Friday, March 30, 2007

Breathe deep ~ Let Life in!


by Mary Oliver

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches
of other lives
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early summer,
feel like?

Do you think this world is only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down with the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?

Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one's foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one's foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-figured, sailing out of his house of straw,

nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird's pink mouth,

to the tiplets of the honeysuckle, that have opened
in the night.

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!


Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.


Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion,
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or two of music, damp and rouge-red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.


For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?

Fall in! Fall in!


A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what's coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.


Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chance, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daisies,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn't ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean's edge.

I climb. I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.


  1. Oh good morning dear!
    I have missed you so much...
    It's been hard to find a computer to update and read what's going on at home.
    I was able to get on a computer this morning and give an update .
    LOVE the pictures and poem.
    You are such a sweetie!
    Love and Hugs,
    Wanda Mom

  2. Is that YOU???!!! Wonderful post Angela!!! I want to get a Mary Oliver poem book! HAPPY Saturday!!!xoCinda

  3. Yes Cinda... that is me!
    Darlene called me frantic wondering if I had changed my taste in how I dress myself! I had to explain to her that I was just playing dress up! Trying to be a little creative! LOL!

  4. That was beyond beautiful and pulled every string on my heart, but work is calling and I must go! Sigh, good bye grass!

  5. love Oliver...
    but love you more!

    you look addorable and I had a little chuckle picturing d taking your pictures and you just about dying if a car drove by as you were walking down the tracks with a suitcase, looking like 'Anne of Green Gables'

    hee hee ~ our very own celebrity
    ;) oxxo darlene

  6. I just absolutely love Mary Oliver poetry...wonderful choice Angela...for this fine first day of april!

  7. Sophia...she posed so well that day. That was fun indeed. I'll forever remember to look past the object of my camera's lense and into the background. Lesson learned mommy dearest. =)