Thursday, March 29, 2007


I have been reading Garrison Keillor's book, Good Poems for Hard Times. I offer you a poem.

Spring by Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlesness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees
Whatever else

My life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her--
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

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