Pollination 2015 by Drea
Winter and the Nuthatch
By Mary Oliver
Once or twice and maybe again, who knows,
the timid nuthatch will come to me
if I stand still, with something good to eat in my hand.
The first time he did it
he landed smack on his belly, as though
the legs wouldn’t cooperate. The next time
he was bolder. Then he became absolutely
wild about those walnuts.
But there was a morning I came late and, guess what,
the nuthatch was flying into a stranger’s hand.
To speak plainly, I felt betrayed.
I wanted to say: Mister,
that nuthatch and I have a relationship.
It took hours of standing in the snow
before he would drop from the tree and trust my fingers.
But I didn’t say anything.
Nobody owns the sky or the trees.
Nobody owns the hearts of birds.
Still, being human and partial therefore to my own successes—
though not resentful of others fashioning theirs—
I’ll come tomorrow, I believe, quite early.
by Mary Oliver
I am watching the white gannets
blaze down into the water
with the power of blunt spears
and a stunning accuracy–
even though the sea is riled and boiling
and gray with fog
and the fish
are nowhere to be seen,
they fall, they explode into the water
like white gloves,
then they vanish,
then they climb out again,
from the cliff of the wave,
like white flowers–
and still I think
that nothing in this world moves
but as a positive power–
even the fish, finning down into the current
in the red purse of the beak,
are only interrupted from their own pursuit
of whatever it is
that fills their bellies–
and I say:
life is real,
and pain is real,
but death is an imposter,
and if I could be what once I was,
like the wolf or the bear
standing on the cold shore,
I would still see it–
how the fish simply escape, this time,
or how they slide down into a black fire
for a moment,
then rise from the water inseparable
from the gannets’ wings.
BY MARY OLIVER
I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.
Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.
It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
from one field to another, in summer, and the
mockingbird is mocking me, as one who either
knows enough already or knows enough to be
perfectly content not knowing. Song being born
of quest he knows this: he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead
oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly
unanswered. At my feet the white-petalled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece, their — if you don’t
mind my saying so — their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know?
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;
for example — I think this
as I reach down, not to pick but merely to touch —
the suitability of the field for the daisies, and the
daisies for the field.”
― Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early
This is a picture of Jackie at the top of Turtle Head Peak In Las Vegas Nevada last year.
Thank you so much for helping me to get the ball rolling in my fundraising efforts.
Sharing my story with you makes me so hopeful for my future but your sharing of Cameron’s story reminds me of how far we still have to go in developing treatments. No child should have to suffer like Cameron did and the people who loved him should not have to endure the loss of such a young, pure life.
I will have Cameron and Orion in my heart on every hike I take this season.
I’m glad you came into my life