by William Stafford from "The way it is: new and selected poems"
It is time for all the heroes to go home if they have any; time for all of us common ones to locate ourselves by the real things we live by.
Far to the North, or indeed in any direction, strange mountains and creatures have always lurked--- elves, goblins, trolls and spiders -- we encounter them in dread and wonder,
But once we have touched the far streams, touched the gold, found some limit beyond the waterfall. a season changes, and we come back, changed but safe, quiet, grateful.
Suppose an insane wind holds the hills while strange beliefs whine at the traveler's ears, we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love where we are, strong for common things.
Published with permission, Graywolf Press, 1998