Tuesday’s Inspiration: Mary Oliver

Picking Blueberries, Austerlitz, New York,1957
Once, in summer,
in the blueberries,
I fell asleep, and woke
when a deer stumbled against me.

I guess
she was so busy with her own happiness
she had grown careless
and was just wandering along

listening
to the wind as she leaned down
to lip up the sweetness.
So, there we were

with nothing between us
but a few leaves, and wind’s
glossy voice
shouting instructions.

The deer
backed away finally
and flung up her white tail
and went floating off toward the trees –

but the moment before she did that
was so wide and so deep
it has lasted to this day;
I have only to think of her –

the flower of her amazement
and the stalled breath of her curiosity,
and even the damp touch of her solicitude
before she took flight –

to be absent again from this world
and alive, again, in another
for thirty years
sleepy and amazed,

rising out of the rough weeds
listening and looking.
Beautiful girl,
where are you?

-Mary Oliver
New and Selected Poems
Volume One

poem: deer

This silent space
is filled with me and
a small fly careening
around in circles.

Outside each oak leaf
dips and shakes just slightly
in a hardly
perceptible breeze.

I scared a deer this morning.
He was munching
on tall grasses
in the wide open field.

My approach was quiet.
I kept my head low
and paused
to see how close I might get.

At fifteen feet
his head jerked up.
He snorted, turned, and bounded
away; tail lifted.

He seemed shocked
by his own carelessness,
letting me be there;
so unknowingly close.

Close enough to feel underfoot
each leap he took;
white tail waving,
gone in a flash.