Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith by Mary Oliver

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green
stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
happening
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.

Little Summer Poem

One last summer poem in these last precious days of our shortest season, one that speaks of the unseeable, unhearable evidence of faith. And so, every summer, / I fail as a witness says Mary Oliver, to all that is happening all around, all of it / happening / beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum. Though in truth, she is one of the finest witnesses of the natural world to write of it.

Despite not seeing, not hearing the persistent growth, she tells us that still, / every day, / the leafy fields / grow taller and thicker. And isn’t it so? Look around at the leafy green ocean that summer has produced, the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body.

She invites the immeasurable, the unknowable, the mystery hidden in the dirt, for us to contemplate. In her inimitable style, she asks How could I look at anything in this world /
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart? /What should I fear? She speaks of faith in what we cannot see or hear without naming it while showing us in her words what faith can look like.

May this little summer poem touch your heart and show you what faith you need in this moment.

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith by Mary Oliver

  1. Dear Jan — thank you for this beautiful, rich and deep poem. It makes me appreciate the wonders hidden in the leaves even now as the season begins to turn. I can feel my shoulders drop and a smile emerge in this reminder that faith orients the heart towards trust and joy. Love – Mary Lou

    Like

  2. Jan,
    Wow, this is such an interesting poem. It’s one I feel a need to read out loud again and again – each time it resonates more deeply. It actually tugs at my heart.
    Thank you Jan. Sending love to you, Lisa

    Like

  3. Thank you so much for this lovely poem and your comments. I love your comment – She speaks of faith in what we cannot see or hear without naming it while showing us in her words what faith can look like. Margaret 613-725-6941 h 613-795-9879 c

    Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

    – Oscar Wilde.

    >

    Like

  4. Thanks Jan for sharing this poem and your comments – reminds me of how very little is required of us in living in this world with all that “intelligence” at work – yes, faith and trust on the menu for true happiness, I say!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s