Monday, July 5, 2010

One or Two Things



In April of 1991, at my first initiation, one of my initiators read this poem aloud to me. I have been reading it ever since then, over and over again. I believe I am finally beginning to actually understand. I love this poem. Happy Monday, y'all. Shalom.

ONE OR TWO THINGS

1.
Don’t bother me.
I’ve just
been born.

2.
The butterfly’s loping flight
carries it through the country of the leaves
delicately, and well enough to get it
where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping
here and there to fuzzle the damp throats
of flowers and the black mud; up
and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes

for long delicious moments it is perfectly
lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk
of some ordinary flower.

3.
The god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things, I lay
on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
crow voice,
frog voice; now,
he said, and now,

and never once mentioned forever,

4.
which has nevertheless always been,
like a sharp iron hoof,
at the center of my mind.

5.
One or two things are all you need
to travel over the blue pond, over the deep
roughage of the trees and through the stiff
flowers of lightning — some deep
memory of pleasure, some cutting
knowledge of pain.

6.
But to lift the hoof!
For that you need an idea.

7.
For years and years I struggled
just to love my life. And then

the butterfly rose, weightless, in the wind.
“Don’t love your life too much,” it said,

and vanished into the world.

--Mary Oliver

16 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

The hoof is lifting!! Finally and at last: I have an idea. Wow!!

ellen abbott said...

ooo, I like that. I especially like the last stanza.

good for you. I have none. Can't decide if that's good or bad. ideas don't always make me happy. or maybe it's the inability to have them come to fruition that doesn't make me happy.

Val said...

ooh thats lovely thanks! need some hoof lifting meself - hope to hear about yours x

Mrsupole said...

I think we all need some hoof lifting in our lives. Great poem thanks for sharing.

God bless.

lakeviewer said...

amazing! Who is the author?

Tom said...

i can understand why you love this poem.

Dan Gurney said...

Yes, Reya, who wrote this poem? It's really quite wonderful.

Raising Raynor, FidosForFreedom's Puppy-ADIT said...

The poem is by Mary Oliver, from her book: Dream Works.

Many more wonderful poems by Mary Oliver in that book.

"Wild Geese"

"The Journey"

just to name a couple.

:-)

Raising Raynor, FidosForFreedom's Puppy-ADIT said...

The poem is written by Mary Oliver, and is from her book: Dream Works.

Many more wonderful poems by her in that book.

"The Journey"

"Wild Geese"

...just to name a couple.

:-)

Raising Raynor, FidosForFreedom's Puppy-ADIT said...

The poem is by Mary Oliver, from her book: Dream Works.

Many more wonderful poems by Mary Oliver in that book.

"Wild Geese"

"The Journey"

just to name a couple.

:-)

Cyndy said...

I love that! So simple and so true.

Amanda said...

'don't bother me, i've just been born'. that is one of the most arresting opening lines i've read.

what a wonderful poem - thanks for posting this.

here's to lifting hooves!!

Pauline said...

Don't love your life too much - what a freeing idea!

Nancy said...

Love it.

Karen said...

One of my favorites! Thanks for posting it!

faerose_ said...

I love it when you put up poetry that is significant to you.

M xx