Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

Spring by Mary Oliver

All day the flicker has anticipated the lust of the season, by shouting. He scouts up tree after tree and at a certain place begins to cry out. My, in his black-freckled vest, bay body with red trim and sudden chrome underwings, he is dapper. Of course somebody listening nearby hears him; she answers with a sound like hysterical laughter, and rushes out into the field where he is poised on an old phone pole, his head swinging, his wings opening and shutting in a kind of butterfly stroke. She can't resist; they touch; they flutter. How lightly, altogether, they accept the great task, of carrying life forward! In the crown of an oak they choose a small tree-cave which they enter with sudden quietness and modesty. And, for a while, the wind that can be a knife or a hammer, subsides. They listen to the thrushes. The sky is blue, or the rain falls with its spills of pearl. Around their wreath of darkness the leaves of the world unfurl.

Devotions by  (Page 201)


... Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all

from "Instructions on Not Giving Up" by Ada Limón