
again

tio stib

2016, 2017

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Tags: blind poet, blind writer, life journey, home, home again, friends, friendship, Nature

tio stib

2016, 2017

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Tags: blind poet, blind writer, life journey, home, home again, friends, friendship, Nature

Hell’s Canyon

but the map says it’s here!
icicle creek
this is supposed to be icicle creek

I stared
at the cascading tumble of roasting rocks

what made you think icicles could exist in Hell’s Canyon?

but the map says…

maps say a lot of things
doesn’t mean you should trust them

no argument
after nine parched miles
10,000 anguished steps
past three dry gulches
the advertised water had not appeared
although, in fairness to the map
rattlesnake creek had partially lived up to it’s name

even weighted by a fifty pound pack
adrenalin had defied gravity
launching my ten foot leap
over the awakened, angry rattler

guess I should have filled more than one water bottle this morning

you think?
what’s the next creek called?

a drop of sweat splattered on the map

surprise

perfect

tio stib, 2016, from a thirsty memory

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