Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's poem by Mary Oliver


The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn't a place
in this world that doesn't

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but for now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curved blade
from hooking forward -
of course
loss is the great lesson.

But also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it's done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight -

and what are you going to do –
what can you do
about it -
deep, blue night?

Mary Oliver
from New and Selected Poems
Volume One


  1. Peonies! Poppies!!! Two of my favourites...beautiful photos Nan!

    PS the awning fabric came from Fabricland (similar to Joannes). It is outdoor fabric and is water resistant. It has held up really well,(last summer was our first summer with it) no mould, mildew or any other yuckies. I bought a few metres, sewed the two widths up togeher and hemmed the sides. easypeasy :)

    Have a great day!

  2. Thank you, Niki! Yeah, easy peasy for you:<)

  3. Perfect photos to complement a lovely poem!

  4. Thanks, JoAnn. Poppies, at least mine, are impossible to capture in a photograph. They look bizarre, other-worldly, suspended in space. No matter what camera, no matter what the weather.

  5. Again you have posted the perfect poem for me to read today.
    I am looking out at rain soaked poppies here, we had a drought earlier, now it's rain, rain, rain.
    Love the peonies, I keep meaning to get some.

  6. Aw, I love Mary Oliver. She manages to catch the nature of simple joys and beauty so well.

    My poppies are all done for the season already, but I've got irises and peonies and salvia rounding out the mix, so I can't complain. :)

  7. Dear Nan,
    Poppies are one of my FAVORITE flowers that I enjoy when I am in England (never seen them here in Georgia) and I really like the poem by Mary Oliver that you have here.
    Beautiful photo of peonies at top too! Everything there looks so lovely and green.

  8. Gorgeous peonies!!!!!! I love the color combination, too. I have a white bush, but need to plant a couple with pink and red.

  9. Love the peonies. We had poppies in a little garden here when we first moved in. Trouble was, they wanted to take over the world and after the blossoms were gone, they looked awful. It took me years to get rid of them, but still one will pop up in some odd place. They're pretty but . . .

  10. Carole, I'm glad you're getting rain, even if it is too much. I'd always rather have too much rain than too little. The thing I've read about peonies is that they don't like being moved. I hope you get some soon!

    Kiirstin, so good to hear from you! This time of year it really is one blossoming right after the other. Glorious!

    Kay, do you think it is too hot for them in Georgia? Everything indeed is 'lovely and green.' Beautiful time of year.

    Les, they've been there a lot of years and just keep thriving. I so love them.

    Barbara, and I wish mine would spread a bit! Isn't that the way?! :<)

  11. Oh my - Mary Oliver - my favorite.
    The poppies and the peonies are beautiful...
    I have tried over and over to grow poppies - no luck but I am still trying :)

  12. I love this line: "[L]ight
    is an invitation
    to happiness,
    and that happiness,

    when it's done right,
    is a kind of holiness,
    palpable and redemptive."

    I wish someone would tattoo that on my forehead...

  13. Sprite, I'm sure there's someone who would. :<) They are truly wonderful words. Mary Oliver just gets it, doesn't she.

  14. Ernestine, they are tricky to grow here, too.

  15. Those photos are lovely! And Mary Oliver is great.

  16. Dorothy, thank you! She really is wonderful. And hey, my daughter is heading to where that rock is in your little picture (if I remember correctly).


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