mercifulserpent: (Default)
Wild Geese | Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
"The Uses of Sorrow"
Mary Oliver

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
I believe you did not have a happy life.
I believe you were cheated.
I believe your best friends were loneliness
and misery.
I believe your busiest enemies were anger
and depression.
I believe joy was a game you could never
play without stumbling.
I believe comfort, though you craved it, was forever a stranger.
I believe music had to be melancholy or not at all.
I believe no trinket, no precious metal, shone so bright as your
bitterness.
I believe you lay down at last none the wiser and unassuaged.
Oh, cold and dreamless under wild, amoral, reckless, peaceful flowers of
the hillsides.

-Mary Oliver
mercifulserpent: (Default)
Mary Oliver.
The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
Mary Oliver -- Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
Mary Oliver
 
What I Said at Her Service

When we pray to love God perfectly,
surely we do not mean only.

(Lord, see how well I have done.)

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