Showing posts from August, 2011

The Pond in a Bowl, Five Poems

1) In old age I'm back to childhood pleasures.
A bowl in the ground - Just add water- it's a pool!
Throughout the night frogs croaked til it dawned
as they did when I fished as a child at Feng-k'ou.

2) Who says you can't make a pond out of a bowl?
The lotus sprig I planted not long ago has already grown full size.
Don't forget, if it rains stop in for a visit.
Together we'll listen to raindrops splash on all the green leaves.

3) Come morning, the water brightens as if by magic.
One moment alive with thousands of bugs too small to have names,
Next moment they're gone, leaving no trace,
Only the small fish, this way and that, swim in formations.

4) Does the bowl in the garden mock nature
when night after night green frogs gather to prove it's a pool?
If you choose to come and keep me company need you fill
the dark with  noise and endless squabble like husband and wife?

5) Say the bright pond mirrors the sky, both blue.
If I pour water, the pond brims.


by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

If you want to read more of Mary Oliver’s poems, here are some that I like.