What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Wild Life?

she asked me out of the blue while ballroom dancing
saying that it was the end of a Mary Oliver poem.
I should have said "Go where the wild things are!"
the Maurice Sendak book that my niece showed me

years ago which I never had the time to read,
but mumbled that Mary Oliver went camping
with her friend and slept with a baby skunk—
something wild that I've never done in my life.

It's an intriguing question that most of us
don't ponder until it's too late when life has
passed us by. So I ask myself "What would I do
with the rest of my one wild and precious life?"

Like Max I'd sail to the Imagination Island
and encounter all the wild beasts without fear.
With my magic rod I'd tame them to "Be Still!"
then I'd shout out "Let the wild rumpus start!"

Don't be afraid to make mistakes! Always try
something new! Brick walls are there for us
to climb over! Ah, but a man's reach should
exceed his grasp, or what is a heaven for!

I'd trek up Szechwan's Omei Shan to the inns
where Li Po and Tu Fu wrote their poems,
search in a submarine for the Loch Ness Monster,
in a hot-air balloon for the Abominable Snowman.

I'd fly on the back of the Maguari Stork,
dance cheek-to-cheek and marry a madrone tree,
converse daily with a stone till we merge as one
so I'd be like Emerson— an all-seeing Eyeball.

I'd enter white holes to explore multiverses,
dive into my inner self and find Buddha in me,
make a film revealing our Cosmic Consciousness
so everyone will jump and dance all the way home!

Without compass or chart, I'd sail back to Eden,
spent wild nights with Emily Dickinson and
wrestle with that Angel with the flaming sword
to claim at last the fruit from the Tree of Life!

                — Peter Y. Chou
                     Mountain View, 10-4-2008

Notes: http://www.wisdomportal.com/Poems2008/Notes-WildLife.html