All things are charged with..

Another Saturday, another piece from Mary Oliver

The dog, the donkey, surely they know they are alive. Who would argue otherwise? But now, after years of consideration, I am getting beyond that. What about the sunflowers? What about The tulips, and the pines? Listen, all you have to do is start and There?ll be no stopping. What about mountains? What about water Slipping over rocks? And speaking of stones, what about The little ones you can Hold in your hands, their heartbeats So secret, so hidden it may take years Before, finally, you hear them?

Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

All things therefore are charged with love, are charged with God and if we knew how to touch them give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Letters

After the rain….

A nice poem for a rainy Saturday.

Her capacity to see wonder in nature, and in life, no matter what the weather,  was extraordinary

Last night
the rain spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves at the moment,
at which moment

my right hand was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars

and the soft rain—
imagine! imagine!
the wild and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

Mary Oliver, Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me

When death comes

A predictable but sad post today on hearing of the death of Mary Oliver

When death comes 
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: 
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything 
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, 
and I look upon time as no more than an idea, 
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common 
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, 
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something 
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life 
I was a bride married to amazement. 
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder 
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, 
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver, When Death Comes

Darker Days

Every year we have been witness to it: how the world descends into a rich mash, in order that it may resume. And therefore who would cry out

to the petals on the ground to stay, knowing, as we must, how the vivacity of what was,  is married

to the vitality of what will be? I don’t say it’s easy, but what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world be true? So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east, and the ponds be cold and black, and the sweets of the year be doomed.

Mary Oliver, Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Mud

Continuing with a sequence of Mary Oliver poems for autumn. A lot of wind and rain here yesterday and overnight. Plenty of mud…

Angels are wonderful but they are so, well, aloof.
It’s what I sense in the mud and the roots of the
trees, or the well, or the barn, or the rock with
its citron map of lichen that halts my feet and 
makes my eyes flare, feeling the presence of some
spirit, some small god, who abides there.

If I were a perfect person, I would be bowing
continuously. 
I’m not, though I pause wherever I feel this
holiness, which is why I’m so often late coming
back from wherever I went.

Forgive me.

Mary Oliver, Forgive me