Saturday, November 14, 2009

Her Grave - by Mary Oliver

I am sitting here hurting from the loss of Zeus so I go to my poetry books to search for some balm for my aching heart. Nobody puts thoughts and feelings into words like Mary Oliver. Ahhhh, that feels better.

Her Grave
by Mary Oliver

She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile-----
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
cunning elbows,
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
perfect arch of her neck.

It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but, anyway, it began to rain

Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.

Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.

My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged
through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.

Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.

A dog lives fifteen years, if you're lucky.

Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?

A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.

Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?

A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
almost nothing.

Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?

She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
wait for me, or be somewhere.

Now she is buried under the pines.

Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.

Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering

The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
of the infallible energies?

How strong was her dark body!

How apt is her grave place.

How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.

the slick mountains of love break
over us.


Anonymous said...

Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that soothed your grieving heart. That was very touching. I don't have a dog. If I lived alone I would definitely.

misty said...

i was searching online for this poem, after just losing our beloved dog, and came here... thank you so much for posting it.
i am sorry your heart is hurting, i understand.
take care.

Ailsa meadows said...

I love your poem .. My son , Australian Poet , Anthony Lawrence just sent it to me , knowing so well ,how I would relate to it & love it .
He had read it to me on telephone . Thank you , I understand your grief ..Ailsa Meadows ...Australia.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. It's a nice poem. By the way, my beloved Shakira died 2 weeks ago and some of my friends help me since my family is far away from me and grieving is not easy to do. For her arrangement, I call the pet cremation in houston and thank you to all my friends for the sincere sympathy. I miss you Shakira.

Doug said...

the vision of you and Lucy walking to the office will be in my mind forever.