inspiration

Mary Oliver

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August

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is.  In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

 

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth
remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.  I slept 
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees.  All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness.  All night
I rose and fall, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom.  By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

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