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Poetry Read at the May 16th Mindful Communication workshop

21 May 2018 3:42 PM | Tim Burnett (Administrator)

Mary Oliver - I Worried

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers 

flow in the right direction, will the earth turn 

as it was taught, and if not how shally 

I correct it? 

 

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, 

can I do better? 

 

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows 

can do it and I am, well, 

hopeless. 

 

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, 

am I going to get rheumatism, 

lockjaw, dementia? 

 

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. 

And gave it up. And took my old body 

and went out into the morning, 

and sang.

Mary Oliver - The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.

‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
nthe stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver - The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, 

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-‐

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should l have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?


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