Monday, July 6, 2009

White Flowers



Last night
in the fields
I lay down in the darkness
to think about death,
but instead I fell asleep,
as if in a vast and sloping room
filled with those white flowers
that open all summer,
sticky and untidy,
in the warm fields.
When I woke
the morning light was just slipping
in front of the stars,
and I was covered
with blossoms.
I don’t know
how it happened—
I don’t know
if my body went diving down
under the sugary vines
in some sleep-sharpened affinity
with the depths, or whether
that green energy
rose like a wave
and curled over me, claiming me
in its husky arms.
I pushed them away, but I didn’t rise.
Never in my life had I felt so plush,
or so slippery,
or so resplendently empty.
Never in my life
had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with
and the roots and the stems and the flowers
begin.

--Mary Oliver



26 comments:

willow said...

Mary Oliver is a master of poetry. Lovely, lovely piece. Thinking of you today, Reya.

John Hayes said...

Beautiful poem & beautiful flowers-- I love cone-flowers especially.

larkspur said...

Reya, beautiful poem; seems very appropriate with all you've been going thru of late. You are in my thoughts...

Meri said...

Doesn't Mary Oliver just blow your mind? I want to say what I used to say to my mother as a little girl, "Read it again."

Tessa said...

What an extraordnarily lovely poem - thank you, Reya, for sharing it here. I have often felt like lying down amongst the flowers and savouring the moment. Now I will.

Joanne said...

Beautiful. She takes us right along on the journey, somehow, with her. How wonderful to choose just those words that move us like that.

Cynthia said...

My body felt so plush...wow...have I ever felt that? I love the perspective of the first shot...if I were to see this beauty...it's there all the time...thanks for sharing your views of the world, Reya. <3

Barbara Martin said...

A wonderful poem with beautiful flowers. A good start to the day.

Washington Cube said...

She's writing about Queen Anne's Lace which is a wildflower, but considered a "noxious pest" by the USDA. Personally, I've always loved it. When Katherine Hepburn died, she asked, in her will that a field of Queen Anne's Lace next to her Connecticut home be left undisturbed. Of course her executor, Cynthia McFadden, immediately sold the property. So much for "will."

I grow mixed beds of Black-Eyed Susans along with the Echinacea that you show. They like each other.

steven said...

wow reya what a wickedgood poem and beautiful images. i love mary's writing - she is so inside herself and then also inside all that she writes about and so she bridges the gap - 'cause there isn't really a gap between anything is there?! have a peaceful day. steven

Steve said...

Beautiful! (And doubly nice when read aloud.)

Your photos are exceptional, as usual. (Can something be "exceptional, as usual"? LOL!)

mum said...

I see my comment didn't register yesterday - happens sometimes when I'm not logged into my blogger account. Looking forward to seeing in what part of the sky Jake will get his constellation.

There's a nice contrast here between the solid colors in the photos and the evanescent quality in Oliver's poem.

Cheers from Graulhet.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful flowers and lovely poem by Mary Oliver. Peace be with you.

Amy said...

As a child, losing myself in the tall grass or fields of flowers was a regular event. It most certainly has a way of making one feel as though they are a part of the sun, earth, sky and life all at once.

Peaceful thoughts are with you, Friend.

Nancy said...

Really nice, Reya.

Mary Ellen said...

Lovely - like waking slowly from the best of dreams.

Tom said...

My favorite thing about the cone flower is the goldfinches...love their colors and the dippy way they cruise through space.

Bee said...

At first I was seeing the image of white lilies . . . perhaps because they are associated with death? I was intrigued by Washington Cube's comment that the referred-to flowers are actually Queen Anne's Lace. Sticky, yes.

This was such an interesting choice, because I felt like I plunged into the words -- not knowing quite what I was reading, and thinking that they were actually your words.

Reya Mellicker said...

I wish they were my words! I think Mary Oliver is a genius.

Washington Cube is never wrong. I'm sure Oliver was writing about Queen Anne's lace.

Tomorrow marks one week since Jake's death. I'm wondering if I'll be able to begin to move out of this current state of disorientation. Any bets?

lakeviewer said...

This poem is saying so much. Wishing you a day when you feel rooted and one with everything.

Barry said...

Great shot looking up at the flowers opened like unbella.

Pam said...

..."sleep-sharpened affinity". I often feel that. Mary Oliver describes these "between" places so well. What lovely photographs you have provided. The post is beautiful. Hope you feel more healing each day Reya.Not easy when a dear pet passes on.Sending gentle thoughts your way.

MBNAD woman said...

What I lovely heartfelt blog. I've just been doing a catch-up and read about Jake. I am so sorry for your loss.

This dog only, waited on,
Knowing that when light is gone
Love remains for shining.

MBNAD woman said...

btw: that was Elizabeth Barrett Browining to her dog, Flush

easytravel said...

great poetry and nice picture also. Thanks for share. See you on my blog.

California Girl said...

gorgeous poem.