Sunday, November 02, 2014

Five Wood Ducks

Resting beside the stream this afternoon
where the cottonwood leaves are falling 
and the willow leaves still hang on, 
my wild beauties! 

Stebbin's Gulch

by the randomness
of the way
the rocks tumbled
ages ago

the water pours
it pours
it pours
ever along the slant

of downgrade
dashing its silver thumbs
against the rocks
or pausing to carve

a sudden curled space
where the flashing fish
splash or drowse
while the kingfisher overhead

rattles and stares
and so it continues for miles
this bolt of light,
its only industry

to descend
and to be beautiful
while it does so;
as for purpose

there is none,
it is simply
one of those gorgeous things
that was made

to do what it does perfectly
and to last,
as almost nothing does,
almost forever.

Mary Oliver, Blue Horses, Penguin, 2014.
Kindle location 124 ff.

And here is a link to the place Mary Oliver wrote about. I used to live near there, but didn't know about it then. I would be interested to know why Mary Oliver began to use punctuation midway down the poem when she was doing so well without it. Right now I am going back and forth between this book and Louise Gluck's  A Village Life. I find the one a useful balance for the other: when Gluck becomes too bleak, I can take an Oliver break, Or when Oliver is too sweetly pallid, I can go back to Gluck, What are you reading now?? I find this Kindle thing encourages me to skip around,

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