Mary Oliver: Taking Yes for an Answer

Mary Oliver’s Morning Poem starts our week with the recognition that it can be challenging to embrace even the simplest aspects of life that we ALL deserve.  If we look around, we find that the goods were delivered despite our best efforts at self-sabotage. Brene Brown described it:especially…prayers being answered even if when we’re not daring to pray or to be happy. “

Morning Poem (from Dream Work)

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

6 Responses to Mary Oliver: Taking Yes for an Answer

  1. Linda Sheldon 03.28.2016 at 8:06am #

    I neede this today. Thank you.

  2. Catbird Farm 03.28.2016 at 9:36am #


  3. flavia Bacarella 07.04.2018 at 7:32am #

    Thank you…a lovely, quiet and peaceful way to start this day, the 4th of July.

  4. Sally Schneider 07.09.2018 at 6:17pm #

    I’m finding that a poem can really add a lot to a day….

  5. Joan 12.26.2018 at 12:29am #

    Why do poems always make me cry? Even when they are happy poems???

    Is it because good ones have words laid out so richly and carefully

    that they shame me — in my usual disarry ?

  6. Sally Schneider 12.30.2018 at 9:50pm #

    Nah, Joan, it’s just because they are so beautiful…

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