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Archive for the ‘Mary Oliver’ Category

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Mary Oliver~Thirst

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is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay,
let’s see who she is
and why she is sitting

on the ground, like that,
so quiet, as if
asleep, or in a dream,
but, anyway, harmless;

and so they came
on their slender legs
and gazed upon me
not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of the flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life
bring to me that could exceed
that brief moment?
For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
Such gifts, bestowed,
can’t be repeated.

If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named
Gratitude.

Thirst – Poems by Mary Oliver

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I am trying to find the lesson
for tomorrow.  Matthew something.
Which lectionary?  I have not
forgotten the Way, but, a little,
the way to the Way.  The trees keep whispering
peace, peace, and the birds
in the shallows are full of the
bodies of small fish and are
content.  They open their wings
so easily, and fly.  So.  It is still
possible.

              I open the book
which the strange, difficult, beautiful church
has given me.  To Matthew.  Anywhere.

excerpted from Thirst~Mary Oliver

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(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

Excerpted from Thirst~Mary Oliver

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Messenger

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
 
 
~ Mary Oliver ~

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Praying
 
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
 
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
 
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~~ Mary Oliver ~~

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One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver.  The below poem is titled ‘Mindful’ and is taken from her small but oh so wonderful to cozy up to and read: ‘Why I Wake Early’.   This poem touches me every time I read it.

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Every day I see or hear something
that more or less kills me with delight,
that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.

It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen, to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself over and over
in joy, and acclamation.

Nor am I talking about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary, the common,
the very drab, the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar, I say to myself,
how can you help but grow wise
with such teachings as these –

the untrimmable light of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made out of grass?

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