Poetry

Owlish


Owl in the Black Oaks

(Like this Blogger, I too am reading my way through Mary Oliver. Perhaps before the end, I will be reading no one but her. The others are important, but when I return to Oliver, I'm no longer convinced they are necessary.)

If a lynx, that plush fellow,
climbed down a
tree and left behind
his face, his thick neck

and, most of all, the lamps of his eyes,
there you would have it -
the owl,
the very owl

who haunts these trees,

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My November Guest

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

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Nuisance?

From around 1947 or so. Seems particularly apropos, if not entirely accurate, on several fronts today.


No Holy Wars for Them


Robert Frost

States strong enough to do good are but few,
Their number would seem limited to three,
Good is a thing that they, the great, can do,
But puny little states can only be.
And being good for these means standing by
To watch a war in nominal alliance,
And when it's over watch the worlds supply
Get parceled out among the winning giants.
God, have You taken cognizance of this?

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Hope and Change

Purple prosody, perhaps. But that's what happens when you mix red and blue.

For You, O Democracy

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.

I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,
and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,

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To Sue

On Monday, I said something about my friend Sue and a poem I wrote for her way back when. Sue and I met when we both worked for a tree nursery in Door County, Wisconsin, in the late 70's. I drove a tractor pulling a tree planter that sat six. Six other women with a never-ending supply of evergreen seedlings. I hauled them up one set of rows and down another while they put tiny trees in the ground. It must be entirely automated now. I can't find a single picture of a tree planter with actual human beings aboard. Read more about To Sue

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Second Summer

At first I thought this lovely poem by Emily Dickinson was one of the few I've read so far that didn't reference death in some way. But a second look at the one I call Second Summer convinces me that Emily does not mistake signs of life for life itself.

These are the days when Birds come back --
A very few -- a Bird or two --
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies resume
The old -- old sophistries of June --

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