and so we decide to really live

 

 

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I have been working on my next collection of poems for some time, but the last few months have been affected by grief and loss, so this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver (in her book Dream Work) really resonated with me.

 

from The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac by Mary Oliver

 

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.

 

photo Rose Cook

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May days, moist and blooming

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A Skip and a Hop: A Series of Walks

  

1.

 

The wood grows kinder as we walk,

then noticing begins: bright leaf, a cobweb catches light.

The sun this time of year shines slant

down from the right, the columned trees

drawn straight with leaf-filled hollows,

then turn a bend to find one bush ablaze,

side lit, illuminated as by an angel.

 

Birds sing, twigs snap, cones tumble through.

Wrapped about by trees, walk on,

step over roots, breathe wooded air,

until the furrowed field, with its beech spinney full of gold.

 

2.

 

To walk beside a small girl who is happy

is a joy, how she dances – skip, hop, bound.

I wonder when we began not to skip?

There she goes – high step, half step, skip.

 

3.

 

The great thing about a labyrinth is,

it’s not a puzzle or a tricky path at all,

but a single quiet path, in and out,

a labyrinth is where one can be found.

No shortcuts, but to enjoy the sacred walk.

 

I walk out on each full moon, for a year,

walking, taking photographs, getting lost,

these take the form of pilgrimages as a vow

to keep the connection through observations.

 

Walking forward becomes linked to trust,

returning again to the fall of breath.

It is the breath alone that signals hope,

that life is here, continuous.

 

4.

 

After a long walk, feeling sad, return to find

someone has left a flower on the windscreen,

random kindness tucked there, the heart fills.

It takes little to change the movement of the tide.

 

 

photograph and poem Rose Cook

from Notes From A Bright Field – Rose Cook  available http://www.culturedllama.co.uk