handmade greeting card, collage art

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It is January, and there are crows

like black flowers on the snow.

While I watch, they rise and float toward the frozen pond,

they have seen

some streak of death on the dark ice.

They gather around it and consume everything, the strings

and the red music of that nameless body.  Then they shout, 

one hungry, blunt voice echoing another.

It begins to rain.

Later, it becomes February,

and even later, spring

returns, a chorus of thousands.

They bow, and begin their important music.

I recognize the oriole.

I recognize the thrush, and the mockingbird.

I recognize the business of summer, which is to forge ahead,


So I dip my fingers among the green stems, delicately.

I lounge at the edge of the leafing pond, delicately.

I scarcely remember the crust of the snow.

I scarcely remember the icy dawns and the sun like a lamp

without a fuse.

I don’t remember the fury of loneliness.

I never felt the wind’s drift.

I never heard of the struggle between anything and nothing.

I never saw the flapping, blood-gulping crows.

—Mary Oliver

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 04:13:39

    Beautifully lyrical descriptions create vivid images in this transitional tale of seasons and memory. I enjoyed this. Very well done.


  2. Evolution of X
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 06:09:10

    Starts off dark and intense and still manages to kick you in the teeth at the end. I love it.


  3. ManicMuses
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 06:45:51

    “I never heard of the struggle between anything and nothing.”

    This line lept out at me…it somewhat describes those who aren’t familiar with Bipolar.


    • Sandy Sue
      Feb 18, 2013 @ 21:14:37

      What an interesting interpretation! Can you talk more about this?


      • ManicMuses
        Feb 19, 2013 @ 02:46:06

        I’m constantly struggling with this. When I’m up, everything and anything interests me. It’s a struggle to keep up with all of the projects my brain wants me to indulge in. But even when I’m high, I’m aware the crash into depression will come. Then I will have to struggle with the nothingness. Not being able to do anything, feeling like I’m worth nothing, especially the feeling like nothing matters.

        Before my husband met me, he’d never known anyone who was Bipolar. He often says he really has no idea what I go through, but he will always be there to support me. The line in the poem is shorthand for a conversation he and I have had many times. It’s such an eloquent way of expressing the idea.

      • Sandy Sue
        Feb 19, 2013 @ 04:14:56

        That’s beautiful, Vivien. Thanks for helping me see it.

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