Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mary Oliver: "The Fist"

There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course

if you see anything
in the heavens
in this way
you had better get

your eyes checked
or, better, still,
your diminished spirit.
The heavens

have no fist,
or wouldn't they have been
shaking it
for a thousand years now,

and even
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind—

heaven's own
Instead: such patience!
Such willingness

to let us continue!
To hear,
little by little,
the voices—

only, so far, in
pockets of the world—
the possibilities

of peace?
Keep looking.
Behold, how the fist opens
with invitation.

"The Fist" by Mary Oliver. Text as published in Thirst: Poems (Beacon Press, 2007).

Art credit: "Hand of Peace," photograph taken on September 12, 2009, by Aidan McRae Thomson. Caption: "Peace sculpture on the seafront in Kusadasi [Turkey] town centre in the form of a giant white concrete hand releasing birds."

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