I don’t want to say anything about
how dark it is right now, how quiet.
Those yellow lanterns among the trees,
cars on the road beyond the forest,
I have nothing to say about them.
And there’s half a moon as well
that I don’t want to talk about,
like those slow clouds edged
with silver, or the few unassembled stars.
There’s more to all of that than this,
of course, and you would know it
better than most, better I mean
than any other, which is only
to say I had always intended
finding you here where I could
tell you exactly what I wanted to say
as if I had nothing to say
to anyone but you.
– Lawrence Raab
I look up, you are standing
on the other side of the window
now your body
glimmers in the dark
room / you rise above me
smooth, chill, stone-
white / you smell of tunnels
you smell of too much time
I should have used leaves
and silver to prevent you
instead I summoned
you are not a bird you do not fly
you are not an animal you do not run
you are not a woman
your mouth is nothingness
where it touches me I vanish
you descend on me like age
you descend on me like earth
– Margaret Atwood
There was one summer
that returned many times over
there was one flower unfurling
taking many forms
Crimson of the monarda, pale gold of the late roses
There was one love
There was one love, there were many nights
Smell of the mock orange tree
Corridors of jasmine and lilies
Still the wind blew
There were many winters but I closed my eyes
The cold air white with dissolved wings
There was one garden when the snow melted
Azure and white; I couldn’t tell
my solitude from love—
There was one love; he had many voices
There was one dawn; sometimes
we watched it together
I was here
I was here
There was one summer returning over and over
there was one dawn
I grew old watching
– Louise Glück
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvellous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
– Mary Oliver
write the softest words and kiss them that I may at least touch my lips where yours have been. For myself I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form: I want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair…
– John Keats
I want to see you
I cannot wait to hold you, and to feel
your body against mine, that tingling
feeling when we are near.
I want to be cold with you.
I want you to put your hands between mine to warm them,
and we can hold them,
as we always do.
I want to press my chest onto your shoulder blades,
and leave tiny kisses on your back.
I am full of tears.
All day they roll out of my eyes
and fizz to nothing by my feet.
They splash my chest and for a second it is dark there,
then no. I am dry. I am a pillar of salt.
My body is warmed from the inside out.
My stomach is molten inside my body,
my lungs bubble from the heat of it,
my heart in your hand would be like
taking a potato straight from the oven,
my bones are the wood of a campfire,
my skin is bed sheets slept in for a day and night.
Everything, everything I love is out to sea
I love you.
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
– from Don’t Hesitate by Mary Oliver
I don’t want to lose a single thread
from the intricate brocade of who you are.
I want to remember and adore all that is you.
Which is why I am lying awake, sleepy
but not sleepy enough to give it up.
Just now, a moment years from now, I hope:
the early morning light, the deft, sweet
gesture of your hand
reaching for me.
– Based on a poem by Mary Oliver
It seems you love this world very much.
“Yes, I said. “This beautiful world.”
And you don’t mind the mind, that keeps you
busy all the time with its dark and bright wonderings?
“No, I’m quite used to it. Busy, busy,
all the time.”
And you don’t mind living with those questions,
I mean the hard ones, that no one can answer?
“Actually, they’re the most interesting.”
And you have a person in your life whose hand
you like to hold?
“Yes, I do.”
It must surely, then, be very happy down there
in your heart.
“Yes,” I said. “It is.”
– Mary Oliver
(I ache to hold your hand again…)
This is not just surprise and pleasure.
This is not just beauty sometimes
too hot to touch.
This is not a blessing with a beginning
and an end.
This is not just a wild summer.
This is not conditional
– Mary Oliver