Mary Oliver, The River

The river
Of my childhood,
That tumbled
Down a passage of rocks
And cut-work ferns,
Came here and there
To the swirl
And slowdown
Of a pool
And I say myself–
Oh, clearly–
As I knelt at one–
Then I saw myself
As if carried away,
As the river moved on.
Where have I gone?
Since then
I have looked and looked
For myself,
Not sure
Who I am, or where,
Or, more importantly, why.
It’s okay–
I have had a wonderful life.
Still, I ponder
Where that other is–
Where I landed,
What I thought, what I did,
What small or even maybe meaningful deeds
I might have accomplished
Somewhere
Among strangers,
Coming to them
As only a river can–
Touching every life it meets–
That endlessly kind, that enduring.
MARY OLIVER

In an Oregon Forest

Sleeping In The Forest
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

– Mary Oliver