(04 October 1943 / Germany)


This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.
I mean this

In Greece,
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all,

but gods.
It is my favorite story--
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willingness
to be attentive--
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them--
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water

from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down--
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished,
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning--
whatever it was I said

I would be doing--
I was standing
at the edge of the field--
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its dark doors--
I was leaning out;
I was listening.

by Mary Oliver

Comments (4)

Hmmm....now Herbert you got me at a loss for words (unusual for me) . Cute write...
Dan, thanks for the kind words. Thankfully, I am WAY too naive (and the product of a very sheltered upbringing) to read more into this simple, straight forward description of a hetero-garage thingy. As for the word garage itself, I have a carport. H
Herbert, very, very nice! Brought back some........well, never mind! Yes, I suppose it helps with alliteration to go at 'garage' in the French. Although, the poem is effective either way for me. I had to wonder though, and I say this with the utmost respect for your work, could 'up' the garage' leave a little more space for readers? Perhaps it's just my lack of familiarity with the idiom and vernacular of your country of origin. I hope I haven't overstepped offering these thoughts
Nice touch, Herbert...very nice...I enjoyed how you tripped one gate after another to unveil this entire thought/situation...very clever...very well done... Lare Austin