I met Daniel O' Leary at a retreat he was facilitating in Ardfert, Kerry in the summer of 2013. We instantly connected and became good friends and remained so until his passing in January last year. I miss his presence yet fully believe he is with me in spirit. Daniel was one of those rare human beings you meet in life. He inspired many to see with the eye of the heart and believe in one's own creativity. He was enormously generous of heart and shaped by his passion and love of the creative spirit. When he passed his friend, the English poet, Jonathan Tulloch, wrote this poem of farewell for him. And hence I post another poem called "Wild Geese", the last by the American poet Mary Oliver who's work Daniel admired greatly.
Daniel loved the image of the wild goose, the restless bird, searching, never satisfied, with the well trodden path but instead wanting to make a new path, which he did. This poem refers to his spirit flying over two lovely soft Kerry hills, known as - the Paps of Anu - the land which gave birth to him and a mythic reminder of the beauty of this planet . I sent this photo to Dónal, which he was know as by his friends, last August while I was on Valentia Island. He was originally from Rathmore in Kerry and I too share a love of Kerry having spent all my summers since I was a child on Valentia Island. It was the last photo I would send him.
Last night we heard the wild geese winging high over the crossroads at Rathmore
and we knew that you too had flown.
Of course you’d leave us with a sky dance!
A gentle goose arrow, singing softly through the Paps of Anu
into that clear, unfading musical beyond your heart had always heard.
And for those of us left behind at our own suddenly silent crossroads
(waltz-less without you, all fiddles forlorn) what parting gift?
The astonishing secret that we too have wings borrowed from the boundless, hearts huge as horizons, and the Southwind.