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 lightening is neither good nor evil.

The struck tree bras 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 eat dance?

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