sunday bear: mary oliver from The Leaf and the Cloud

“Isabella,” by Marcia Sibol (golden mohair, vintage lace dress, antique cameo, pearl earrings, straw bonnet, 1991)



From The Book of Time


I rose this morning early as usual, and went to my desk.
But it’s spring,

and the thrush is in the woods,
somewhere in the twirled branches, and he is singing.

And so, now, I am standing by the open door.
And now I am stepping down onto the grass.

I am touching a few leaves.
I am noticing the way the yellow butterflies
move together, in a twinkling cloud, over the field.

And I am thinking: maybe just looking and listening
is the real work.

Maybe the world, without us,
is the real poem.

~ Mary Oliver (The Leaf and The Cloud, De Capo Press, 2000)


Week of April 2 – 7, 2012

Guest Poets:

  • April 2: April Pulley Sayre
  • April 3: Mary Quattlebaum
  • April 4: Helen Frost
  • April 5: Linda Ashman
  • April 6: Gail Gerwin

Door Prizes:

  • BookSpeak by Laura Purdie Salas and Josée Bisaillon (Clarion, 2011)
  • Hidden by Helen Frost (FSG, 2011)

**Comment on any post  during the week to be eligible to win!

Click here for complete Potluck Menu/Guest List and Giveaway info.


♥ This week’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you by Mr. Cornelius, who is, at this very moment, eating a chocolate bunny. Please do not tell anyone.



Copyright © 2012 Cornelius Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights dipped in chocolate.

18 thoughts on “sunday bear: mary oliver from The Leaf and the Cloud

    1. Hi Libby!

      So glad you like Isabella and the poem. Looking forward to having you nosh with us during Poetry Month :). Have a good Sunday!


  1. Your bears make me smile, especially on Sunday mornings! I am so in awe of Mary Oliver. This poem is just right, isn’t it? What a lovely beginning to April, Jama. thanks


    1. I have to agree with Linda, your bears indeed have this magical power of making me smile too. I show them to my daughter who goes awww, that’s sooo cute (then goes back quickly to whatever she’s doing). Fats just received a copy of BookSpeak and she couldn’t stop raving about it. Hidden is also a great giveaway, I’ve read/reviewed it when we had our novel-in-verse theme in December. I featured quite a number of Helen’s works as well. I should get around to reviewing her Crossing Stones novel for our Girl Power theme! 🙂

      I love the poem. Now that I am pulled in so many directions, I find poetry to be my saving grace. Will share that in my FB page. 🙂 Mary Oliver is Love. 😉


      1. Isn’t Helen’s work amazing? There are good stories and then there are Helen’s beautifully crafted good stories, which is what leaves me awestruck. Glad to hear Fats likes BookSpeak! Definitely a very cool collection; love all the little surprises that keep things interesting.

        Poetry has such a calming influence on me,too — we all need a saving grace to keep us grounded and balanced. I’m spiritual but not overtly religious and find many of Mary’s poems to be like prayers; she expresses such gratitude and reverence for the natural world. Thanks for the share, Myra. Glad the bears make you smile :).


  2. I love the last two lines of this poem best of all and think I might need to print them out and leave them around the house to remind me of what’s important.

    Looking forward to another one of your wonderful potlucks.


  3. I enjoy those twinkling yellow butterfly clouds – like a beautiful sunny field of canola flowers!


  4. What a beautiful poem! The birds have been busy in my backyard and it is so easy to get distracted by their work. I too catch myself moving out into the grass and noticing all that is happening. Loved this, “Maybe the looking and listening is the real work.”


    1. Hi Cathy,

      We’ve got busy birds here too. Wonderful watching them build their nests. My favorites are the bluebirds :).


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