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Dance of the Lemming

A Silent Poetry Reading


Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

They are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one strippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, than can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

                                    ---Mary Oliver, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays


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Thanks to you and Mary Oliver for a gentle and wonderful start to my morning!


How much do I love a Mary Oliver poem? Rhetorical question, as you know. This one is especially perfect for today. I still read one of her poems almost every morning.


Just right for today.


Thank-you. Just lovely. Hope your day is going well!


I've loved Mary Oliver for the longest time...thanks f or sharing!


lovely... Katie just gave me a big book of Mary Oliver's older poems; I think this one is included. I love that last bit "to think again of dangerous and noble things".


Beautiful. I love starling flock murmurations.


This is my first winter to be visited by the starling hordes at my bird feeders. I love watching them fly, but they are eating me out of suet and seed.

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