Sunday, March 16, 2014

I meant to live a quiet life

Snow, slush, ice. Warmish days start the melting, then it freezes. Bits of brown grass are visible around the edges. The birds are singing more, as the wall of winter opens to distractions and daydreams.

In five days it will officially be spring. A poem by Mary Oliver:


This morning
two birds
fell down the side of the maple tree

like a tuft of fire
a wheel of fire
a love knot

out of control as they plunged through the air
pressed against each other
and I thought

how I meant to live a quiet life
how I meant to live a life of mildness and meditation
tapping the careful words against each other

and I thought--
as though I were suddenly spinning, like a bar of silver
as though I had shaken my arms and lo! they were

of the Buddha
when he rose from his green garden
when he rose in his powerful ivory body

when he turned to the long dusty road without end
when he covered his hair with ribbons and the petals
         of flowers
when he opened his hands to the world.


  1. Its not hard to believe its almost spring here Jen, the weather has been beautiful this past week or so.

  2. Ahh,how wonderful to be able to open our arms like Buddha and fly..
    spread our wings , and see the world before us.
    lovely poem Jen.
    Hope that you are feeling a little better with your cold.
    Its been a beautiful day here.. Spring is here.

    1. I'm almost better, Val--it's been slower than I expected. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

  3. What a lovely poem Jen! Happy to hear spring is on your doorstep too!

    Enjoy your week!

    Madelief x

    1. Happy spring to you--I look forward to lots of pictures of your garden.

  4. We seem to be on the same track, Spring can't arrive soon enough.

    1. Right? I've tried to be a good sport about winter this year, but last weeks snow was one too many.

  5. Turmoil to peace. Nice. And such is winter to spring.
    I hope you are feeling better Jen!

    1. A transition we can all hope for. I want more pictures of your new doggie.

  6. Jen,
    wonderful poem! It's starting to get warmer here too, can't wait till the sun shines every day!

  7. It's surprising for me to read English poem including the phrases about Buddha, that dominates in various thoughts in Asia.:) And its beauty stroke me.

  8. Haricot--a lot of western poets have been influenced by eastern religions. I love that part of the poem.

  9. I love, love, love spring.

  10. During soaking in a bathtub or the time before going to sleep is my meditation time every day. I recite "Heart Sutra" or my favorite lines.
    Thank you for sharing an inspiring poem, Jen.

    1. I looked up the Heart Sutra--seems perfect for meditation. My brother is a Buddhist, but my knowledge is superficial. I visited the San Francisco Zen Center (where he practices) and it was fascinating.

  11. Pretty poem...Spring comes and goes here, but tomorrow it is official! Wet and cold since Sunday, but the sun came out this afternoon....yippee! I promise Not to complain about the impending heat, but I reserve the right to complain about the mosquitoes and gnats! The price of Southern living! ;-)

  12. Ah, so nice to visit and find a poem. Thank you. Happy spring!