Mary Oliver

A poem from Mary Oliver entitled “Rage”…

Rage

– 1986

You are the dark song
of the morning;
serious and slow,
you shave, you dress,
you descend the stairs
in your public clothes
and drive away, you become
the wise and powerful one
who makes all the days
possible in the world.
But you were also the red song
in the night,
stumbling through the house
to the child’s bed,
to the damp rose of her body,
leaving your bitter taste.
And forever those nights snarl
the delicate machinery of the days.
When the child’s mother smiles
you see on her cheekbones
a truth you will never confess;
and you see how the child grows–
timidly, crouching in corners.
Sometimes in the wide night
you hear the most mournful cry,
a ravished and terrible moment.
In your dreams she’s a tree
that will never come to leaf–
in your dreams she’s a watch
you dropped on the dark stones
till no one could gather the fragments–
in your dreams you have sullied and murdered,
and dreams do not lie.

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Makeup

“She knocked and waited, because when the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.” 

 

Who can discover the secrets that lurk
 behind the smiles and hugs
 the ends and beginnings
 of long crumpled dreams
 desperately pressed out
The doors hide unpleasant things
that we wish weren’t us
which we know are
and can never change
the blood on the floor
All the houses made of crystal pain
revealing the nakedness
of pretty things
now left ugly by
the makeup of reality