Friday, September 21, 2007


From the Archives

(March 2005) I love Mary Oliver’s poetry, especially when I’m locked indoors but aching to be outside. I know I already pasted a few of her poems in the blog, but am staring longingly at my river rocks and wanting to go for a hike, so I’m adding a couple more.

I hauled these rocks back from the Pacific NW—and man were they heavy!—so I can look at them and pretend that the wind is blowing my hair as I walk on a Washington State beach where the sand looks as if Keith Haring drew the cartoonish ruts from above.

So here’s another of my favorite Mary Oliver poems:

by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches—
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead—
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging—there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

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