Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn poem

This is my favorite time of year, peaceful and pensive.
I love the colors, and the smells, and the sound of wind shushing the pines and helping other trees shed their leaves.
And always, I love the sight of deer visiting the woods here at Slipper Moon, though they always seem to know when I don't have my camera. I hold my breath when I see them, a moment Mary Oliver describes as swimming inward and flowing outward in this poem:

"Five A.M. In the Pinewoods"

I'd see their hoof prints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
one of them -- I swear it! --

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone.

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

(Mary Oliver, House of Light)
Excuse me for a while, friends. I'm going for a walk in the woods.

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