Thursday, January 8, 2009

Red Bird

I received Mary Oliver's two latest poetry books for Christmas: Red Bird and Thirst. So, in the interest of all of us who wish we had read more poetry growing up or have now discovered the beauty and spirituality in such, I'll be sharing some of my favorites in the upcoming weeks. I think they fit in so well with the world of nature and the world of God that make up our life here in Erie--and, hopefully, yours, too.

"Maker of All Things, Even Healings"

All night
under the pines
the fox
moves through the darkness
with a mouthful of teeth
and a reputation for death
which it deserves.
In the spicy
villages of the mice
he is famous,
his nose
in the grass
is like an earthquake,
his feet
on the path
is a message so absolute
that the mouse, hearing it,
makes himself
as small as he can
as he sits silent
or, trembling, goes on
hunting among the grasses
for the ripe seeds.

Maker of All Things,
including appetite,
including stealth,
including the fear that makes
all of us, sometime or other,
flee for the sake
of our small and precious lives,
let me abide in your shadow--
let me hold on
to the edge of your robe
as you determine
what you must let be lost
and what will be saved.

Mary Oliver