Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Ponds

Today I say next to a poet, Colleen, at lunch and she told me about this Mary Oliver poem. Quite wonderful:

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe  
their lapping light crowding the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them— 
the muskrats swimming
can reach out and touch
only so many, they are that
rife and wild.

But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided--
and that one wears an orange blight--
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away--
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing 
to be dazzled--
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing--
that the light is everything--that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

-- Mary Oliver


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