Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Loon

(Family of Loons by Norval Morrisseau, 1931?-2007,
Canadian Ojibwa artist)

How does she come to create a poem, Mary Oliver was asked in an interview. “I take walks. Walks work for me. I enter some arena that is neither conscious or unconscious. It’s a joke here in town: I take a walk and I'm found standing still somewhere. This is not a walk to arrive; this is a walk that’s part of a process.”


Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
to another room, where my books are lined up
in their neat and colorful rows. How

magical they are! I choose one
and open it. Soon
I have wandered in over the waves of the words
to the temple of thought.

And then I hear
outside, over the actual waves, the small,
perfect voice of the loon. He is also awake,
and with his heavy head uplifted he calls out
to the fading moon, to the pink flush
swelling in the east that, soon,
will become the long, reasonable day.

Inside the house
it is still dark, except for the pool of lamplight
in which I am sitting.

I do not close the book.
Neither, for a long while, do I read on.

~ Mary Oliver, born 1935, American poet


Anonymous said...

I too woke early and left the new sheets that felt so special. The books were there, inviting,also the taste of fresh cold air at the opened door on porch. The water in the quarry pond stil and wind sparkled with tow ducks who invite to a muse. "you dolphins and all water creatures ,bless the Lord"
Now to walk and remember how Mary Oliver stops.
Mary Vitiello

GretchenJoanna said...

She so lovingly and aptly portrays the kind of simple and wonderful experience that I've had so many times, and makes me even happier about it.

You do the world an immense service, Mary, the way you find and organize and illustrate these poems and more poems.

May your Lent be a blessed time.