Bound by the shared weight of winter,
the empty bird feeder and I
let down our neighbors, as our emptiness
lets in the cold, the sleet and the
wet indifference of early snowfall.
Where is our divinity, our seed,
our stored warmth and harvest?
In the waiting armchair, beside
the banging, hissing radiator,
the words of Mary Oliver remind me
to find that place in myself
that remembers water lilies, golden light,
herons rising, the beating wings of swans,
while my tea cools and my cookie vanishes.
Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham
Notes: Here, Mary Oliver reminds me:
“In the pinewoods is where the owl floats, and where the white egret paces, in summer, like a winged snake, in the flashing shallows. Here is where two deer approached me one morning, in an unforgettable sweetness, their faces like light brown flowers, their eyes kindred and full of curiosity. The mouth of one of them, and its vibrant tongue, touched my hand” (p. 96). The “door to the woods is the door to the temple” (p. 98).
— From Oliver’s Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems and Poems (Houghton Mifflin Company, copyright 1999)
Happy Poetry Friday and nearly Happy New Year! A nor’easter is stomping through like a careless giant, downing tree limbs and sparking lightning, but I am snug and dry in my favorite armchair, sipping Winter Hours like cognac. Thanks to Donna Smith at Mainely Write who is hosting this last Poetry Party of the year.
A magical New Year to everyone!