Saturday, May 9, 2009

Another Poem from Mary Oliver

This poem below by Mary Oliver is a delectable pairing with Suzuki-roshi's quote from yesterday about bugs being Buddhists, too.

I first read this poem last month when I was vacationing in Mendocino. It has lodged itself in my brain since then. In a pleasant way, despite being a thought that borders on intrusive.

Thanks to this poem, animals feel like closer relatives....

Here it is:

Almost a Conversation

I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble
with vowels.

Wherefore our understanding
is all body expression—

he swims like the sleekest fish,
he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.
Little by little he trusts my eyes
and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close.
I admire his whiskers
and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells about his life
is clear.
He does not own a computer.
He imagines the river will last forever.
He does not envy the dry house I live in.
He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship.
He wonders, morning after morning, that the river
is so cold and fresh and alive, and still
I don't jump in.

—Mary Oliver
from her book, Evidence


Delwyn said...

Thanks for that treat Dan

I'll pop a gratitude message here:

For being the mother of my four wonderful kids I am grateful...

Delwyn said...


and for a D in L
a prospective D in L
a prospective S in L
and a daughter's first boyfriend

all of whom are fine and loving young people

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Delwyn--

You're a blessed being! We lost a prospective son in law recently--an adjustment for my daughter and my wife and me. A bit of a tear in our web of relationship, but one which I'm sure is for the best in the larger scheme of things.

Delwyn said...

Oh I see, that will be hard and slow to mend.
I send you three my wishes and love
Happy Days

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Delwyn. Just to be clear, we lost him in the sense that he decided to be single. It'll be an adjustment for all of us. He'd been with my daughter for 8 years.