Thursday, September 24, 2009

taped to the side of my computer

next time
by mary oliver

next time what i'd do is look at
the earth before saying anything. i'd stop
just before going into a house
and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.

when anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,
i'd watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain, any
sign of what lifted the voice.

and for all, i'd know more -- the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over
forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.


Kerstin Svendsen said...

this is real nice.

Fred said...

FYI, this poem (an excellent one!) is by William Stafford, not Mary Oliver. It seems to have taken on a life of its own as a mis-attributed poem!