Monet in Normandy: A Reaction
Thirst: The Poems of Mary Oliver (Part Three)

Thirst: The Poems of Mary Oliver (Part Two)

Thirst_1 I said earlier that I was reading and savoring one Mary Oliver poem a day, from her new book, Thirst, but I spoke to soon.  I have so enjoyed them that I am halfway through the book.  They seem to fall into two categories -- poems about grieving and poems of reflections on nature -- but, whatever the category, they are full of faith.  The language is simple, and yet not simplistic.  They have depth, and yet they are very accessible.  If you've ever asked yourself, is He really there?, and then wondered, only to have Him show up some time later, you may like this one.

The Vast Ocean Begins Just Outside Our Church: The Eucharist

Something has happened
to the bread
and the wine.

They have been blessed.
What now?
The body leans forward

to receive the gift
from the priest's hand,
then the chalice.

They are something else now
from what they were
before this began.

I want
to see Jesus,
maybe in the clouds

or on the shore,
just walking,
beautiful man

and clearly
someone else

On the hard days
I ask myself
if I ever will.

Also there are times
my body whispers to me
that I have.

What did Mary Oliver grieve?  It was the death of her friend, agent, and companion Molly Malone Cook.  Mary Oliver was a lesbian.  I'm sad to know this, sad because this lifestyle falls so short of God's design for relationships, and now, even that is gone for her.  And yet my disagreement with that lifestyle does not take away the empathy one can feel.  Her love was real, as far as it went.  So too, her grief.  And the faith she has -- and her desire to see Jesus -- may well carry her beyond such marred relationships to the One who loves her as no one else can.