friday feast: celebrating mary oliver’s “poppies”

“Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if we only look, and see.”  ~ Mary Oliver (“Look and See”, Why I Wake Early)

poppy field
photo by vgtortoise

What do you see when you look out your window?

Thank goodness for Mary Oliver when you need a good share of hope, a reminder to turn your face to the light. Poppies speak of many things, in general, the imagination — but yellow stands for wealth and success, red for pleasure, white for peace. Enjoy Oliver’s “invitation to happiness” and this photo bouquet of color, beauty, joy, remembrance. Bask in the light of her words and shine on. 🙂

orange poppy
photo by mamavenezia

by Mary Oliver

The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.

But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—

and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

~ from New and Selected Poems, Vol. I (Beacon Press, 1993)

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