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Guardians | Geoff Oelsner

A photo of wheat grass blowing in the wind, a dark, overcast sky, with the sunsetting in the distance. There is a poem titled "Guardians" by Geoff Oelsner that reads: As we drove toward Council Grove,/I thought (seeing darkness deep/in a morning window) living there/is one who, caved into himself/at night, becomes winds/rivering through cottonwoods/across Kansas,/ nameless guardian/of stream banks and gullies.//And later as we turned into/Wakeeny, I felt brush past me/hints of one who holds/the entire sway of grasses on this plain./Prayers appearing in their sheen/open in her mind/as she sits in a porch swing,/somewhere near the trembling of roads.//We headed West through crosswinds,/past wheat's gold inscriptions,/spying traces in that tall afternoon/of one who wheels across cumulus/on wings of red-tailed hawks,/scattering visions like rain/on the earth below.//From a distant farmhouse,/walled in a windbreak,/broodings rose up at twilight/of one who wears the wet/weave of roots gently as her own veins,/siphoning life into their outstretched branches.//So on the unsheltered plain,/each soul that wakens/in its cradle of flesh,/aligns with space,/and is drawn out into the guardianship/of what it loves most deeply.

If a line or phrase resonates with you,

we invite you to use it as a starting point to create your own poem.

We welcome you to share your poem with the IPM community here.

This poem was included in IPM's April 2023 Newsletter.

Access the full Newsletter here.


Geoff Oelsner grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where he began writing stories, songs and poetry at age 14. While pursuing an English major at Oberlin College, he spent a year as an exchange student in Scotland and discovered the Findhorn Community where he had life changing experiences of attunement, or communion with nature, while working in the garden. He’s been a dedicated organic gardener since.

After earning a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia, he and his wife Leslie Berman Oelsner moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1979. He practiced psychotherapy, music therapy, clinical hypnotherapy and massage therapy there for over 30 years before his retirement. He led a free weekly Buddhist Meditation and Spiritual Support group for 25 years, prior to the pandemic.

Geoff has released 2 CD’s of original songs: Morning Branches and Ordinary Mystery which include Leslie and both their adult children. To hear all of his recorded songs and see his poetry you can visit his website:

His love for the earth coupled with a rich mix of experiences of attunement to nature, have led to him to author books which share pioneering, regenerative approaches to our climate crisis and affirm our largely unexplored capacities to connect with and directly benefit our natural environments. The most recent of these is a self-published ebook titled Attunements for the Earth: Poetic, Musical, Photographic, Anecdotal, Climatic, Intuitional, Scientific, Spiritual (2022).


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