Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019)



all those instances of rapture

that smell of cedar

on damp days spent bug-eyed

watching ants by the river

build busy civilizations

that ours—alack—too slow

will probably never get

so many pearls of prices

so exorbitant they swirl

far beyond the pull of clocks

lie strung on matted weeds

where her convalescence rested

amid the calm agitation

of teeming, tiny living

that after hours of free instruction

always taught her to take

up her bed and walk

her hand had awesome reach;

she managed to autograph

some of the grasses here

still stirring in the chatter

that lower sky keeps up

with higher earth

in the fields of Sleepy Hollow

I think the bobolink

will probably mourn

but thankfully

without a hint of black.

Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Novalis will publish Greg's book - “Reupholstered Psalms” - on March 1, 2020.

  • Hilary Jenkins
    Posted at 06:41h, 26 March Reply

    Thanks Greg. Mary Oliver had a beautiful gift.

  • Peter Bisson, SJ
    Posted at 09:37h, 26 March Reply

    Thank you Greg!

  • Barbara Lewis
    Posted at 12:23h, 26 March Reply

    Mary Oliver
    She saw things beautifully.
    she shared beautifully.
    Thirst…lucky those who feel it
    I miss her
    Thank you

  • Grace Colella
    Posted at 12:45h, 26 March Reply

    She said: “nature is the door to the Temple.”

    Thank you Greg.

  • Jim Radde
    Posted at 13:11h, 26 March Reply

    Merci Greg.

Post A Comment

Subscribe to igNation

Subscribe to receive our latest articles delivered right to your inbox!