Monthly Archives: February 2016

play at the edges

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Bone
By Mary Oliver

1.

Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape
and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died
hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something
for the ear bone

2.

is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where
once, in the lively swimmer’s head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only
two inches long
and thought: the soul
might be like this
so hard, so necessary

3.

yet almost nothing.
Beside me
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,
unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn’t see anything
through its dark-knit glare;
yet don’t we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it

4.

lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts
certainties
and what the soul is, also
I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,
but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
softly,
through the pale-pink morning light.

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delight and gratitude

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Invitation
By Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude—
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

little wild thing

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Percy Six
By Mary Oliver

You’re like a little wild thing
That was never sent to school.
Sit, I say, and you jump up.
Come, I say, and you go galloping down the sand
To the nearest dead fish
With which you perfume your sweet neck.
It is summer.
How many summers does a little dog have?

Run, run Percy.
This is our school.

Percy Seven
By Mary Oliver

And now Percy is getting brazen.
Let’s down the beach, baby, he says.
Let’s shake it with a little barking.
Let’s find dead things, and explore them,
By mouth, if possible.

Or maybe the leavings of Paul’s horse (after which
Forgive me for mentioning it, he is fond of kissing)

Ah, this is the thing that comes to each of us.
The child grows up.
And, according to our own ideas, is practically asunder.

I understand it.
I struggle to celebrate.
I say, with a stiff upper lip familiar to many:

Just look at that curlyhaired child now, he’s his own man.

like a needle

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

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 is 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?

red, red, red

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Quinacridone Red 2016 by Drea Creativity can be an act of taking personal memories and sprinkling them with imagination. Reconstruction as a source of power. http://dreajensengallery.pixels.com/featured/quinacridone-red-2016-drea-jensen.html

Quinacridone Red 2016 by Drea
Creativity can be an act of taking personal memories and sprinkling them with imagination. Reconstruction as a source of power.
http://dreajensengallery.pixels.com/featured/quinacridone-red-2016-drea-jensen.html

Red
By Mary Oliver

All the while
I was teaching
in the state of Virginia
I wanted to see
gray fox.
Finally I found him.
He was in the highway.
He was singing
His death song.
I picked him up
And carried him
Into a field
While the cars kept coming.
He showed me
How he could ripple
How he could bleed.
Goodbye I said
To the light of his eye
As the cars went by.
Two mornings later
I found the other.
She was in the highway.
She was singing
Her death song.
I picked her up
And carried her
Into the field
Where she rippled
Half of her gray
Half of her red
While the cars kept coming.
While the cars kept coming.
Gray fox and gray fox.
Red, red, red.

little ceremony

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Spirit Guide 2016 by Drea Spirit guides bring new directions and dreams. New and unexpected possibilities reveal themselves. http://dreajensengallery.pixels.com/featured/spirit-guide-2016-drea-jensen.html

Spirit Guide 2016 by Drea
Spirit guides bring new directions and dreams. New and unexpected possibilities reveal themselves.
http://dreajensengallery.pixels.com/featured/spirit-guide-2016-drea-jensen.html

Marengo
by Mary Oliver

Out of the sump rise the marigolds.
From the rim of the marsh, muslin with mosquitoes,
rises the egret, in his cloud-cloth.
Through the soft rain, like mist, and mica,
the withered acres of moss begin again.

When I have to die, I would like to die
on a day of rain–
long rain, slow rain, the kind you think will never end.

And I would like to have whatever little ceremony there might be
take place while the rain is shoveled and shoveled out of the sky,

and anyone who comes must travel, slowly and with thought,
as around the edges of the great swamp.

open the door

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Such Singing in the Wild Branches
By Mary Oliver

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves –
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness –
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree –
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing –
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky – all, all of them
were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then – open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.