Tuesday, December 2, 2008



by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird---

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old?  Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?  Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be


The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.

Listening to mine messenger, that's the quest.  Listening to Mary Oliver last night was inspiring, hilarious, and deeply moving.  She made a joke about commas being inserted into lines by poets wanting some definitive way to highlight a particularly fabulous phrase,  "...that's why you find them in my poetry, and dashes, lots of dashes!"  I just loved how she let us all know that we all have precious phrases and lines IN us, and of course we are going to search for ways to make them obvious!  Why wouldn't we?

Listening to a program about Roy Orbison as I am working today:  I loved him when I got my first Personal Stereo (not to share with Mom, or brothers, or somebody turning it off right in the middle of "Leah!").  I played his records many times every day.  Oh Lordy, now I hear him in rehersal with the Boss.  Now, HOW am I supposed to concentrate?  Oh, Sweet Dreams, Bay-beh!

Oh, and MO writes dog poems!  Hee hee hee!  Look out, Literary World!!!

What is your personal Messenger whispering today?


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