One or Two Things

By: KristySweetland

Jan 13 2012

Category: Animal


Focal Length:135mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Don’t bother me.

I’ve just

been born.

The butterfly’s loping flight

carries it through the country of the leaves

delicately, and well enough to get it

where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping

here and there to fuzzle the damp throats

of flowers and the black mud; up

and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes

for long delicious moments it is perfectly

lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk

of some ordinary flower.

The god of dirt

came up to me many times and said

so many wise and delectable things, I lay

on the grass listening

to his dog voice,

crow voice,

frog voice; now,

he said, and now,

and never once mentioned forever,

which has nevertheless always been,

like a sharp iron hoof,

at the center of my mind.

One or two things are all you need

to travel over the blue pond, over the deep

roughage of the trees and through the stiff

flowers of lightening– some deep

memory of pleasure, some cutting

knowledge of pain.

But to lift the hoof!

For that you need an idea.

For years and years I struggled

just to love my life. And then

the butterfly

rose, weightless, in the wind.

“Don’t love your life

too much,” it said,

and vanished

into the world.

– Mary Oliver


2 comments on “One or Two Things”

  1. I adore Mary Oliver, and this poem says so much about you both. Beautiful, gentle goodness.I trust your move is going well, and life is feeling expansive.

  2. Oh, thank you my dear. I’m trying to get through these next two weeks with my sanity intact. Mary Oliver certainly helps in that regard. We move on the 23rd. I can do this! 😀

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