Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

 

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.

It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.

The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.

The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.

 

But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white

feet of the trees

whose mouths open

Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?

Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,

until at last, now, they shine

in your own yard?

 

Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.

 

When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking

outward, to the mountains so solidly there

in a white-capped ring, or was he looking

to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea

that was also there,

beautiful as a thumb

curved and touching the finger, tenderly,

little love-ring,

 

as he whirled,

oh jug of breath,

in the garden of dust?

——Mary Oliver

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1 Comment

Filed under Mary Oliver, Poetry

One response to “Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

  1. Mary Oliver is one of my all time favoite poets. Thank you for sharing this. I named Oliver’s “Dog Songs” as one of the best books of last year. Here is the post if you want to see what I said. I would love to hear your opinion:
    http://www.darianburns.com/2014/01/02/best-books-2013/

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