a million candles

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Drea Art
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First Snow by Mary Oliver

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain – not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.


a mind and a heart

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Drea Art
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Messenger by Mary Oliver

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 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 the 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.


lustrous blanket of moon-fire

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Drea Art
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Worm Moon by Mary Oliver

I.
In March the earth remembers its own name.
Everywhere the plates of snow are cracking.
The rivers begin to sing. In the sky
the winter stars are sliding away; new stars
appear as, later, small blades of grain
will shine in the dark fields.

And the name of every place
is joyful.

II.
The season of curiosity is everlasting
and the hour for adventure never ends,
but tonight
even the men who walked upon the moon
are lying content
by open windows
where the winds are sweeping over the fields,
over water,
over the naked earth,
into villages, and lonely country houses, and the vast cities

III.
because it is spring;
because once more the moon and the earth are eloping –
a love match that will bring forth fantastic children
who will learn to stand, walk, and finally run
over the surface of earth;
who will believe, for years,
that everything is possible.

IV.
Born of clay,
how shall a man be holy;
born of water,
how shall a man visit the stars;
born of the seasons,
how shall a man live forever?

V.
Soon
the child of the red-spotted newt, the eft,
will enter his life from the tiny egg.
On his delicate legs
he will run through the valleys of moss
down to the leaf mold by the streams,
where lately white snow lay upon the earth
like a deep and lustrous blanket
of moon-fire,

VI.
and probably
everything
is possible.


unexpectedly feel joy

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“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate.

Give in to it.

There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be.

We are not wise, and not very often kind.

And much can never be redeemed.

Still, life has some possibility left.

Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world.

It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins.

Anyway, that’s often the case.

Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty.

Joy is not made to be a crumb.” ~ Mary Oliver

earth roots

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Drea Art
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Drifting by Mary Oliver

I was enjoying everything: the rain, the path
wherever it was taking me, the earth roots
beginning to stir.
I didn’t intend to start thinking about God,
it just happened.
How God, or the gods, are invisible,
quite understandable
but holiness is visible, entirely.
It’s wonderful to walk along like that,
thought not the usual intention to reach an
answer
but merely drifting.
Like clouds that only seem weightless.
but of course are not.
Are really important.
I mean, terribly important.
Not decoration by any means.
By next week the violets will be blooming.

Anyway, this was my delicious walk in the rain.
What was it actually about?

Think about what it is that music is trying to say.
It was something like that.


lit and bright

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Drea Art
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Snow Geese by Mary Oliver

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
sometimes
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
The geese
flew on,
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.


continual blessing 

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Drea Art
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For I Will Consider My Dog Percy by Mary Oliver

For I will consider my dog Percy.

For he was made small but brave of heart.

For if he met another dog he would kiss her in kindness.

For when he slept he snored only a little.

For he could be silly and noble in the same moment.

For when he spoke he remembered the trumpet and when he scratched he struck the floor like a drum.

For he ate only the finest food and drank only the purest of water, yet he would nibble of the dead fish also.

For he came to me impaired and therefore certain of short life, yet thoroughly rejoiced in each day.

For he took his medicines without argument.

For he played easily with the neighbor’s Bull Mastiff.

For when he came upon mud he splashed through it.

For he was an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For he listened to poems as well as love-talk.

For when he sniffed it was as if he were being pleased by every part of the world.

For when he sickened he rallied as many times as he could.

For he was a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For we humans can seek self-destruction in ways he never dreamed of.

For he took actions both cunning and reckless, yet refused always to offer himself to be admonished.

For his sadness though without words was understandable.

For there was nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.

For there was nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

For he was of the tribe of Wolf.

For when I went away he would watch for me at the window.

For her loved me.

For he suffered before I found him, and never forgot it.

For he loved Anne.

For when he lay down to enter sleep he did not argue about whether or not God made him.

For he could fling himself upside down and laugh a true laugh.

For he loved his friend Ricky.

For he would dig holes in the sand and then let Ricky lie in them.

For I often see his shape in the clouds and this is a continual blessing.


everything is possible

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Drea Art
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Worm Moon by Mary Oliver

In March the earth remembers its own name.
Everywhere the plates of snow are cracking.
The rivers begin to sing. In the sky
the winter stars are sliding away; new stars
appear as, later, small blades of grain
will shine in the dark fields.

And the name of every place
is joyful.

II.
The season of curiosity is everlasting
and the hour for adventure never ends,
but tonight
even the men who walked upon the moon
are lying content
by open windows
where the winds are sweeping over the fields,
over water,
over the naked earth,
into villages, and lonely country houses, and the vast cities

III.
because it is spring;
because once more the moon and the earth are eloping –
a love match that will bring forth fantastic children
who will learn to stand, walk, and finally run
   over the surface of earth;
who will believe, for years,
that everything is possible.

IV.
Born of clay,
how shall a man be holy;
born of water,
how shall a man visit the stars;
born of the seasons,
how shall a man live forever?

V.
Soon
the child of the red-spotted newt, the eft,
will enter his life from the tiny egg.
On his delicate legs
he will run through the valleys of moss
down to the leaf mold by the streams,
where lately white snow lay upon the earth
like a deep and lustrous blanket
of moon-fire,

VI.
and probably
everything
is possible.


no matter what

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Drea Art
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An Old Story by Mary Oliver

Sleep comes its little while. Then I wake
in the valley of midnight or three a.m.
to the first fragrance of spring

which is coming, all by itself, no matter what.
My heart says, what you thought you have you do not have.
My body says, will this pounding ever stop?

My heart says, there, there, be a good student.
My body says let me up and out. I want to fondle
those soft white flowers, open in the night.