Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wild and Perfect for a Moment

Yesterday, I read this poem and thought of how we had to leave town just as our peonies started to bloom, I think they were late this year. So I picked them and brought them to someone.


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

Mary Oliver


Anonymous said...

I love the soft pinkness of them.

Dine With Donna said...

It wasn't until I finished reading your poetry and saw the name of the author that I was convinced that you had your mother's gift of writing. I could almost envision the peony coming to bloom with the black ant crawling and the peony fading as I read the beautiful poem. What a nice photo