neighborhood blooms

I believe in kindness.  Also in mischief.
~Mary Oliver

Ever since my high school creative writing teacher Ms. Staley introduced me to Mary Oliver's poetry, I have been a big fan. I believe there is a bit of magic that happens when connecting with a writer for the first time. The words resonate deep within us and perhaps a nodding of the head ensues. Then afterwards we seek more of their books or essays. It's really a beautiful thing.

To celebrate poetry month, here is a favourite poem:

The Loon
by Mary Oliver

Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
to another room, where my books are lined up
in their neat and colorful rows. How

magical they are! I choose one
and open it. Soon
I have wandered in over the waves of the words
to the temple of thought.

           And then I hear
outside, over the actual waves, the small,
perfect voice of the loon. He is also awake,
and with his heavy head uplifted he calls out
to the fading moon, to the pink flush
swelling in the east that, soon,
will become the long, reasonable day.

                Inside the house
it is still dark, except for the pool of lamplight
in which I am sitting.

           I do not close the book.

Neither, for a long while, do I read on.

Manahattan by Cat Power
Step by Vampire Weekend

camera: iphone


  1. This is so beautiful! And as a Literature student, your poems are an inspiration like your photos to me :)!

  2. Oh. I like this poem. Thanks, Alexandria. Your tree looks so healthy and lush with blooms, a beautiful accompaniment. And what a great quote. Your high school experience has me thinking back to earlier years and my introduction to Judy Blume.

  3. I've never read any of her poetry...shamefully, since I am a literature major. However, I am so very pleased that you chose this poem ... I am excited to get acquainted with her. These words perfectly sum up most mornings for me...in the dark quiet with a book, listening to the morning coming....it's beautiful.

    Sarah xo

  4. It is indeed a brilliant poem portraying a magical atmosphere.

  5. ohhh. those last two lines = <333.

    poetry is always my favourite.

  6. Wonderful - Mary O is so wonderful. I came across a copy of A Thousand Mornings on Saturday at a tiny, yet utterly enchanting bookstore on the coast. Have you been to Manzanita, OR? Should you find yourself there I can recommend a visit to The Cloud & Leaf bookstore. Annie x
    ps: lovely magnolias (my favourite) - Portland is awash with lush spring blooms which fills me with endless joy.

  7. what a dreamy picture.

    usually i'm not a big fan pf poetry, but this one is really warm and intimate. thanks!

  8. She never sinks in the words and reaches the temple. Her sensibility sustains her inner trip.

  9. Hi Alexandria, thanks for the message - it has been too long since I last dropped by to visit your journal...but, it is a treat getting caught up on what I have missed.

  10. I love magnolias. And your words.