Such Singing in the Wild Branches

It sure feels like spring has sprung to me! Here is a poem by eternal poet all-star Mary Oliver that resonates with me as we sweat in the fields and bask in the balmy breeze blowing in the window.
Such Singing in the Wild Branches
By Mary Oliver

It was spring

and I finally heard him
among the first leaves–
then I saw him clutching the limb


in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.

First, I stood still


and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness–
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree–
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,


and the sands in the glass

for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward


like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing–
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed


not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky—all of them


were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last


For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,


is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?


Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then–open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

Until next week,


Jeannette Ban

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