Monday, July 14, 2014

Mary Oliver: "The Loon"

Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
to another room, where my books are lined up
in their neat and colorful rows. How

magical they are! I choose one
and open it. Soon
I have wandered in over the waves of the words
to the temple of thought.

                                           And then I hear
outside, over the actual waves, the small,
perfect voice of the loon. He is also awake,
and with his heavy head uplifted he calls out
to the fading moon, to the pink flush
swelling in the east that, soon,
will become the long, reasonable day.

                                                                 Inside the house
it is still dark, except for the pool of lamplight
in which I am sitting.

                                    I do not close the book.

Neither, for a long while, do I read on.

"The Loon" by Mary Oliver, from What Do We Know: Poems and Prose Poems. © Da Capo Press, 2003.  

Art credit: "Common Loon at Dawn in Algonquin Park," photograph by Steve Hall (originally color).

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