Monthly Archives: May 2019

the miracle

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Drea Art
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The Hermit Crab
By Mary Oliver

Once I looked inside

the darkness

of a shell folded like a pastry,

and there was a fancy face…

When I set it down, it hurried

along the tide line

of the sea,

which was slashing along as usual,

shouting and hissing

toward the future,

turning its back

with every tide on the past,

leaving the shore littered

every morning

with more ornaments of death-

what pearly rubble

from which to choose a house

like a white flower-

and what a rebellion

to leap into it

and hold on,

connecting everything,

the past to the future-

which is of course the miracle-

which is the only argument there is

against the sea.

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glorious laughter

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Drea Art
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I Have Just Said
By Mary Oliver

I have just said
something
ridiculous to you
and in response,

your glorious laughter.
these are the days
the sun
is swimming back

to the east
and the light on the water
gleams
as never, it seems, before.

I can’t remember
every spring,
I can’t remember
everything-

so many years!
Are the morning kisses
the sweetest
or the evenings

or the inbetweens?
All I know
is that “thank you” should appear
somewhere.

So, just in case
I can’t find
the perfect place-
“Thank you, thank you.”

earth and heaven

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Drea Art
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The Gift
By Mary Oliver

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.

distance and time

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Drea Art
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On Meditating, Sort Of
by Mary Oliver

Meditation, so I’ve heard, is best accomplished
if you entertain a certain strict posture.
Frankly, I prefer just to lounge under a tree.
So why should I think I could ever be successful?

Some days I fall asleep, or land in that
even better place — half asleep — where the world,
spring, summer, autumn, winter —
flies through my mind in its
hardy ascent and its uncompromising descent.

So I just lie like that, while distance and time
reveal their true attitudes: they never
heard of me, and never will, or ever need to.

Of course I wake up finally
thinking, how wonderful to be who I am,
made out of earth and water,
my own thoughts, my own fingerprints —
all that glorious, temporary stuff.

invent the dance

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Drea Art
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Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?
By Mary Oliver

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.

But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?

Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.

When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking

to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,

as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?

multiple colors

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Drea Art
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Do Stones Feel?
By Mary Oliver

Do stones feel?
Do they love their life?
Or does their patience drown out everything else?

When I walk on the beach I gather a few
white ones, dark ones, the multiple colors.
Don’t worry, I say, I’ll bring you back, and I do.

Is the tree as it rises delighted with its many
branches,
each one like a poem?

Are the clouds glad to unburden their bundles of rain?

Most of the world says no, no, it’s not possible.

I refuse to think to such a conclusion.
Too terrible it would be, to be wrong.