Christmas Card 2012

Thank you for visiting Madrona Grove.
With over 16,500 visitors in two years, you
have given me a wonderful present!
In a few weeks I’ll launch the first poetry book from this blog:
“Madrona Grove:  Poems Written Under the Canopy”
My “staff” and I will make sure you’ll know how to purchase
a copy for your collection when it becomes available.
Meanwhile, please enjoy this holiday video card of myself and
the “staff” on a recent work retreat to Mt Baker, and a little
Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets.
~Cheers!

 

White Eyes 
by Mary Oliver
In winter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.
Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
but he’s restless—
he has an idea,
and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
as long as he stays awake.
But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
In the pine-crown
he makes his nest,
he’s done all he can.

I don’t know the name of this bird,
I only imagine his glittering beak
tucked in a white wing
while the clouds—

which he has summoned
from the north—
which he has taught
to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall
into the world below
like stars, or the feathers
of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
that is asleep now, and silent—
that has turned itself
into snow.

 

Powered by Poetry

Last night at Poetry Night’s open mic I ran into another Mary Oliver fan.  I find it exciting to meet new people and hear their story.  This poetry fan told me she doesn’t write poetry, she just comes to listen.  However, one night, about six months ago, she read the Mary Oliver poem “The Journey”.  I was happy to hear this because I was reading that same poem that evening, along with an older poem of mine called “Droplet”
( http://splawssji.blogspot.com/2010/09/droplet.html ). 
The conversation was started! 

Naturally I asked her what drew her to that poem.  She said she’s always love Mary Oliver but the poem “The Journey” struck a cord in her.  She went on to share that last fall she was going through a transition and it was as if the poem was written by her own heart.  She was touched by it. It was a wonderful experience to get up in front of a crowd and share her feelings- even though they were written by another- they expressed how she felt that day.  Last night I was also feeling that way and for a brief moment we were in accord.

Poetry is like any other art form.  One hundred people can view/read it and you’ll get one hundred interpretations.  Good work will speak to to you, move you, change you if only for an instant. 
Art is powerful!

Love this quote:
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, US author & physician (1809-1894)

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
but little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save

*copyright Mary Oliver
http://www.maryoliver.net/