Saturday, May 26, 2012

Deer, wonder, and Mary Oliver

Deer in Austin, Texas. (photo by me, April 2012)
Mary Oliver is my favorite poet. She writes about nature with wonder and reminds me what a magical place, this world can be, if we slow down to notice. I occasionally see deer, when I walk at Blue Sky Reserve, near my home, but when I was in Austin, Texas last month, I saw quite a few deer and each time, I thought of this poem by Mary Oliver. 

The Pine Woods By Mary Oliver
This morning
Two deer
In the pinewoods
In the five A.M. mist,

In a silky agitation,
Went leaping
Down into the shadows
Of the bog

And together
Across the bog
And up the hill
And into the dense trees --

But once
Years ago,
In some kind of rapturous mistake
The deer did not run away

But walked toward me
And touched my hands--
And I have been, ever since,
Separated from my old, comfortable life

Of experience and deduction--
I have been, ever since,
And even now

Though I miss the world
I would not go back--
I would not be anywhere else
But stalled in the happiness

Of the miracle--
Every morning
I stroll out into the fields,

I believe in everything--
I believe in anything--
Even if the deer are wild again
I am still standing under the dark trees,
They are still walking toward me.
 from our Lavender Sage Art Retreat 

from my visit to the Wildflower Center, in Austin, Texas.

(I'm still in Italy...Returning tomorrow.)


  1. I love Mary Oliver too. I saw her read her work at UCSB last year. She was wonderful!

  2. My daughter graduated from Wellesley last spring. When we visited her for her birthday, Mary Oliver was giving a reading at the school so we went to see her. I was not familiar with her poetry before then. She left the standing room only audience spellbound.

  3. That was beautiful, thanks. Looking forward to your sketchbook journaling class next week!

  4. Lovely poem, Lovely Lady. See you at SDMA soon!

  5. So beautiful - Mary Oliver is also one of my favorite poets. Sadly I get wrapped up in life and forget to slow down with some poetry - thanks for the reminder.


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