The Ponds by Mary Oliver

 

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them —

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided —
and that one wears an orange blight —
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away —
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

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Landlocked in Fur

Fellini by Alberto Cabrera Luna
Model Fellini Photo by Alberto Cabrera Luna

I was meditating with my cat the other day
and all of a sudden she shouted,
“What happened?”

I knew exactly what she meant, but encouraged
her to say more— feeling that if she got it all out on the table
she would sleep better at night.

So I responded, “Tell me more my dear.”
and she soulfully meowed,

“Well, I was mingled with the sky. I was comets
whizzing here and there. I was suns in heat, hell—I was
galaxies. But now look— I am
landlocked in fur.”

To this I said, “I know exactly what
you mean>”

What to say about conversations
between

mystics?

by Turkaram (c. 1608-1649)