by Cathy Baker
I LOVE poetry, Mary Oliver, and yes, owls.
So imagine my delight when all three loves were realized in one particular poem.
Whether you’re a lover of poetry or not, I encourage you to read Mary Oliver’s poem slowly. Simply find one line that you enjoy, one description that makes you smile.
Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchards
by Mary Oliver
His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes—when he lifts their soft lids—
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder—
or the Book of Revelation.
Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear—
it’s not size but surge that tells us
when we’re in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
down the little aluminum
ladder of his scream—
when I see his wings open, like two black ferns,
a flurry of palpitations
as cold as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart,
like a wild spring day.
Somewhere in the universe,
in the gallery of important things,
the babyish owl, ruffled and rakish,
sits on its pedestal.
Dear, dark dapple of plush!
A message, reads the label,
from the mysterious conglomerate:
Oblivion and Co.
The hooked head stares
from its blouse of dark, feathery lace.
It could be a valentine.
In tomorrow’s post, I’m sharing an opportunity to win a little something that might help you in making your own notes of observation for poetry, prose, and life.
But for now, I’d love to know the word or line that resonated with you most today!