SEARCHING FOR MARY OLIVER

In her 79th year, poet Mary Oliver is still in love with life and still full of beans. It seems she and I are walking the same shore.

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I recently discovered that Oliver left Provincetown and moved to Hobe Sound, a few miles south of me, to be near friends.

I go down to the shore in the morning

and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

I look to her for a celebration of the little things in nature. And the big things.

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Ocean     (by Mary Oliver)

I am in love with the Ocean

Lifting her thousands of white hats

In the chop of the storm,

Or lying smooth and blue, the

Loveliest bed in the world.

In the personal life, there is

Always grief more than enough,

A heart-load for each one of us

On the dusty road. I suppose

There is a reason for this, so I will be

Patient, acquiescent. But I will live

Nowhere except here, by Ocean, trusting

Equally in all the blast and welcome

Of her sorrowless, salt self.

Mary and Molly 1

Molly Malone Cook, Oliver’s partner for over forty years, died of cancer in 2005.  In 2012, Oliver faced her own battle.

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In Blue Horses, she writes with grace and gravity from her “platform of many years” and her recent triumph over cancer.

Oliver’s perception is acute.  She points out the wild and the quiet, what we all might see if we take the time and have the patience to truly look.

I wonder if we are both looking at the same double rainbow over our shared sea. If I meet her (some end-of-the-rainbow jackpot that would be) at the café in town or on a meander under the twisty-knotted banyan trees, I’ll say, Have you noticed this wonderful thing? 

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It seems there’s always a message in her words just for me. But mostly, there’s just beauty.

Toni 2/24/15

Sleuthing: What can we deduce from 1. the wing scuff marks on the snow and/or 2. the corporate funding for the doubtful climate researcher-article-writer Wei-Hock Soon (of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) (A 420 CHARACTER, 9-LINE POEM BY PATTY)

http://youtu.be/HE4H0k8TDgw

Sleuthing: What can we deduce from 1. the wing scuff marks on the snow and/or 2. the corporate funding for the doubtful climate researcher-article-writer Wei-Hock Soon (of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Document: Funding That Scientist Failed to Disclose

owl print

Clues: Meandering in lazy esses in the snow are tracks

that end suddenly within a frame of wing scuff marks;

a clear chain of custody: field mouse lunch for a Barred Owl.

Harder to read were the tracks from corporate cash

to the pocket and papers of Dr. Wei-Hock Soon,

a researcher the Koch brothers and Sen.Inhofe

like to trot out to debunk growing consensus about global warming.

(“sunstorms, not humans”)

Clue(less).

PATTY

DID SOMEONE SAY #TBT?

Nonno came to start a new life America.

How lucky I am that Nonna agreed to stay.

Scan 24

The Ticket

In the dank cellar on Oak Avenue,

Regina shovels coal into the firebox.

Outside, the hens squawk about their fate.

She misses the hill town in Piemonte,

where the earth drives you mad with the scent of growing things.

Here, there is bread to bake and children to bear,

the ache in the small of her back

indifferent to her desire

for purses of gnocchi and fresh butter.

Here there are no clusters of purple grapes

ripening under an apricot sky,

just grey sheets to soak

in a claw-footed tub

and a brown metal bed that lists.

She used to feast on music and laughter,

stories, tart and sweet,

but those days are done

and she is swallowed up

by black stockings, rolled down to just below her knees,

and shapeless dresses skirting hard-looking calves.

With a ragged moppeen,

she scrubs away regrets,

kneels on yellowed linoleum squares

in a house grown smaller in size.

She fingers the ticket in her pocket.

Will he remember the feel of her cheekbones,

the line of her hip under his hand?

She packs the one smiling photograph of them.

That and the white silk dress on a wire hanger.

 

Toni 2/19/15