Thursday 9 June 2011


by Mary Oliver

The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn't a place
in this world that doesn't

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
of course nothing stops the cold,
black, curved blade
from hooking forward -
of course
loss is the great lesson.

But also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness
when it's done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight -
and what are you going to do?

what can you do
about it -
deep, blue night?