Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Journey

                                                      Photo by David Ralph Johnson 

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save. 

~ Mary Oliver ~


4 comments:

Evan J. said...

Excellent! I really like the adjectives & the part about the wind pried with stiff fingers. beautiful picture too!

Anonymous said...

Mary Oliver and her life partner Molly live in Provincetown, Massachusetts. I think it was in "O" Magazine recently that I read an article about her, seems like it may have been written by Maria Shriver. She likes to keep to herself, though shares these incredible glimpses into what she has learned in this life. Very nice. Thanks for passing this one along. *Jeana

Theresa said...

I just received my used copy of New And Selected Poems Vol. One TODAY in the mail. I am so excited to read it!!

Theresa said...

WONDERFUL surprise last night...when I cracked my $6.09 hard cover copy of Mary Oliver's book open...there, on the title page was her very own signature!! I'm sure the warehouse that I went through in Amazon had no idea!!

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