The columns share the personal point of view of an author and are often based on facts reported by the newspaper.
On this last Sunday of National Poetry Month, I want to leave you with inspiration.
Not just to read poems, but to write them.
I wrote last week about the late poet Mary Oliver. The cosmic connection I feel with her, because of the connection I feel with nature.
I am not alone – many think this way. Any of us who pause in wonder.
Any of us who wander through the south coast woods, beaches or backyards and come out amazed. Spirits flicker like garlands. All of us who could sit in the weeds and listen.
I’ve heard readers ask me which books to start with. It’s hard to say because my favorite poems are scattered throughout different works, but you could start with ‘A Thousand Mornings’, ‘Devotions’ and ‘West Wind’.
From “West Wind”, the poem “Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches” speaks of the danger of convention, of joining the frantic race and forgetting the sunset, of believing that there has a big “end goal” to all of this. (Honey, we’re the big door prize.)
“Sit, like a weed among the weeds, and rustle in the wind! / Listen, do you breathe just a little and call it a life?… How long will you go on listening to these dark criers / Caution and caution?/ Fall in! Fall in!/ A woman standing in the weeds… What more could you ask for?”
Oliver teaches that life is miraculous and that your imagination, your private world, is part of it. Take “The World I Live In” – for all of us who tend to live in our own heads. She writes:
I refused to live/ locked up in the ordered house of/ reasons and proofs. The world I live in and believe in/ is bigger than that…I’ll just tell you this:/Only if there are angels in your head will you see/maybe one day.
Oliver roamed Cape Cod, notebook in hand, every day.
I don’t walk with a notebook. You probably don’t either. But the next time you come home, if you dare, try writing your own Oliver-inspired poem. She has traveled this part of the country. Our blue comma.
Note. To look for. To look for.
If you write one, I’d love to see it.
To get the ball rolling, here’s one I wrote this afternoon – it’s not really edited, but something I jotted down after a walk on the south coast.
But hi. Over to you, Mary Oliver. Here’s to closing National Poetry Month with a heart.
On Cross Road
By Lauren Daley
On Cross Road, the windless road, we take off our extra jackets.
In the still, this herd of wild turkeys: the red heads dancing behind the stone wall, gliding along the edge of the pasture. Resting sheep don’t blink, but I run to watch
Them swinging towards the thicket (whoosh!) the proud pokes a tail, before turning into a bramble.
Just then (there he is!) a red squirrel, darting through thorns and dead branches. All this while the crows soar, blue-black kites above the maples.
All this while the seagulls glide like paper planes.
All this while the groundhog nibbles. (He saw you! There he is!)
All this among the wild hyacinths.
Just then…a deer. (Two! you said. Three! Four! Five! we whisper.)
I run to spot them between the trees. Tawny and grazing. One looks up. We look at each other. We can’t walk away. Maybe we’re both impressed.