A Flower Described by a Poet

091314 130
By Mary Oliver

On roadsides,
  in fall fields,
      in rumpy bunches,
          saffron and orange and pale gold, 

in little towers,
  soft as mash,
      sneeze-bringers and seed-bearers,
          full of bees and yellow beads and perfect flowerlets 

and orange butterflies.
  I don’t suppose
      much notice comes of it, except for honey,
           and how it heartens the heart with its 

blank blaze.
  I don’t suppose anything loves it, except, perhaps,
      the rocky voids
          filled by its dumb dazzle. 

For myself,
  I was just passing by, when the wind flared
      and the blossoms rustled,
          and the glittering pandemonium 

leaned on me.
  I was just minding my own business
      when I found myself on their straw hillsides,
          citron and butter-colored, 

and was happy, and why not?
  Are not the difficult labors of our lives
      full of dark hours?
          And what has consciousness come to anyway, so far, 

that is better than these light-filled bodies?
  All day
       on their airy backbones
           they toss in the wind, 

they bend as though it was natural and godly to bend,
  they rise in a stiff sweetness,
      in the pure peace of giving
           one’s gold away.

Back to Blog
Back to Blog