I have been reading Mary Oliver's Thirst, and, as always happens when I read her, my own poems seem under her spell. Here's today's:

I have been neglecting my work.
I have picked up too many dirty towels
and washed too many loads of laundry,
rinsed too many glasses
when I should have been staring into space
or at a white moth on the window ledge or at stars.
I took my daughters to the mall
and out for tacos, and it isn't that taste and color won't do,
only that I should have taken them to the ocean
and walked barefoot with them in the sand.
I have been grading papers
and posting lessons about apostrophes
when I should have given my students
blank notebooks and set them, too,
loose in the world to look,
to see how the snow geese cross so high in the white sky.
I have neglected my work,
working too hard to be good,
when my job, always, has been to be wild.


  1. How true - now I do have time to sit and stare as does the dog - to the desert, to Road Runners and bunnies as the hummingbirds buzz my head, but it is just as wondrous to go to the mall with your daughters.

  2. Oh, Carolynne -- I have been rereading Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind, so I am with you in spirit in the southwest. Tacos fit this theme.

  3. I just got Roger Rosenblatt's book Unless it Moves the Human Heart - The Craft and Art of Writing and I already love it - it isn't long. I'll look up Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind - I've never heard of it or forgot I heard -:)


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