Gathering Around Poems

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was warm and sunny. It was such a perfect day that it was easy to forget that just a week ago we woke up to heavy snow fall, a disheartening sight for many of us who had been treasuring the warmer days and enjoying the budding daffodils earlier in the week. The snow kept many people home, but around twenty of us gathered to read poems – some by Mary Oliver and many original works – and to honor to ways that poetry captures a moment, a thought, a connection.

In the next week or so, we will be adding some of the poems to the writing gallery and invite you to take the time to interact with them. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful poem by Kailyne R. Waters written as a reflection on our day, a poem which ponders how Mary Oliver might have reacted as she joined us.

What Would Mary Do

Not what she would say,
we have heard her speak, placing pen to words
opening our hearts to ourselves.
But what would she do?
We know. We’ve always known.
Life is, after all, no more than a tribute to remembering
Remembering to rejoice in this day, only.
This day, with friends gathering to honor the voice of spirit, 
the sound of mystical nature.
Probably less interested in hearing her own words, she would
direct us to dig deeper into the frozen dirt, in spring. 
The divine mystery of a brush stroke of winter, back lit
by the sun of April.
She wouldn’t say so, she would be polite and accept our
complimentary tribute.
But polite isn’t doing.
So, what then? What would Mary do?
Throw snowballs at us from her vantage point of peace?
Touch her frozen fingertips to the glass inviting us to play, to
step outside of phrases, verbs, and context,
where our voices and thoughts
swell. Where there is no room for natural light to heal us.
I don’t think so. Nature is a gentle teacher. 
Even the harsh bite of
ice to face isn’t mean to scold.
What then?
Step inside with us?
Yes, I think she would gather it all together 
and bring it to our wandering circle.
Gently, softly guiding us to
step further into the invitation of living.
Her smile, her patience to wait, as we shed and shake 
old nature from our shoulders. 
She would hold them in her arms, like coats from guests at 
a dinner party held in her honor.
We are plain but bold,
ready to accept all that is
our Creator’s embrace.

Kailyne R. Waters

5 thoughts on “Gathering Around Poems

  1. So FINE! The sentiments and words of your poem, Kayline!


    Georgene L. Wilson, OSF, D.Min.

    Wisdom Webbings Anchorhold

    Wheaton, IL

    “The Breath of Wisdom is our Mother in whom we are all One.”

    Julian of Norwich (adapted)

  2. I love the picture of Mary Oliver’s hospitality in holding old nature in her arms like coats. Thank you for that.

  3. Kailyne, thank you for your beautiful poem! It really captured the spirit of our gathering. I think Mary would be pleased to know that she inspired the sharing of poetry on a snowy spring afternoon

  4. Thank you for such an inspiring afternoon of poetry and companionship. I carried the inspired words of others with me into the evening and each day after. I look forward to taking part in future events. Peace and blessings to all!

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