japonisme: blue iris

30 January 2009

blue iris


Ripeness is
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
the pear,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.

To let your body
love this world
that gave itself to your care
in all of its ripeness,
with ease,
and will take itself from you
in equal ripeness and ease,
is also harvest.

And however sharply
you are tested –
this sorrow, that great love –
it too will leave on that clean knife.

--2009 Jane Hirshfield


You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk
on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are,
no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

--2009 Mary Oliver


Now that I'm free to be myself, who am I?

Can't fly, can't run and
see how slowly I walk.

Well, I think, I can read books.

"What's that you're doing?"
the green-headed fly shouts
as it buzzes past.

I close the book.

Well, I can write down words,
like these, softly.

"What's that you're doing?" whispers the wind,
pausing in a heap
just outside the window.

Give me a little time, I say back to its staring, silver face.
It doesn't happen all of a sudden, you know.

"Doesn't it?" says the wind, and breaks open, releasing
distillation of blue iris.

And my heart panics not to be,
as I long to be,
the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle.

--2009 Mary Oliver

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Blogger michiko said...

I just awarded you 2 blog awards on my last post, because your blog is so beautiful (and this is not a tag)

01 February, 2009 06:35  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you michiko-- i feel honored.

01 February, 2009 08:22  
Blogger john hopper said...

Breathtakingly beautiful, yet misleadingly simple artwork.

02 February, 2009 03:29  
Blogger Dave King said...

I am a new admirer, but a bowled-over one!

02 February, 2009 03:50  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

hi dave--welcome. john, you and dave seem to possess a trait i really love in people: the ability of surrender.

02 February, 2009 08:07  
Blogger here today, gone tomorrow said...

Stunning. What a graceful combination of poetry and images. Thank you, lily, as always for your gifts.

03 February, 2009 03:50  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i am so glad you're here to share this stuff with, lynn. thanks.

03 February, 2009 07:05  
Blogger Roxana said...

fabulous! images and poems alike. I guess I love photography so much because it brings me the closest to the state of "the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle". literature cannot do that. at least not for me.

05 February, 2009 10:25  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh what a wonderful and interesting comment. i know exactly what you mean, and it's the same for me, the taking of photographs, not the writing of anything. however, rarely does looking at photos do it for me, but reading someone else sometimes does.

05 February, 2009 13:16  
Blogger Roxana said...

yes, I was mainly talking about taking pictures. but even looking works for me.

06 February, 2009 00:41  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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