Wednesday, March 2, 2016


M A R Y    O L I V E R    W/    R I C K Y

Do the Trees Speak?

Do the trees speak back to the wind

when the wind offers some invitational comment?

As some of us do, do they also talk to the sun?

I believe so, and if such belief need rest on

   evidence, let me just say, Sometimes it's

   an earful.

But there's more.

If you can hear the trees in their easy hours

of course you can also hear them later,

   crying out at the sawmill.


When I moved from one house to another

there were many things I had no room

for. What does one do? I rented a storage

space. And filled it. Years passed.

Occasionally I went there and looked in,

but nothing happened, not a single

twinge of the heart.

As I grew older the things I cared

about grew fewer, but were more

important. So one day I undid the lock

and called the trash man. He took


I felt like the little donkey when

his burden is finally lifted. Things!

Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful

fire! More room in your heart for love,

for the trees! For the birds who own

nothing — the reason they can fly.

This Morning

This morning the redbirds' eggs

have hatched and already the chicks

are chirping for food. They don't

know where it's coming from, they

just keep shouting, "More! More!"

As to anything else, they haven't

had a single thought. Their eyes

haven't yet opened, they know nothing

about the sky that's waiting. Or

the thousands, the millions of trees.

They don't even know they have wings.

And just like that, like a simple

neighborhood event, a miracle is

taking place.

Mary Oliver
Penguin 2015 



Luster said...

Dear Bob,

Now how lovely is that? Right on the money.

stay close,

Jonathan Chant said...

Right on the money indeed. Beautiful poems.

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

She's a favorite!

Thanks, guys —