Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Walking to Oak Pond by Mary Oliver

Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next Days and Weeks

by Mary Oliver

What is so utterly invisible
as tomorrow?
Not love,
not the wind,

not the inside of stone.
Not anything.
And yet, how often I'm fooled-
I'm wading along

in the sunlight-
and I'm sure I can see the fields and the ponds shining
days ahead-
I can see the light spilling

like a shower of meteors
into next week's trees,
and I plan to be there soon-
and, so far, I am

just that lucky,
my legs splashing
over the edge of darkness,
my heart on fire.

I don't know where
such certainty comes from-
the brave flesh
or the theater of the mind-

but if I had to guess
I would say that only
what the soul is supposed to be
could send us forth

with such cheer
as even the leaf must wear
as it unfurls
its fragrant body, and shines

against the hard possibility of stoppage-
which, day after day,
before such brisk, corpuscular belief,
shudders, and gives way.

"Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next Days and Weeks" by Mary Oliver, from What Do We Know.


Renee said...

Mary Oliver how could we not love her.

I am coming over to the pink house tonight and hoping that there will be a big cake with pink icing.

Maybe Erin can come too and you guys could read me poetry. And I will yell back at both of you that I don't get it and then you guys will try to explain it to me and I will say I don't want to hear it. har har

Love Renee xoxo

Woman in a Window said...

"what the soul is supposed to be
could send us forth
with such cheer"

I read it twice before the first two lines struck me. Holy hell, are you telling me that tomorrow is unsure? And even though I KNOW that, I think I've been rather smug in myself thinking I might have an idea on tomorrow. But you know, really, when it comes right down to it I know nothing of tomorrow. That is both exhilirating and frightening. Mostly the first.

It is what the soul is supposed to be that gives me calm, hope, and makes me determined.

kj said...

marion, did you know that the ponds mary oliver visits are here in provincetown and the outer cape? she lives here in town, reads at the fine arts center sometimes...


Judith Ellis said...

Lovely poem! Beautiful photo! Thanks Marion, my sister, my friend.

Karen said...

Mary Oliver is an amazing poet, one of my newly found favorites. She cuts right through, every time. Thanks for letting me start my day with this reminder, Marion.

Have a golden summer day!

My word verification: genesis -- how's that for spooky?

Rikkij said...

Marion- a beautiful look ahead with wonderful hope and optimism. I might add, what is so far and distant as yesterday? You can get to Pluto much easier than get to yesterday. It needs to be let go of. ~rick

Serena said...

That's so beautiful. Makes me want to go seek out a pond to just sit by and think.

Marion said...

Wow, Renee, first, come on over. I have that pink cake in the oven and am whipping up the pink icing!! (My husband painted my laundry room pink for me, griping all the while, but he did it...tee-hee....a girl's got to have some pink in her life...) I'm sure that Erin and I together could explain even the origins of the universe! And the three of us, well, the world would never be the same. Just bring your priest and his friend. LOL! I'm sorry, but that photo just got my goat and has cheered me ever since I saw it. There's a book called "The Floating World" by Cynthia Gralla that tells of her years in Japan and she really had a job doing what that dummy was doing---and people paid huge sums of cash to eat their sushi from her body. Strange, but true! Bless you, dearest friend! xoxoxox

Erin, I'm with you. I had to read this poem several times before it smacked me in the head. We truly only have this beautiful present moment...not even a day is promised to us, is it? Thanks for stopping by, friend. Blessings!

KJ, I didn't know that! It would be amazing to hear her read her own poetry. I'm putting Provincetown on my 'places to visit' list before I kick the bucket. Of course, I feel as if I've been there already through your book and your great photos! Blessings!

Judith, thank you for stopping over. Much love and blessing to you, my good sister friend!!

Karen, I always get a kick out of the comment word verifications. They do get a bit spooky at times, like synchronistic! Glad you enjoyed the poem today. Blessings!

Rick, something to think about, yesterday, but not dwell in. You are so right. And as I've said before, all we really have is this present moment, a gift to cherish and not squander, no? Blessings dear friend of my heart!!

SJ, glad you enjoyed the poem. Mary Oliver is one of my favorites. She never disappoints. Glad you stopped by, girlie! Blessings!!

kj said...

marion, if you come to ptown you will have to meet me....

(fade out to shy smile


Kelly said...

This is beatiful. I still haven't had a chance to go through my new Mary Oliver anthology. Meant to tell you I also got the Linda Pastan book you touted. Haven't had time to examine it closely, either. I need to sit down and have a poetry afternoon!!

Pam said...

Mary Oliver has always been a favortie of mine. Got several of her chap books.

Beth Niquette said...

How beautiful this poetry is! Lovely lovely! I came over from In the Back Door, where your comment made me laugh.

I'm with you, let's all go BAREFOOT!!!