Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Simple Mystery

Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.
~Mary Oliver

I made this post backwards today. I started with photos that I took while walking Preston and I looked around to see if there was a poem to go with them. Mary Oliver came through.

Mysteries, Four of the Simple Ones
by Mary Oliver

How does the seed-grain feel
when it is just beginning to be wheat?

And how does the catbird feel
when the blue eggs break and become little catbirds?

Maybe on midsummer night’s eve,
and without fanfare?

And how does the turtle feel as she covers her eggs
with the sweep of her feet,
then leaves them for the world to take care of?

Does she know her accomplishment?

And when the blue heron, breaking his long breast feathers,
sees one feather fall, does he know I will find it?

read the rest here


I've only heard this once, walking around the pond at night, and it was incredibly startling to hear in the dark:

P.S. When I play this video, Preston thinks someone is barking and he gets all bark-y himself.

Reading to the Core has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Catherine!


KatApel - said...

How lovely! That poem was written for you! (I am delighted, imagining you and Preston, walking around your lake.)

Ruth said...

I love that she says "this is just any day." It's true, even in the city. There's always something to see, some beautiful bird.

Linda Mitchell said...

Sigh. There is not a Mary Oliver poem that can't make me say, WOW. This is another. Goodness...the delight in that moment expanded to critters and the pond that she names. Wow. Thank you for starting the poem backwards with your wonderful photos of a walk with Preston and how it led you to Mary Oliver and this very poem. I feel like I got to walk with you. And, it is nice. Someday, in person.
I couldn't click on the link in your post...but copied & pasted the poem title into google. Hopefully, this is just a me thing. But, check it just in case. Have a great Friday, Tabatha...wishing you another wonderful walk.

jama said...

Thanks for the Mary Oliver fix, welcome any time. Enjoyed your lovely photos and hearing the Great Blue Heron. Ah, migrating season for our flighty friends. :)

Janice Scully said...

What amazing sounds the Great Blue Heron makes. I was reading about them earlier this week and they are amazing birds in so many ways, survivors who can live in many different places. Thanks for sharing the photos, catching every interesting feather, and Mary Oliver's poem.

Susan T. said...

I love the photos & the Mary Oliver poem. We have blue herons around here, too. Sometimes when I see them they look a little disheveled, like they've been out all night!

tanita✿davis said...

I have a volume of her works which likely has this one in it, but I can only take in some much of Mary Oliver before I need to go outside and just breathe. It's like taking in the universe in sips... This is lovely, and the sound effects -- !!! I imagine in the dark that would have been quite something!

Denise Krebs said...

Wow, the photos are beautiful, and Mary Oliver's poem is a lovely pairing. Definitely that great blue heron call is frightening. I can't imagine hearing it at night, if one didn't know what it was. Thanks for sharing.

Bridget Magee said...

It seems Mary Oliver was on that walk with you and Preston, Tabatha. Perfect pairing. :)

Margaret Simon said...

Mary Oliver always has a poem that celebrates nature and delight. I hear heron sounds at night and they are definitely startling and a bit disturbing.

Michelle Kogan said...

What an enchanting and refreshing walk you've taken us on Tabatha. Hope we can protect and preserve our fragile and beautiful "golden World" that Mary Oliver shares with us.
Gorgeous pics too, but oh that seal-like sound so worldly different from the herons grace and beauty… Thanks for all, and link to her site too!

Catherine Flynn said...

Thank you for sharing your photos. Herons are fascinating and stunning birds. The Mary Oliver poem is gorgeous! I especially love this stanza: "And what else can we do when the mysteries present themselves
but hope to pluck from the basket the brisk words
that will applaud them"
Thank you for sharing!

Mary Lee said...

How much do I love that the egret and heron society has a page full of Mary Oliver poems?!?!

And the bit that Catherine quoted...YES. That goes into my writer's notebook right now. A fantastic job description.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Okay, just wow.
"Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight,
that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light."

Dying every day with delight, lost in the haystack of light.

Elisabeth said...

Spectacular photos, Tabatha! The one with the outstretched wings and the shadow on the water is amazing. The Mary Oliver poem is the perfect accompaniment to the photos.

Tabatha said...

I like that last photo, too, Elisabeth. The funny thing about it is that Preston was pulling me forward at that point, so I couldn't look at what I was doing and it was just a "shot in the dark" shot.

mbhmaine said...

Oh, how I love herons and how I love Mary Oliver. You hooked me with that beginning quote and then I loved wandering through your pictures and wending along with you into her poem. Such beauty. Such respite. Thank you.

Karen Edmisten said...

Ah, yes, Mary Oliver always comes through. :) I love the reference to the black and leafy pond without a name/until she named it and established a relationship with it. I needed this today. Thanks, Tabatha.

Cathy said...

Two of my favorite things at this stop: Mary Oliver and herons. Thank you!