Sunday, April 7, 2013

SPRING by Mary Oliver


Spring

Somewhere 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
rising
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is like
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
coming
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her --
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.



     
 

"Make of Yourself a Light" - Buddha



THE BUDDHA'S LAST INSTRUCTION
 by Mary Oliver 

"Make of yourself a light," said the Buddha,
 before he died.
 I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal--a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
 even green.
 An old man, he lay down between
two sala trees,
 and he might have said anything,
 knowing it was his final hour.
 The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
 Even before the sun itself
hangs, distracted, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
 And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire--
clearly I'm not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
 he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.