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Morning poem

November 14, 2011

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 14, 2011 at 6:51 am

    When it comes to morning poems, you really have a lot of things that can be included. There are a lot of things that you can be thankful of the things every morning, every thing that you see.


  2. November 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    At first I thought this was something you wrote, then I got caught up in the poem. Around the 7th stanza, I had a hunch, and looking down saw Mary Oliver’s name. Yep. Love her stuff!


    You may also like The Way to Start a Day, by Byrd Baylor.


  3. November 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Ah! So you’ve caught the Mary Oliver bug! She is my wise woman. I took twelve of her poetry collections with me to Madagascar and read her madly. What a great travel companion she is! Here’s one among many I adore:

    Wild Geese

    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.

    ~ Mary Oliver ~

    I’m glad you’re in the family of things, Cathy!


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