scatter

Red-leaf

Things are not
unmoving (or else what

is ing there for?)
The things once-living

fall on the never-living   
all the more movingly for the eye

that passes over them.
The wind wells up

to spill a trail
of onces off the nevers,

take opaque from eye
to mind, or near it —

every rocking takes some leaving
to a stonish spirit.
 
– Heather McHugh, ” Leaf Litter on Rock Face”

sunrise at dusk

Sunrise

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:

 

This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here

 

Come here, little one

 

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

 – Louise Gluck, “All Hallows” 

soul gazing

Eclipse

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,

the 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 Journey

August_break_flat 

 

paying attention

Leaves-sm

It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

 

a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway

 

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak

Praying by Mary Oliver

 Love-heart

August_break_flat

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