Monthly Archives: July 2016

bird of the heart

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Wild, Wild
By Mary Oliver

This is what love is:

The dry rose bush the gardener, in his pruning, missed

Suddenly bursts into bloom.

A madness of delight; an obsession.

A holy gift, certainly,

But often, alas, improbable.

Why couldn’t Romeo have settled for someone else?

Why couldn’t Tristan and Isolde have refused

The shining cup

Which would have left peaceful the whole kingdom?

Wild sings the bird of the heart in the forests

Of our lives.

Over and over Faust, standing in the garden, doesn’t know

Anything that’s going to happen, he only sees

The face of Marguerite, which is irresistible.

And wild, wild sings the bird.

imagination

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One
by Mary Oliver

The mosquito is so small
it takes almost nothing to ruin it.
Each leaf, the same.
And the black ant, hurrying.
So many lives, so many fortunes!
Every morning, I walk softly and with forward glances
down to the ponds and through the pinewoods.
Mushrooms, even, have but a brief hour
before the slug creeps to the feast,
before the pine needles hustle down
under the bundles of harsh, beneficent rain.
How many, how many, how many
make up a world!
And then I think of that old idea: the singular
and the eternal.
One cup, in which everything is swirled
back to the color of the sea and sky.
Imagine it!
A shining cup, surely!
In the moment in which there is no wind
over your shoulder,
you stare down into it,
and there you are,
your own darling face, your own eyes.
And then the wind, not thinking of you, just passes by,
touching the ant, the mosquito, the leaf,
and you know what else!
How blue is the sea, how blue is the sky,
how blue and tiny and redeemable everything is, even you,
even your eyes, even your imagination.

lightning of years

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Golden Door 2014 by Drea A golden door of incandescent brilliance, patience equanimity, and resolute with knowledge and respect. Radiant life energy to honor limitless love in glorious space.  http://dreajensengallery.artistwebsites.com/featured/golden-door-2014-drea-jensen.html

Golden Door 2014 by Drea
A golden door of incandescent brilliance, patience equanimity, and resolute with knowledge and respect. Radiant life energy to honor limitless love in glorious space.
http://dreajensengallery.artistwebsites.com/featured/golden-door-2014-drea-jensen.html

In Praise of Craziness, of a Certain Kind
by Mary Oliver

On cold evenings
my grandmother,
with ownership of half her mind-
the other half having flown back to Bohemia-

spread newspapers over the porch floor
so, she said, the garden ants could crawl beneath,
as under a blanket, and keep warm,

and what shall I wish for, for myself,
but, being so struck by the lightning of years,
to be like her with what is left, that loving.

giving a gift

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The Gift
By Mary Oliver

I wanted to thank the mockingbird for the vigor of his song.
Every day he sang from the rim of the field, while I picked
blueberries or just idled in the sun.
Every day he came fluttering by to show me, and why not,
the white blossoms in this wings.
So one day I went there with a machine, and played some songs of
Mahler.
The mockingbird stopped singing, he came close and seemed
to listen.
Now when I go down to the field, a little Mahler spills
through the sputters of his song.
How happy I am, lounging in the light, listening as the music
floats by!
And I give thanks also for my mind, that thought of giving
a gift.
And mostly I’m grateful that I take this world so seriously

Liz 2016

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Liz 2016 by Drea A daughter can fill your life with love, peace and laughter. http://dreajensengallery.pixels.com/featured/liz-2016-drea-jensen.html

Liz 2016 by Drea
A daughter can fill your life with love, peace and laughter.
http://dreajensengallery.pixels.com/featured/liz-2016-drea-jensen.html

Heavy
by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had His hands in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

weeds are rising

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Evidence
by Mary Oliver

I.

Where do I live? If I had no address, as many people
do not, I could nevertheless say that I lived in the
same town as the lilies of the field, and the still
waters.

Spring, and all through the neighborhood now there are
strong men tending flowers.

Beauty without purpose is beauty without virtue. But
all beautiful things, inherently, have this function –
to excite the viewers toward sublime thought. Glory
to the world, that good teacher.

Among the swans there is none called the least, or
the greatest.

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in
singing, especially when singing is not necessarily
prescribed.

As for the body, it is solid and strong and curious
and full of detail; it wants to polish itself; it
wants to love another body; it is the only vessel in
the world that can hold, in a mix of power and
sweetness: words, song, gesture, passion, ideas,
ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

2.

There are many ways to perish, or to flourish.

How old pain, for example, can stall us at the threshold of function….

Still friends, consider stone, that is without the fret of gravity, and water that is without anxiety.

And the pine trees that never forget their recipe for renewal.

And the female wood duck who is looking this way and that way for her children. And the snapping turtle who is looking this way and that way also. This is the world.

And consider, always, every day, the determination of the grass to grow despite the unending obstacles.

3.

I ask you again: if you have not been enchanted by this adventure–your life–what would do for you?

And, where are you, with your ears bagged down as if with packets of sand? Listen. We all have much more listening to do. Tear the sand away. And listen. The river is singing. …

For myself, I have walked in these woods for
More than forty years, and I am the only
thing, it seems, that is about to be used up.
Or, to be less extravagant, will, in the
Foreseeable future, be used up.

First, though, I want to step out into some
fresh morning and look around and hear myself
crying out: “The house of money is falling! The house of money is falling! The weeds are rising! The weeds are rising!”