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Archive for the ‘Mary Oliver’ Category

paintingblossom

In April
the ponds
open
like black blossoms,
the moon
swims in every one;
there’s fire
everywhere: frogs shouting
their desire,
their satisfaction. What
we know: that time
chops at us all like an iron
hoe, that death
is a state of paralysis. What
we long for: joy
before death, nights
in the swale — everything else
can wait but not
this thrust
from the root
of the body. What
we know: we are more
than blood — we are more
than our hunger and yet
we belong
to the moon and when the ponds
open, when the burning
begins the most
thoughtful among us dreams
of hurrying down
into the black petals,
into the fire,
into the night where time lies shattered,
into the body of another.

~Mary Oliver~
American Primitive

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I struggled a bit choosing which piece to bring you today to celebrate
love on this Valentine’s Day.  I finally settled on this simple and beautiful
poem from Mary Oliver.  Dogs are such givers of unconditional love and
if I were to live by Percy’s advice I suspect I would lead a satisfying and
good life.

goldenretrieverpuppy

Love, love, love says Percy.
And run as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.
Then, go to sleep.
Give up your body heat, your beating heart.
Then, trust.

~Mary Oliver~
Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver

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Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into the many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don’t worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it was all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Why I Wake Early)

gratitude to Panhala@yahoogroups.com for this poetry post today….

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I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it
nothing fancy.

But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open
and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is the dark
    pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
    were singing.
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music
    out of their leaves.
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and
    beautiful silence
as comes to all of us, in little earfuls, if we’re not too 
    hurried to hear it.
As for spiders, how the dew hangs in their webs
    even if they say nothing, or seem to say nothing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe they sing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe the stars sing too,
    and the ants, and the peonies, and the warm stones,
so happy to be where they are, on the beach, instead of being
    locked up in gold.

~Mary Oliver
Why I Wake Early

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Good morning friends.  As promised, I’ve got a new poem
from Mary Oliver’s brand new book: Red Bird.

This book was expected out April 4th or 5th, so for those
of us who can’t get enough of Mary Oliver, it was a real
treat that publication happened a week earlier.

Enjoy…

Summer Story

When the hummingbird
sinks its face
into the trumpet vine,
into the funnels

of the blossoms,
and the tongue
leaps out
and throbs,

I am scorched
to realize once again
how many small, available things
are in this world

that aren’t
pieces of gold
or power —
that nobody owns

or could buy even
for a hillside of money—
that just
float about the world,

or drift over the fields,
or into the gardens,
and into the tents of the vines,
and now here I am

spending my time,
as the saying goes,
watching until the watching turns into feeling,
so that I feel I am myself

a small bird
with a terrible hunger,
with a thin beak probing and dipping
and a heart that races so fast

it is only a heartbeat ahead of breaking—
and I am the hunger and the assuagement,
and also I am the leaves and the blossoms,
and, like them, I am full of delight, and shaking.

~Mary Oliver

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There are these: the blue
skirts of the ocean walking in now, almost
to the edge of town,

and a thousand birds, in their incredible wings
which they think nothing of, crying out

that the day is long, the fish are plentiful.

And friends, being as kind as friends can be,
striving to lift the darkness.

Forgive me, Lord of honeysuckle, of trees,
of notebooks, of typewriters, of music,
that there are also these:

the lover, the singer, the poet
asleep in the shadows.

Thirst
Poems by Mary Oliver

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I was asking myself something about a concern I had,
when a little voice came through and said
‘you don’t have to figure it out’.
Not only that, the little voice said:
‘turn and look out your window;
now tell the alders, tell the cedars, tell the pines
and lastly, tell the firs your concerns.
Give it to them – you have nothing to figure out.’

And you know what? I did.

I gave them all my questions and concerns and
they whispered back: ‘go about your day, we’ll bring
your answers up from the belly of the earth and
drop them at your feet while you sleep.’

Now I know why Mary Oliver says that everything adores being alive.

Love, Bethie

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What
if you were
a beetle,
and a soft wind

and a certain allowance of time
had summoned you
out of your wrappings,
and there you were,

so many legs
hardening,
maybe even
more than one pair of eyes

and the whole world
in front of you?
And what if you had wings
and flew

into the garden,
then fell
into the up-tipped
face

of a white flower,
and what if you had
a sort of mouth,
a lip

to place close
to the skim
of honey
that kept offering itself —

what would you think then
of the world
as, night and day,
you were kept there —

oh happy prisoner —
sighing, humming,
roaming
that deep cup

~Mary Oliver
Why I Wake Early

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Morning at Great Pond

It starts like this:
forks of light
slicking up
out of the east,
flying over you,
and what’s left of night–
its black waterfalls,
its craven doubt —
dissolves like gravel
as the sun appears
trailing clouds
of pink and green wool,
igniting the fields,
turning the ponds
to plates of fire.
The creatures there
are dark flickerings
you make out
one by one
as the light lifts —
great blue herons,
wood ducks shaking
their shimmering crests —
and knee-deep
in the purple shallows
a deer drinking:
as she turns
the silver water
crushes like silk,
shaking the sky,
and you’re healed then
from the night, your heart
wants more, you’re ready
to rise and look!
to hurry anywhere!
to believe in everything.

~American Primitive: Poems
by Mary Oliver

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On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God —

a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside

this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

~Mary Oliver
Why I Wake Early

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