Friday, 11 May 2007

Count the Roses

Count the Roses Mary Oliver in Blue Iris

Count the roses, red and fluttering.
Count the roses, wrinkled and salt.
Each with its yellow lint at the center.
Each with its honey pooled and ready.
Do you questions that can’t be answered?
Do the stars frighten you by their heaviness
and their endless number?
Does it bother you, that mercy is difficult to
For some souls it’s easy; they lie down on the sand
and are soon asleep.
For others, the mind shivers in its glacial palace,
and won’t come.
Yes, the mind takes a long time, is otherwise occupied
than by happiness, and by deep breathing.
Now, in the distance, some bird is singing.
And now I have gathered six or seven deep red
half-opened cups of petals between my hands,
and now I have put my face against them
and now I am moving my face back and forth, slowly,
against them.
The body is not much more than two feet and a tongue.
Come to me, says the blue sky, and say the word.
And finally even the mind comes running, like a wild thing,
and lies down in the sand.
Eternity is not later, or in any unfindable place.
Roses, roses, roses, roses.

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