Tuesday, March 18, 2008


AC and I "attended" our third "New Earth" class last night, and it was the best one yet. We got a smooth video feed and were able to watch the whole broadcast with only one or two minor hitches. What a treat that was after the trouble I had on my machine during the first two classes.

Discussions on, living in the present moment, death, dying, form, labels, essence and the power of now, brought to mind some of Mary Oliver's poems. So, this seems like the perfect day to share a couple with you.

Long Afternoon at the Edge of Little Sister Pond

As for life,
I'm humbled,
I'm without words
sufficient to say

how it has been hard as flint,
and soft as a spring pond,
both of these
and over and over,

and long pale afternoons besides,
and so many mysteries
beautiful as eggs in a nest,
still unhatched

though warm and watched over
by something I have never seen -
a tree angel, perhaps
or a ghost of holiness.

Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective.

It suffices, it is all comfort -
along with human love,

dog love, water love, little-serpent love,
sunburst love, or love for the smallest of birds
flying among the scarlet flowers.
there is hardly time to think about

stopping, and lying down at last
to the long afterlife, to the tenderness
yet to come, when
time will brim over the singular pond, and become forever,

and we will pretend to melt away into the leaves.
As for death,
I can't wait to be the hummingbird,
can you?

The Leaf and the Cloud
From the Book of Time

For how many years have you gone through the house
shutting the windows,
while the rain was still five miles away

and veering, o plum-coloured, to the north,
away from you

and you did not even know enough to be sorry,

you were glad
those silver sheets, with the occasional golden staple,

were sweeping on, elsewhere,
violent and electric and uncontrollable -

and will you find yourself finally wanting to forget
all enclosures, including

the enclosure of yourself, o lonely leaf, and will you
dash finally frantically,

to the windows and haul them open and lean out
to the dark, silvered sky, to everything

that is beyond capture, shouting
I'm here, I'm here! Now, now, now, now, now.

I have many Mary Oliver books, but The Leaf and the Cloud is the one with the most dog-eared pages. I return to it again, and again, and again.

Run to the window of your life today, throw it open to everything that is beyond capture and shout - I'm here, I'm here, now, now, now, now, now!

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