Thursday, October 8, 2015

On National Poetry Day

That time I thought I could not 
go any closer to grief 
without dying.

I went closer
and did not die.
Surely God
had His hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way 
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down"
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world 
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

Mary Oliver: Heavy


  1. Great poem I hadn't come across before. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. beautiful poem. i can surely relate. much love to you....xo

  3. Such a beautiful poem, I hadn't realised it was National poet's day.

  4. That is so poignant. I have very much enjoyed all the poetry on Radio 4 today.

  5. Thank you for sharing that. Powerful words xx

  6. Jacqui, I thank you for letting me read this poem that was completely new to me. And yet, everything in it seemed something I have known.

    Love to you and yours. xo

  7. Thank you for sharing such words of honesty and hope x

  8. Such strong, beautiful words. Sending love across the miles...

  9. Thanks for sharing this poem today....and for turning me on to Mary Oliver. She writes, "Instruction for Living a Life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

  10. A lovely poem. Friends have sent me poems in the months that have followed my loss and I have collected them together in a beautiful notebook. Two that I read most days are "When great trees fall " by Maya Angelou and " Who loves the rain " by Francis Shaw. I will add Heavy to my collection. It's beautiful.

    1. Yes, a friend sent me a book of poems just a couple of days after John died. They were such a comfort. The ones you mention are not familiar to me, so I must read them xx

  11. Love Mary Oliver. Big warm hugs to you Jacqui xxx

  12. Thank you all. This poem is from Mary Oliver's anthology "Thirst" I bought this for John's birthday a few years ago. It is full of comfort - Mary Oliver just knows xx


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