Friday, August 5, 2011

3 Poems by Mary Oliver

Empty Branch in the Orchard
To have loved
is everything.
I loved, once

a hummingbird
who came every afternoon--
the freedom-loving male--

who flew by himself
to sample
the sweets of the garden,

to sit
on a high, leafless branch
with his red throat gleaming.

And then, he came no more.
And I'm still waiting for him,
ten years later,

to come back,
and he will, or he will not.
There is a certain commitment

that each of us is given,
that has to do
with another world,

if there is one.
I remember you, hummingbird.
I think of you every day

even as I am still here,
soaked in color, waiting
year after honey-rich year.

Summer Morning

Heart,
I implore you,
it's time to come back
from the dark,
it's morning,
the hills are pink
and the roses
whatever they felt
in the valley of night
are opening now
their soft dresses,
their leaves
are shining.
Why are you laggard?
Sure you have seen this
a thousand times,
which isn't half enough.
Let the world
have it's way with you
luminous as it is
with mystery
And pain--
graced as it is
with the ordinary.

To Begin With, the Sweet Grass

4.
Someday I am going to ask my friend Paulus,
the dancer, the potter,
to make me a begging bowl
which I believe my soul needs.

And if I come to you,
to the door of your comfortable house
with unwashed clothes and unclean fingernails,
will you put something into it?

I would like to take this chance.
I would like to give you this chance.

5.
We do one thing or another; we stay the same, or we
change.
Congratulations, if
you have changed.

6.
Let me ask you this.
Do you think that beauty exists for some
Fabulous reason?

And, if you have not been enchanted by this adventure--
your life--
what would do for you?

1 comment:

DAG said...

Painful beauty