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A Poem for a Thursday #75

Photo by Martin Sepion on Unsplash
It has been a while since I have featured a Mary Oliver poem. Her poems are some of my absolute favorites. I enjoy the way her words and the mental picture they create go together so perfectly. In this poem, she talks about just that.

You don't ever know where
a sentence will take you, depending 
on its roll and fold. I was walking
over the dunes when I saw
the red fox asleep under the green 
branches of the pine. It flared up
in the sweet order of its being,
the tail that was over the muzzle
lifting in airy amazement
and the fire of the eyes followed
and the pricked ears and the thin
barrel body and the four
athletic legs in their black stockings and it
came to me how the polish of the world changes
everything, I was hot I was cold I was almost
dead of delight. Of course the mind keeps 
cool in its hidden palace-yes, the mind takes
a long time, is otherwise occupied than by 
happiness, and deep breathing. Still,
at last, it comes too, running
like a wild thing, to be taken
with its twin sister, breath. So I stood
on the pale, peach-colored sand, watching the fox
as it opened like a flower, and I began
softly, to pick among the vast assortment of words
that it should run again and again across the page
that you again and again should shiver with praise. 

Mary Oliver

Visit Brona for more poetry.

A Poem for a Thursday #74

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash
Anne Sexton won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967. She was known for her very personal poems that addressed her suicidal tendencies, depression, and relationships with family members. She was encouraged to take up poetry by her therapist after a breakdown. She quickly became well-known for her writing. Sadly, she took her own life in 1974.

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care 
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible 
things to repair. 

Anne Sexton

Brona has shared a poem this week.

Things That Happened This Week

I have spent way too long refreshing the news.

 I have been pulled into a nostalgic vortex composed of baby clothes, photographs, and stuffed animals. Cleaning an attic is not for the faint of heart or the overly emotional.

We have been for a few walks by the river. Unfortunately, too many of those walks have been ended with a stop for ice cream at the convenience store down the street.

I have decided quarantine calories do not count.

I have decided to start an exercise program. Yes, that does contradict the previous statement.

I have started using Zoom. This is slightly anxiety-inducing for the socially awkward among us. When do I talk? What do I look like? Why? Why do we all have to communicate? But what if no one wants to communicate with me? It is an endless circle.

I baked an apple pie and oatmeal raisin cookies. See above about quarantine calories not counting. Also, see above about that exercise program.

My daughter and I have started growing our hair long. She wanted to. I didn't but have no choice. She has a mullet now. I put a headband in to keep it out of my face and looked like a 1950s housewife. Not the look I was going for and it really doesn't go with my pajama pants and ratty sweater.

I have started five million books and have only managed to finish the comfort reads I have read many times before. One day I will read something new, different, and worthy of a review. This is not that day.

The volunteer work I do several days a week has been suspended. The meetings I go to twice a week are on Zoom now. My little part-time job has been expanded but still doesn't take up much of my time. I have a lot of free time. I want to be productive with it but sometimes the day ends and I have refreshed the news and reread books and baked a pie.

As with so many of us, it is not the life I want but it is the life that is necessary. I hope you all have books to read and the strength of mind not to refresh the news too often.