Friday, February 4, 2011

Breakfast With Mary Oliver

Was it Saturday or Sunday?
A breakfast of blueberry pancakes.
Monday or Tuesday
Brought a poached egg on tomato olive bread.
Wednesday I believe 
A simple hard-boiled egg.
Friday, this morning, a poem
And a barley, carrot, chicken and egg sandwich.
And I read from
"West Wind" by Mary Oliver
Am I Not Among The Early Risers

Am I not among the early risers
and the long-distance walkers?

Have I not stood, amazed, as I consider
the perfection of the morning star
above the peaks of the houses, and the crowns of the trees
blue in the first light?
Do I not see how the trees tremble, as though
sheets of water flowed over them
though it is only wind, that common thing,
free to everyone, and everything?

Have I not thought, for years, what it would be
worthy to do, and then gone off, barefoot and with a silver pail,
to gather blueberries,
thus coming, as I think, upon a right answer?

What will ambition do for me that the fox, appearing suddenly
at the top of the field,
her eyes sharp and confident as she stared into mine,
has not already done?

What countries, what visitations,
what pomp
would satisfy me as thoroughly as Blackwater Woods
on a sun-filled morning, or, equally, in the rain?

Here is an amazement–––once I was twenty years old and in
every motion of my body there was a delicious ease,
and in every motion of the green earth there was
a hint of  paradise,
and now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.

Above the modest house and the palace–––the same darkness.
Above the evil man and the just, the same stars.
Above the child who will recover and the child who will
not recover, the same energies roll forward,
from one tragedy to the next and from one foolishness to the next.

I bow down.

Have I not loved as though the beloved could vanish at any moment,
or become preoccupied, or whisper a name other that mine
in the stretched curvatures of lust, or over the dinner table?
Have I ever taken good fortune for granted?

Have I not, every spring, befriended the swarm that pours forth?
Have I not summoned the honey-man to come, to hurry,
to bring with him the white and comfortable hive?

And while I waited, have I not leaned close, to see everything?
Have I not been stung as I watched their milling and gleaming,
and stung hard?

Have I not been ready always at the iron door,
not knowing to what country it opens–––to death or to more life?

Have I ever said that the day was too hot or too cold
or the night too long and as black as oil anyway,
or the morning, washed blue and emptied entirely
of the second-rate, less than happiness

as I stepped down from the porch and set out along
the green paths of the world?
Do you eat breakfast?
Do you read poetry at breakfast?
I would love to hear from you!

If you want events in your life documented or are looking for distinctive nature, portrait or wedding photography--photography with soul that inspires you
to live a more artful and beautiful life,


  1. Poetry over breakfast, I love it almost as much as those blueberry pancakes! Haha well that is a tough choice between those two...have a lovely weekend with more poetry & pancakes!

  2. Again you share breakfast, stop with the aroma !!!

    Poetry you choose, better than what I choose.

    Keep doing it; pleassssssssse.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  3. Happens to be one of my favorite meals, especially fare... eggs, bacon (or sausage)... potatoes (my grandma's are the very best), toast (or a tortilla)... and o.j.

    Today, however, it was Greek yogurt, with blackberries, bananas, honey, and almonds... and coffee :).

  4. (insert "the traditional" in b/t fare) :)

  5. "I bow down."

    Thank you for sharing this treasure with us this morning. I breakfasted on scrambled eggs and some mean (read: dark, rich) hot chocolate. The best breakfast ever, with a delicious side of Mary Oliver's words, thanks to you. :)

  6. So wind is here, M.O., inspiring photographs, and much other "free" beauty. Thanks to Terresa, your blog treats are now mine.

  7. I made French toast and read from 'The Princeton Companion to Mathematics'. And I cleaned the pan and walked on the beach with the dogs and came inside to warm myself. Then I read from Pascal Pensees: “As we speak of poetical beauty, so ought we to speak of mathematical beauty and medical beauty. But we do not do so; and the reason is that we know well what is the object of mathematics and that it consists in proofs, and what is the object of medicine, and that it consists in healing. But we do not know in what grace consists, which is the object of poetry.”

  8. nor am I among the early risers (not at least today) and now am regretting missing breakfast. Thanks for reminding me (typed with sarcasm)


  9. I have arrived here following the earnest and happy pitter patter of the footsteps of dearest blog friends Ruth and Terresa of synch-ro-ni-zing and The Chocolate Chip Waffle, and find myself nearly overjoyed at the beautiful discoveries here. So pleased to meet you and your blog Mr. Bruce Barone.

  10. I thank each and every one of you from my heart and soul.

    And new friends, what a great pleasure. I am glad we met!

  11. Yes. I am reading your wonderful post over oranges and coffee.
    Mary Oliver.... pure, sublime genius.
    Thank you!



Our  Rhododendron has bloomed!