The Egret

egret

The Egret by Mary Oliver
Every time
but one
the little fish
and the green
and spotted frogs
know
the egret’s bamboo legs
from the thin
and polished reeds
at the edge
of the silky world
of water.
Then,
in their last inch of time,
they see,
for an instant,
the white froth
of her shoulders,
and the white scrolls
of her belly,
and the white flame
of her head.
What more can you say
about such wild swimmers?
They were here,
they were silent,
they are gone, having tasted
sheer terror.
Therefore I have invented words
with which to stand back
on the weedy shore—
with which to say:
Look! Look!
What is this dark death
that opens
like a white door?

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“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches”

beautiful girl lying down of grass

“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives-
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
hanging from the branches of the young locust trees,
in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left –
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
which is the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
To set one’s foot in the door of death,
and be overcome with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened in the night,
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses: deny me not, but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them.
Maybe I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I backtrack. I float.
I ramble my way home.”

~ Mary Oliver,
”West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems”

Yoga for Scoliosis Support & Community Practice – THIS SUNDAY

oak-trees-at-sunrise

Join me THIS SUNDAY January 24th for our quarterly Yoga for Scoliosis Support & Community Practice from 11am-1pm at It’s All Yoga Studio.

It’s All Yoga is located at 2405 21st street in Sacramento.

This class for yoga practitioners who have scoliosis. Previous experience with yoga is required.

In this 2 hour class we’ll emphasize release work and breath practices, as well as alignment based movement that supports deepened awareness, healing, and a sense of greater ease and spaciousness in the body.

Cost of the class is $20.

Sign up at http://www.itsallyoga.com or call 916-837-5400.

I look forward to being in practice with you!

Yoga for Scoliosis Support & Community Practice – THIS SUNDAY

beautiful scoliosis

Join me THIS SUNDAY November 15th for our quarterly Yoga for Scoliosis Support & Community Practice

from 11am-1pm at It’s All Yoga Studio.

It’s All Yoga is located at 2405 21st street in Sacramento.

This class for yoga practitioners who have scoliosis.  Previous experience with yoga is required.

in this 2 hour class we’ll emphasize release work and breath practices, as well as alignment based movement
that supports deepened awareness, healing, and a sense of greater ease and spaciousness in the body.

Cost of the class is $20.

Sign up at http://www.itsallyoga.com or call 916-837-5400.

I look forward to being in practice with you!

Circles

blue heron

In the morning the blue heron is busy
stepping, slowly, around the edge of the
pond. He is tall and shining. His wings, folded
against his body, fit so neatly they
make of him, when he lifts his shoulders and begins to rise
into the air, a great surprise. Also
he carries so light the terrible sword-beak. Then
he is gone over the trees.
I am so happy to be alive in this world
I would like to live forever, but I am
content not to. Seeing what I have seen
has filled me; believing what I believe
has filled me.
The first words of this page are
hardly thought of when the bird
circles back over the trees; it floats down
like an armful of blue flowers, a bundle of light
coming to refresh itself again in the black water, and I think:
maybe it is or it isn’t the same bird-maybe it’s
the first one’s child, or the child of its child.
What I mean is, our deliverance from Time
and the continuance, if we only steward them well,
of earthly things. So maybe it’s myself still standing here, or
someone else, like myself hot with the joy of this world, and
filled with praise.

~Mary Oliver

What is there beyond knowing

What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me? I can’t

turn in any direction
but it’s there. I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven’s slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that’s always rushing forward,
or standing still

in the same—what shall I say—
moment.

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out. Life so far doesn’t have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and the weeds.

~ Mary Oliver from New and Selected Poems, volume two (Beacon Press, 2005)

YFS Support & Community Practice TOMORROW!

oak tree home

Step into the doorway of your body, let it lead you home.

Join us tomorrow at It’s All Yoga from 11am-1pm for our quarterly yoga for scoliosis support & community practice!

This class for yoga practitioners with scoliosis emphasizes release work and breath practices,
as well as alignment based movement
that supports deepened awareness, healing, and a sense of greater ease and spaciousness in the body.

Cost of the class is $20.

Let me know if you have questions! I hope to see you there!

Warmly,

Kim

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~Mary Oliver

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