Poetry from Recovery

One by Mary Oliver and two by the author

“Mindful” by Mary Oliver


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?

“Mindful” by Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early. © Beacon Press, 2005.

I am Love

God said, I am love.

And I replied, I am love.

And all the dogs on the couch, the birds in their house,

And the sheep, and the chickens, and the she-ass

Together they said, we too are love.

And the melting snow with her running creeks, her rivers, and her seas,

the closest thing to infinity I can touch,

Together they said, we also,

We are love.

And the fields jeweled with flowers and the sprouts in the window,

And the garlic in its bed all said

We are love.

And all together, in the harmony of what was heard,

In the perfection of every breath,

We said

We are love,

We are all love,

And we are all one,

And there is only God.

Love Waits

Love waits, does not hurry,

Does not dam its own currents,

Is not limited by space or time; by thought or place.

Seeks nothing for itself.

Desires only the opening of flowers, the smiles of small children,

and growth of the soul.

Love is not haughty, not self sure,

Never cumbersome nor heavy.

Love will never lie nor bear false witness.

Love rains on each and all, shines upon the evil and the fair.

Love can feed the hungry, bring sight to ancient eyes, give laughter to

the heart.

Love wills not to control, contrive, nor convince.

Love will drive the fearing from my heart.

Love waits.


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