Thursday, October 27, 2005

Just in case my recent political focus has become burdensome--which I imagine it could; just because it is my current preoccupation doesn't mean it is yours--I want to lighten the mood with a gorgeous poem by Mary Oliver. Her work is such a touchstone for me, such a grounding force (and it's political, too, in the broadest and most generous sense of the word...)


You can
die for it--
an idea,
or the world. People

have done so,
their small bodies be bound

to the stake,
an unforgettable
fury of light. But

this morning,
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought

of China,
and India
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun

for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises

under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name
of the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter

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