Saturday, 3 January 2015

Day 898: An Almanac of Awe

Winter Trees - Mary Oliver

First it was only the winter treess -
their boughs eloquent at midnight

with small but mortal explosions, and always a humming
under the lashings of storm.

Nights I sat at the kitchen door
listening out into the darkness

until finally spring came, and everything
transcended. As one by one

the ponds opened, took the white ice
painfully into their dark bellies,

I began to listen to them shore-slapping and rock-leaping
into the growl of creeks,

and then of course the ocean, far off,
pouring everything, over and over,

from jar to enormous jar. You'd think
it would stop somewhere, but next it was the rocks

flicking their silver tongues all summer, panting
a little on their damp under-sides.

Now I listen as fall rides
in the wagons of the wind, lighting up the world

with red, yellow, and the long-leaved ash
as blue as fire, and I know

there's no end to it, the kingdoms
crying out - and no end

to the voices the heart can hear once
it's started. Already like small white birds

snow is falling from the ledges of the north, each flake
singing with its tiny mouth as it wings out

into the wind, whispering about love, about darkness
as it balances in the clear air, as it whirls down.

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