Evening Poetry, April 9

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

Logos

Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?

If you say the right words, the wine expands,

If you say them with love

and the felt ferocity of that love

and the felt necessity of that love,

the fish explode into many.

Imagine him, speaking,

and don’t worry about what is reality,

or what is plain, or what is mysterious.

If you were there, it was all those things.

If you can imagine it, it is all those things.

Eat, drink, be happy.

Accept the miracle.

Accept, too, each spoken word

spoken with love.

This poem can be found in the collection Why I Wake Early.

Evening Poetry, April 8

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am, the world comes after me,

It offers me its busyness. It does not believe

that I do not want it. Now I understand

why the old poets of China went so far and high

into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

This poem can be found in the collection, Why I Wake Early.

Evening Poetry, April 6

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

Moon and Water

I wake and spend

the last hours

of darkness

with no on

but the moon.

She listens

to my complaints

like the good

companion she is

and comforts me surely

with her light.

But she, like everyone,

has her own life.

So finally I understand

that she has turned away,

is no longer listening.

She wants me

to refold myself

into my own life.

And, bending close,

as well all dream of doing,

she rows with her white arms

through the dark water

which she adores.

This poem can be found in the collection, Evidence.

Evening Poetry, April 5

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

Broken, Unbroken

The lonely

stand in the dark corners

of their hearts.

I have seen them

in cities,

and in my own neighborhood,

nor could I touch them

with the magic

that they crave

to be unbroken.

Then, I myself,

lonely,

said hello to

good fortune.

Someone

came along

and lingered

and little by little

became everything

that makes the difference.

Oh, I wish such good luck

to everyone.

How beautiful if is

to be unbroken.

This poem can be found in the collection Evidence.

Evening Poetry, April 4

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

I Know Someone

I know someone who kisses the way

a flower opens, but more rapidly.

Flowers are sweet. They have

short beatific lives. They offer

much pleasure. There is

nothing in the world that can be said

against them.

Sad isn’t it, that all they can kiss

is the air.

Yes, yes! We are the lucky ones!

This poem is from the collection, Felicity.

Evening Poetry, April 3

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

Yellow

There is the heaven we enter

Through institutional grace

and there are the yellow finches bathing and signing

in the lowly puddle.

This poem can be found in Evidence.

Evening Poetry, April 2

In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations–

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of the clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the life you could save.

This poem is found in the collection Dream Work.