Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shell by broken shell

Morning Walk
Mary Oliver

Little by little
the ocean
empties its pockets—
foam and fluff;
and the long, tangled ornateness
of seaweed;

or the whelks,
ribbed or with ivory knobs;
but so knocked about
in the sea's blue hands
and their story is at length only
about the wholeness of destruction—

they come one by one
to the shore
to the shallows
to the mussel-dappled rocks
to the rise to dryness
to the edge of the town
to offer, to the measure that we will accept it,
this wisdom:

though the hour be whole
though the minute be deep and rich
though the heart be a singer of hot red songs
and the mind be as lightning,
what all the music will come to is nothing,
only the sheets of fog and the fog's blue bell—
you do not believe it now, your are not supposed to,
you do not believe it yet—but you will—
morning by singular morning,
and shell by broken shell.

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