One

One

The mosquito is so small
it takes almost nothing to ruin it.
Each leaf, the same.
And the black ant, hurrying.
So many lives, so many fortunes!
Every morning, I walk softly and with forward glances
down to the ponds and through the pinewoods.
Mushrooms, even, have but a brief hour
before the slug creeps to the feast,
before the pine needles hustle down
under the bundles of harsh, beneficent rain.
How many, how many, how many
make up a world!
And then I think of that old idea: the singular
and the eternal.
One cup, in which everything is swirled
back to the color of the sea and sky.
Imagine it!
A shining cup, surely!
In the moment in which there is no wind
over your shoulder,
you stare down into it,
and there you are,
your own darling face, your own eyes.
And then the wind, not thinking of you, just passes by,
touching the ant, the mosquito, the leaf,
and you know what else!
How blue is the sea, how blue is the sky,
how blue and tiny and redeemable everything is, even you,
even your eyes, even your imagination.

— Mary Oliver

One Response

  1. thoughts?oh, that,that which
    thoughts?

    oh, that,
    that which goes
    athwart our faces
    traces of this and titters of that
    something about
    how we feel small
    like thoughts, like
    ants, leaves, oceans, notions of

    and of the color of running drains
    in settings outside our own habitat
    thou are a habitat

    like blue ants
    or black oceans
    or needle winds
    or pine for your world

    something crawling
    along with such otherness little
    movements, that defy
    our swift fleeting
    ones

    some connection to nature
    but also to the nature
    of the poem

    if poem be told
    makes ants of us
    on a bed of planet sized sand
    grain for rain
    and blood
    that is drawn up the squito
    pen

    only to find a nice soft point
    to enter again

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