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" The world is mud-luscious

and puddle-wonderful "



March 7th, 2022

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

~ Mary Oliver, Invitation from  A Thousand Mornings (New York: Penguin Books, 2013).

7 Responses to “Invitation”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I spent time at Wildways on retreat this weekend and stopped to listen to and admire goldfinches and a thrush in full voice. Such blessings 🙏🏻👌

  2. That was a beautiful poem and one of hers I had not heard before. Thank you for sharing that.

  3. This is breathtaking. I love how Mary Oliver can turn the ordinary events of this world into something dazzling.

  4. Thank you Philip. I really enjoyed that poem. It reminded me of stopping to listen to the birdsong on my daily dog walk. I can recommend the BirdNET app for identifying different types of bird song. Wishing you peace, health and happiness. Carol

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