Sunday, January 28, 2018

There Is Only One Question

by Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
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.

From  New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver


Anvilcloud said...

Wonderful poem that captures a picture and a feeling.

Barbara Rogers said...

Just look at those shoots shooting up! I'm still enjoying yet another amaryllis to be, a stalk that came after the leaves. Last year it only did leaves, so it better give me a beauty! Love Oliver's writings. Love the fog this morning!

Thérèse said...

Your last picture is unique. I do love the poem too.

Bernie said...

Wonderful poem Vicki, gives me hope!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Lovely poem to share. I feel the stirrings of spring, too, even though it's only January. But her spring stirrings are magnificent.

Jime said...

What a wonderful capture in words of the wild things that come down from the mountain. Thank you

katy gilmore said...

Thanks Vicki, Thanks MO.....and oh you are so lucky to be thinking of spring! Well, we have shoots, too, in the Pacific NW - snowdrops and hellebore blossoms, but any hint of warmth so far away. xo