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little summer poem for august

August 1, 2008

Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.

– Mary Oliver

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2008 7:43 pm

    Dearest J,

    So, I’m all reading the poem, and I’m thinkin’…”damn, J can write. This is REALLY GOOD. She is definitely meant to write.”

    And those thoughts didn’t even change when I saw it was Mary Oliver’s poem. Cuz the thing is, until I saw her name, it never occurred to me that it WASN’T you writing it.


  2. August 5, 2008 8:00 pm

    Whenever I get here and there is a new post it is like a gift just waiting to be unwrapped.

  3. August 7, 2008 6:07 am

    I love stumbling across poetry like this and, of course, it’s just perfect for the season.

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