Poems by Mary Oliver

March 11, 2019

 These poems were originally published in Appalachia Journal.

Crossing the Road

I crossed the road
and entered the meadow
and it was all there,
the meadowlark singing
from the top of an old post
and the house behind me vanished,
and the road vanished,
and the sky opened wider and bluer,
and at the end of the meadow
I started down into the deeper woods
with its kindly shade,
and the creek was exactly where it should be, that cool corridor —

and then, as usual, I woke.

Mary Oliver

The Trees

Heaven knows how many
trees I climbed when my body
was still in the climbing way, how

many afternoons, especially
windy ones, I sat
perched on a limb that

rose and fell with every invisible blow. Each tree was
a green ship in the wind-waves, every

branch a mast, every leafy height
a happiness that came without my even trying. I was that alive

and limber. Now I walk under them—cool, beloved: the household
of such tall, kind sisters.

Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry, as well as works of imaginative prose and poetry instruction. Her recent collections of poems include Blue Horses (Penguin Press HC), released in October 2014, and Felicity (Penguin), appearing in October 2015. Her latest book, Upstream (Penguin), a collection of essays, was published in October 2016.
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