Monthly Archives: May 2020

folded like a pastry

Standard

Drea Art
dreajensengallery.pixels.com
facebook.com/dreajensenart
virtualartistaltar.com

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—

or almost a face—
it turned away
and frisked up its brawny forearms
so quickly

against the light
and my looking in
I scarcely had time to see it,
gleaming

under the pure white roof
of old calcium
When I set it down, it hurried
along the tideline

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 a 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.

tears of the clouds

Standard

Drea Art
dreajensengallery.pixels.com
facebook.com/dreajensenart
virtualartistaltar.com

Meanwhile
by Mary Oliver

Lord, my body is not yet a temple,
but only one of your fair fields.
An empty field that nobody wants, at least not yet.
But even here the lily is somewhere.
Sometimes it lifts its head above the grasses,
the daisies, the milkweed, the mallow.

And sometimes, like us, it sleeps, or at least
leans below the blades of the grasses.
Lord, I live as you have made me to live.
I bite hungrily into the peach and the turnip.
I bite, with sorrow, into the calf and the lamb.
I drink the tears of the clouds.

I praise the leaves of the shrub oaks
and the pine trees in their bold coats.
I listen and give thanks to the catbird and the thrush.
Meanwhile, the fox knows where you are.
The bees leave the swamp azalea and fly straight
to the shadow of your face.

Meanwhile my body is rustic and brash.
The world I live in is hedges, and small blossoms.
Lord, consider me, and my earnest work.
A hut I have made out of the grasses.
Now I build the door, out of all things brash and rustic.
Day and night it is open.
Have you seen it yet, among the grasses?

How it longs for you?
How it tries to shine, like gold?

flaring and luminous

Standard

Drea Art
dreajensengallery.pixels.com
facebook.com/dreajensenart
virtualartistaltar.com

Trilliums
by Mary Oliver

Every spring
among
the ambiguities
of childhood

the hillsides grew white
with the wild trilliums.
I believed in the world.
Oh, I wanted

to be easy
in the peopled kingdoms,
to take my place there,
but there was none

that I could find
shaped like me.
So I entered
through the tender buds,

I crossed the cold creek,
my backbone
and my thin white shoulders
unfolding and stretching.

From the time of snow-melt,
when the creek roared
and the mud slid
and the seeds cracked,

I listened to the earth-talk,
the root-wrangle,
the arguments of energy,
the dreams lying

just under the surface,
then rising,
becoming
at the last moment

flaring and luminous —
the patient parable
of every spring and hillside
year after difficult year.

belief isn’t always easy

Standard

Drea Art
dreajensengallery.pixels.com
facebook.com/dreajensenart
virtualartistaltar.com

In the Storm
By Mary Oliver

Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks—
whose backs were also

covered with snow—
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the ducks’ tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless,

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water,
which was still raging.
But, somehow,
they came back

and again the ducks,
like a feathered hedge,
let them
stoop there, and live.

If someone you didn’t know
told you this,
as I am telling you this,
would you believe it?

Belief isn’t always easy.
But this much I have learned,
if not enough else—
to live with my eyes open.

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
This wasn’t a miracle.
Unless, of course, kindness—

as now and again
some rare person has suggested—
is a miracle.
As surely it is.

stay awhile

Standard

Drea Art
dreajensengallery.pixels.com
facebook.com/dreajensenart
virtualartistaltar.com

When I Am Among the Trees
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

work and love

Standard

Aubade has been chosen by a Cambridge professor as the cover art of a future publication 🎨

Drea Art
dreajensengallery.pixels.com
facebook.com/dreajensenart
virtualartistaltar.com

“There are the stubborn stumps of shame, grief that remains unsolvable after all the years, a bag of stones that goes with one wherever one goes and however the hour may call for dancing and for light feet. energies of the world, better than anger, better than bitterness and, because more interesting, more alleviating. And there is the thing that one does, the needle one plies, the work, and within that work a chance to take thoughts that are hot and formless and to place them slowly and with meticulous effort into some shapely heat-retaining form, even as the gods, or nature, or the soundless wheels of time have made forms all across the soft, curved universe—that is to say, having chosen to claim my life, I have made for myself, out of work and love, a handsome life.”

Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays