Friday, March 10, 2017

Poetry Friday: Pools of Peace

Photo by Richard Blake Verdoorn

The Waterfall 
for May Swenson
by Mary Oliver

For all they said,
   I could not see the waterfall
      until I came and saw the water falling,
         its lace legs and its womanly arms sheeting down,

while something howled like thunder,
   over the rocks,
      all day and all night –

like ribbons made of snow,
   or god’s white hair.
      At any distance
         it fell without a break or seam, and slowly, a simple

preponderance –
   a fall of flowers – and truly it seemed
      surprised by the unexpected kindness of the air and
         light-hearted to be

flying at last.
   Gravity is a fact everybody
      knows about.
         It is always underfoot,

like a summons,
   gravel-backed and mossy,
      in every beetled basin –
         and imagination –

that striver,
   that third eye –
      can do a lot but
         hardly everything. The white, scrolled

wings of the tumbling water
   I never could have
      imagined. And maybe there will be,
         after all,

some slack and perfectly balanced
   blind and rough peace, finally,
      in the deep and green and utterly motionless pools after all that

Michelle hosts the Poetry Friday Round up at Today's Little Ditty


  1. "its lace legs and its womanly arms sheeting down" —isn't that fantastic! Thanks for sharing Mary Oliver today, Dori.

  2. What a way to view a waterfall! I love the ending:

    "And maybe there will be,
    after all,

    some slack and perfectly balanced
    blind and rough peace, finally,
    ... after all that

  3. Doraine.....I was here last night....literally fell asleep (long week) in the beautiful fall of words in this poem. This piece is exquisite. I'm drawn to the ending. After all the beautiful description, how does a poet "dismount" from the piece. I think Oliver does this perfectly in the deep green motionless pools.
    Just a gorgeous bit of beauty. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. What an inspiring poem. Makes me want to hike into the woods at once, to find her discarded words, left lying like breadcrumbs beside the path.

  5. As always, Mary Oliver's work humbles and moves me. This is simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  6. What an amazing poem. Such eloquence - and complete and perfect disregard for line and stanza breaks. It sweeps you along like a current over a waterfall.