Evening Poetry, April 25

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.

Coming Home

When we’re driving, in the dark,

on the long road

to Provincetown, which lies empty

for miles, when we’re weary,

when the buildings

and the scrub pines lose

their familiar look,

I imagine us rising

from the speeding car,

I imagine us seeing

everything from another place–the top

of one of the pale dunes

or the deep and nameless

fields of the sea–

and what we see is the world

that cannot cherish us

but which we cherish,

and what we see is our life

moving like that,

along the dark edges

of everything–the headlights

like lanterns

sweeping the blackness–

believing in a thousand

fragile and unprovable things,

looking out for sorrow,

slowing down for happiness,

making all the right turns

right down to the thumping

barriers to the sea,

the swirling waves,

the narrow streets, the houses,

the past, the future,

the doorway that belongs

to you and me.

This poem can be found in the collection Dream Work.

Evening Poetry, April 24

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 Sunflowers

Come with me

into the field of sunflowers.

Their faces are burnished disks,

their dry spines

creak like ship masts,

their green leaves,

so heavy and many,

fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.

Come with me to visit the sunflowers,

they are shy

bu want to be friends;

they have wonderful stories

of when they were young–

the important weather,

the wandering crows.

Don’t be afraid

to ask them questions!

Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,

will listen, and all

those rows of seeds–

each one new life!–

hope for a deeper acquaintance;

each of them, though it stands

in a crowd of many,

like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work

of turning their lives

into a celebration

is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,

the simple garments of leaves,

the coarse roots in the earth

so uprightly burning.

This poem can be found in the collection Dream Work.

Evening Poetry, April 23

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.

(Today is my 2 month wedding anniversary and this is the poem I read to Alan when we said our vows.)

Everything That Was Broken

Everything that was broken has

Forgotten its brokenness. I live

now in a sky-house, through every

window the sun. Also your presence.

Our touching, our stories. Earthy

and holy both. How can this be, but

it is. Every day has something in

it whose name is Forever.

This poem is from the collection, Felicity.

Evening Poetry, April 22

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.

Clouds

All afternoon, Sir,

your ambassadors have been turning

into lakes and rivers.

At first they were just clouds, like any other.

Then they swelled and swirled; then they hung very still;

then they broke open. This is, I suppose,

just one of the common miracles,

a transformation, not a vision,

not an answer, not a proof, but I put it

there, close against my heart, where the need is, and it serves

the purpose. I go on, soaked through, my hair slicked back;

like corn, or wheat, shining and useful.

This poem can be found in Why I Wake Early.

Evening Poetry, April 21

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.

Look and See

This morning, at waterside, a sparrow flew

to a water rock and landed, by error, on the back

of an eider duck; lightly it fluttered off, aroused,

The duck, too, was not provoked, but, you might say, was

laughing.

This afternoon gull sailing over

our house was casually scratching

its stomach of white feathers with one

pink foot as it flew.

Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if we

only look, and see.

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

Evening Poetry, April 20

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.

To Begin With, the Sweet Grass (This poem is in seven sections, so I’ve spread it out through the week.)

7.

What I loved in the beginning, I think, was mostly myself.

Never mind that I had to, since somebody had to.

That was many years ago.

Since then I have gone out from my confinements,

though with difficulty.

I mean the ones that thought to rule my heart.

I cast them out, I put them on the mush pile.

They will be nourishment somehow (everything is nourishment somehow or other).

And I have become the child of the clouds, and of hope.

I have become the friend of the enemy, whoever that is.

I have become older and, cherishing what I have learned,

I have become younger.

And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know?

Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.

This poem can be found in the collection Felicity.

Evening Poetry, April 19

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.

To Begin With, the Sweet Grass (This poem is in seven sections, so I’ve spread it out through the week)

6.

Let me ask you this.

Do you also 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?

This poem can be found in the collection Evidence.