Category Archives: Uncategorized

loyal for certain

Standard

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

Of Love by Mary Oliver

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some—now carry my revelation with you—
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of their makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world—its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself—I imagine
this is how it began.


joy before death

Standard

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

Blossom by Mary Oliver

In April
the ponds open
like black blossoms, 
the moon
swims in every one; 
there’s fire
everywhere: frogs shouting
their desire, 
their satisfaction. What
we know: that time
chops at us all like an iron
hoe, that death
is a state of paralysis. What
we long for: joy
before death, nights 
in the swale – everything else
can wait but not
this thrust
from the root
of the body. What
we know: we are more
than blood – we are more
than our hunger and yet
we belong
to the moon and when the ponds
open, when the burning
begins the most
thoughtful among us dreams
of hurrying down
into the black petals
into the fire, 
into the night where time lies shattered
into the body of another.


spring unfolds

Standard

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

No Matter What by Mary Oliver

No matter what the world claims,
its wisdom always growing, so it’s said,
some things don’t alter with time: 
the first kiss is a good example,
and the flighty sweetness of rhyme.


No matter what the world preaches
spring unfolds in its appointed time,
the violets open and the roses,
snow in its hour builds its shining curves,
there’s the laughter of children at play,
and the wholesome sweetness of rhyme.


No matter what the world does, 
some things don’t alter with time.
The first kiss, the first death.
The sorrowful sweetness of rhyme.


perfect commotion

Standard

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

The Swan by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?


field of sunflowers

Standard

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

Sometimes by Mary Oliver

1.

Something came up
out of the dark.
It wasn’t anything I had ever seen before.
It wasn’t an animal
or a flower,
unless it was both.

Something came up out of the water,
a head the size of a cat
but muddy and without ears.
I don’t know what God is.
I don’t know what death is.

But I believe they have between them
some fervent and necessary arrangement.

2.

Sometime
melancholy leaves me breathless…

3.

Water from the heavens! Electricity from the source!
Both of them mad to create something!

The lighting brighter than any flower.
The thunder without a drowsy bone in its body.

4.

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

5.
Two or three times in my life I discovered love.
Each time it seemed to solve everything.
Each time it solved a great many things
but not everything.
Yet left me as grateful as if it had indeed, and
thoroughly, solved everything.

6.

God, rest in my heart
and fortify me,
take away my hunger for answers,
let the hours play upon my body

like the hands of my beloved.
Let the cathead appear again—
the smallest of your mysteries,
some wild cousin of my own blood probably—
some cousin of my own wild blood probably,
in the black dinner-bowl of the pond.

7.

Death waits for me, I know it, around
one corner or another.
This doesn’t amuse me.
Neither does it frighten me.

After the rain, I went back into the field of sunflowers.
It was cool, and I was anything but drowsy.
I walked slowly, and listened

to the crazy roots, in the drenched earth, laughing and growing.


break your heart

Standard

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

Lead by Mary Oliver

Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
This winter
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing.,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.
The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.


how you pray

Standard

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

Five AM in the Pinewoods by Mary Oliver

I’d seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
Finally
one of them— I swear it!—

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.


haystack of light

Standard

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

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 was 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?


inventions of holiness

Standard

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

The Wren From Carolina by Mary Oliver

Just now the wren from Carolina buzzed

through the neighbor’s hedge

a line of grace notes I couldn’t even write down

much less sing. 

Now he lifts his chestnut colored throat

and delivers such a cantering praise–

for what?

For the early morning, the taste of the spider, 

for his small cup of life

that he drinks from every day, knowing it will refill.

All things are inventions of holiness.

Some more rascally than others. 

I’m on that list too,

though I don’t know exactly where.

But, every morning, there is my own cup of gladness,

and there’s that wren in the hedge, above me,

with his blazing song.


expressive of mirth

Standard

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

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.