Monday, April 24, 2006

Paying attention to small things

Yes! No!
by Mary Oliver

How necessary it is to have opinions!
I think the spotted trout lilies are satisfied,
standing a few inches above the earth.
I think serenity is not something you just find in the world,
like a plum tree, holding up its white petals.

The violets, along the river, are opening their
blue faces, like small dark lanterns.
The green mosses, being so many,
are as good as brawny.
How important it is to walk along, not in haste but slowly,
looking at everything
and calling out Yes! No!

The swan, for all his pomp, his robes of grass and petals,
wants only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond.
The catbrier is without fault. The water thrushes,
down among the sloppy rocks, are going crazy with happiness.
Imagination is better than a sharp instrument.
To pay attention,
this is our endless and proper work.

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