The Mockingbird

by Mary Oliver

All summer
the mockingbird
in his pearl-gray coat
and his white-windowed sings

flies
from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing, but it’s neither
lilting nor lovely,

for he is the thief of other sound–
whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges
plus all the songs
of other birds in his neighborhood;

mimicking and elaborating,
he sings with humbor and bravado,
so I have to wait a long time
for the softer voice of his own life

to come through.  He begins
by giving up all his usual flutter
and settling down on the pine’s forelock
then looking around

as though to make sure he’s alone;
then he slaps each wing against his breast,
where his heart is,
and copying nothing, begins

easing into it
as though it was not half so easy
as rollicking,
as though his subject now

was his true self,
which of course was as dark and secret
as anyone else’s,
and it was too hard–

perhaps you understand–
to speak or to sing it
to anything or anyone
but the sky.


my poem: I started with ‘The Mockingbird” as the inspiration, but the poem took a life of its own.

Exquisite Facade

 

I could write about summer

the parched tongue cooled by saltsweet elixir of the beloved tender coconut

the mangoes devoured at an alarming pace

the hot chocolate fudge on pink plastic spoons lapped up

while we still smell of chlorine from the pool

the heat, the sweat, the inertia of the self

Writing like that is easy

 

I could write about summer rain

how a little bit of steam rises from the hot stones

as the first drops land on it’s surface, making it happy

how the tree tops nod in appreciation

the tiny circular whirpools the rain draws on the terracotta tiles

and how it washes away the dust and grime of the hot afternoon

writing like that is easy

 

but when I have to write about how I feel

lay bare my thoughts that I have clothed with layers and layers

of force fields, hidden away from prying eyes and groping hands

and critiquing mouths

my pen falters,

stops

and pretends to have writer’s block

 

and I write about how beautiful how ethereal it is

to savour the first drops of summer rain with bun-butter-jam and hot chai

instead.

 

and a picture to go with it:)

O for Mary Oliver; my poem: Exquisite Facade #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo
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