Monthly Archives: July 2015

simple mysteries

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Mysteries, Four of the Simple Ones
By Mary Oliver

How does the seed-grain feel
when it is just beginning to be wheat?

And how does the catbird feel
when the blue eggs break and become little catbirds?

Maybe on midsummer night’s eve,
and without fanfare?

And how does the turtle feel as she covers her eggs
with the sweep of her feet,
then leaves them for the world to take care of?

Does she know her accomplishment?

And when the blue heron, breaking his long breast feathers,
sees one feather fall, does he know I will find it?
Will he see me holding it in my hand?

as he opens his wings
softly and without a sound—
as he rises and floats over the water?

And this is just any day at the edge of the pond,
a black and leafy pond without a name
until I named it.

And what else can we do when the mysteries present themselves
but hope to pluck from the basket the brisk words
that will applaud them,

the heron, the turtle, the catbird, the seed-grain
kneeling in the dark earth, its body
opening into the golden world?

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wild, caustic, tender

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Daisies
Mary Oliver

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.

home again

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

WILD GEESE
by Mary Oiver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

let us hope

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Song of the Builders
By Mary Oliver

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.

something better

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Sleeping in the Forest
By Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

love me

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LITTLE DOGS RHAPSODY IN THE NIGHT
(PERCY THREE)

He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I’m awake, or awake enough

he turns upside down, his four paws
in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent.

Tell me you love me, he says.

Tell me again.

Could there be a sweeter arrangement?
Over and over
he gets to ask it.
I get to tell.

― Mary Oliver

quite beautiful

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Poem of the One World
By Mary Oliver

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.