Tag Archives: appreciation

Mary Oliver is dazzled by heaven

So I got up finally, with a grief worthy of you, and went home. Just over the threshold, she cannot move quickly or carefully enough. Oh, what is that beautiful thing that just happened? On ageless legs, the last word she heard with mortal ears still sounding: Come. The angels themselves weary of our meanness, […]

Our lovely bones

I Dear Collarbone: No one blames you, least of all the ball still firmly in the socket because you gave and then held, a faultless fault line in my body’s aging architecture. II As a child, I quailed to learn I have a skeleton — that horror-movie staple — inside me. What to do? We […]

My friend’s dog

Even when I am unworthy of praise, my friend’s dog greets me as if I made the world, and it is wholly good. He wonders what delight I will next create, what miracle I might yet perform. He can scarcely contain his joy at my possibility; he wriggles with my irrefutable goodness. And I had […]

How not to complain

Too tired to ripen, late tomatoes hang obdurately green from withered vines,  their yellowing lattice home, now, to an orb-weaver, Araneus gemmoides,  whose tiny cat face, etched on her ballooning abdomen, blesses me when I kneel to consider each sacrifice on the gossamer altar: What’s required to live, and what, to die; whether it’s the […]

Let our complaints

You haven’t long to love this world to claim the blood washing the awakening sky to feel the wren’s song swelling your open throat that later will clench to imagine the bewildered doe leaving her speckled child along the road where the car struck it. Now untangle the tortured skein of the life you’ve made […]

Just enough

This trace of snow is not enough, not enough to ease the long drought, quench the earth, quash the coming fires. Too little, too late in the age of our realized ruin, yet enough, just enough to record in bas-relief the perishing evidence of remaining wonders: the fragile tines of an early junco’s foot, the […]

Her perfection

  Today I made my cat bloom, the small pink petal of her tongue emerging from the soft sepals of her mysterious mouth. Thereby she declared me sun, though my sole virtue is a lap, and not always that. Her virtues are many; let me name equanimity, how patiently she abides my eclipses, my settings. […]

How thereby the moon

The sun is not gratified by your blind orbit, your addiction to gravity, your need to be held. You value its mass for the tug it exerts; its furnace, for the heat. Yet everything wants to be loved for itself. You can see why the sun envies the moon, pale and embarrassed of its pock-marked […]


As the few garden crops I’ve cultivated — tomatoes and kale and spinach — spend themselves and begin to bolt, I’ve been meandering around my yard investigating what Mother Nature planted without any input from me. There’s something different every year, and always a bit of delight:  Having not been in on the sowing, I […]

Carnegie’s paradox

I have recently been on a classics kick of sorts, exploring books I have long heard referenced but never read. Having considered Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, which contemplates the purpose of our individual lives, I am now immersed in a book that tackles an even more perplexing question: How the heck can we […]