Among the Trees

Mary Oliver died last week. Some of her poems are among my favorites, and I wanted to share one I love for obvious reasons.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
– Mary Oliver –

Someday I need to write more extensively about my love of poetry, one of my heart’s joys and in the same category of other sacred pleasures: being immersed in a powerful piece of music; cooking and sharing a delicious meal; savoring a beautiful glass of wine, complex cocktail, or a rich cup of coffee; dancing within an all-encompassing drumbeat; being still and present in an instance of sublime natural beauty; holding heart-to-heart one of my family; and there are others—each one of them a moment of being present and in awe.

Poetry comes close to evoking those moments, of giving language to that which is otherwise ethereal, emotional, sensual, and transcendent.

Words are limited, certainly, but poetry allows them to be…more.

It’s like the TARDIS—a poem is so much bigger on the inside.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books) and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, A World of Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium.

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