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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: Mary Oliver

Day 95: A Black Bear

I’m a city girl by brain, but my heart lives in some kind of amalgamation of woods, fields, rivers and oceans. This afternoon, I stood on a street corner while cars screeched by and people laughed in coffee shops and I smelled it… nature! Spring! I know spring is still a ways away and I’ve already posted extensively on it here, here and here, but my heart is so ready for those little green buds.

In honor of the coming freshness, coolness, lightness and root-growing, here’s a poem by one of my favorite poets:

Spring
by Mary Oliver

Somewhere
a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
rising
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
coming
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her –
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

mountain

Day 21: Tell Me

Today, Om Shanti.

Here is a poem by Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese
By Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.