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.

Life in a Razor-Shaped City by Scott Woods for TEDx Columbus

I want to share a TEDx talk by my friend Scott Woods, a poet, writer, librarian, activist, and organizer whom I am honored to know.
 
Scott’s words provoke–they are thoughtful and powerful, complicated and honest. I learn something every time I encounter them…on the page, on the stage, or when I am lucky enough to see him in person.
 
Scott is both a brilliant creator and a creative catalyst–he makes remarkable things happen. Follow this link to hear why Columbus Alive chose him to be their first ever 2018 Face of Columbus. He’s that good, and his work is that important.

Poetry Thursday!

Want to listen to a little poetry this Thursday afternoon?

You can hear poems from the Strange Horizons Fund Drive, including my reading of “Boys on Bikes.” Included on the podcast are:

Strange Horizons Fund Drive 2017 Bonus Poetry Podcast

Thank you!