Mary Oliver

How I Go To The Woods

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single

friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds

or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of

praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit

on top of the dune as motionless as an uproar of weeds,

until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost

unbearable sound of the roses singing.

*

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.

-Mary Oliver

Thank you for allowing us to walk in the woods with you. RIP.

Dead Can Dance

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The Guest House-

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and

invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

-Jellaludin Rumi

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Do not stand at my door and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,

I am the swift, uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there, I do not sleep.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there, I did not die!

-Anon

Feliz Día de los Muertos.

Besos.

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A Poem For The Longest Night

Sunrise

By Mary Oliver

You can

die for it–

an idea,

or the world. People
have done so,

brilliantly,

letting

their small bodies be bound
to the stake,

creating

an unforgettable

fury of light. But
this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar

fabric of dawn, I thought
of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun
blazes

for everyone just

so joyfully

as it rises
under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!

What is my name?
What is the name

of the deep breath I would take

over and over

for all of us? Call it
whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one

of the ways to enter

fire.


Happy Winter Solstice!

Feast

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I read a horoscope last week that said to watch for books that jumped off the shelf at me, wanting to be looked at and read.

Well, it wasn’t a book that jumped out, but a poem. I heard it in a documentary called “Free Your Mind”, directed by Phie Ambo, and made a mental note of the title, wanting to look it up later. Then, yesterday, this same poem was handed out in my writing group, to be read and discussed.

I think it is really beautiful and relevant in the way it talks about the stranger we all periodically let ourselves become. The self who is always there, awaiting our return, never judging, wanting just to love and nourish.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

-Derek Walcott