Sunday, October 14, 2012

Talking With Mary Oliver

It was Spring; thaw time. You were opening up the house
and we stood by the kitchen window watching the trees
and trying to understand just how it is that branches
shape the sky, curl like words talking. I was at home.

A deer slipped its shadow in between some trunks and we,
mindful of the chill nights, set about stacking logs beside the stove.
Then, after hot pancakes, we were off striding to the pond
where nothing happened but a stirring of motes. We sat.

In the evening we wrote. You at your desk, me, settled,
at the table in the kitchen where so much of our discourse,
spoken or not, took place. A writer's hearth, it seems,
centres around the everyday routines of home.

And this is how the days passed. You were unfailingly
generous to me and spoke often of the Lord; and of how,
in the dusk sometimes, you not only felt His presence near,
but heard His words as if left by a sudden departure.

I couldn't have asked for more. And this was my dream:
to sit, occasionally, with another whose being resonated -
with words; with the psalms of the natural world; with the mystery
of why it is that we're here at all; with the need, out of solitude,

for companionship. I sat at my desk today and leafed
through your books. The elegant crafting spoke to me, again
and again, of the concentrated effort needed to forge simplicity.
If I could sit with you, just once, around that kitchen table, that

would be enough.

11 October 2012

1 comment:

  1. What beauty Peter! I came to share something I just wrote (in case you miss it otherwise) and it seems relevant here, I was thinking of you when I wrote it...

    One of the joyful tasks of a poet is to understand words,
    to know their origins, to bring forth their meanings into our lives…
    more deeply to imagine the context of those origins,
    the breath that bore meaning, the glimmer that reflected love…
    and deeper still (or perhaps returning to the surface to breathe),
    to articulate the origins and conditions of life,
    I don’t mean in an archaic way but in terms of where we are now,
    in the writing of these words that connect and inspire and create
    within the medium of our daily lives…

    (Simon Williams, 19.10.2012)