Log in

Gannet's Wings



I am watching the white gannets
blaze down into the water
with the power of blunt spears
and a stunning accuracy---
even though the sea is riled and boiling
and gray with fog
and the fish
are nowhere to be seen,
they fall, they explode into the water
like white gloves,
then they vanish,
then they climb out again,
from the cliff of the wave,
like white flowers---
and still I think
that nothing in this world moves
but as a positive power---
even the fish, finning down into the current
or collapsing
in the red purse of the beak,
are only interrupted from their own pursuit
of whatever it is
that fills their bellies---
and I say:
life is real,
and pain is real,
but death is an imposter,
and if I could be what once I was,
like the wolf or the bear
standing on the cold shore,
I would still see it---
how the fish simply escape, this time,
or how they slide down into a black fire for a moment,
then rise from the water inseparable
from the gannet's wings.

-Mary Oliver


I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings



a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is starting

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her--
her white teeth,
her wordlessness
her perfect love.

-Mary Oliver

acting, agnosticism, ambiguity, androgyny, animal rights, animals, antarctica, arctic, asexuality, atheism, babies, biology, birds, birdwatching, books, britain, buffy the vampire slayer, c.s. lewis, cats, characterization, children's literature, chronicles of narnia, classical music, conservation, dance, david tennant, doctor who, doubt, ecology, ecosystems, einstein and eddington, elizabeth enright, emily dickinson, environment, environmental science, environmentalism, equality, ethics, fantasy, feminism, fencing, firefly, friendship, gardening, gender-bending, generations, genfic, geography, geology, gregorian chant, hamlet, his dark materials, history, human rights, ian mckellan, ideas, imagination, introversion, introvert, introverts, j.r.r. tolkien, jane duncan, jane goodall, john keats, liberal, liberalism, libraries, listening, lord of the rings, lotr, marriage equality, mary oliver, mountains, music, mythology, narnia, natural history, nature, non-violence, oceans, organic farming, organic gardening, orkney islands, pacifism, parenthood, patrick stewart, percy bysshe shelley, philip pullman, philosophy, physics, poetry, privacy, psychology, quiet, rachel carson, reading, royal shakespeare company, samuel taylor coleridge, scepticism, science, science fiction, scientific method, scotland, seasonal celebrations, seasonal cooking, seasons, shakespeare, silence, silmarillion, singing, skepticism, solitude, spike, star trek, stillness, sustainability, takin' over the asylum, the chronicles of narnia, the scientific method, the silmarillion, theatre, thinking, tolkien, topography, topophilia, torchwood: children of earth, travel, trees, uncertainty, vegan cooking, veganism, vegetarian cooking, vegetarianism, wales, war poetry, whales, wilderness, wildlife, william shakespeare, william wordsworth, writing


Welcome to the new LiveJournal

Some changes have been made to LiveJournal, and we hope you enjoy them! As we continue to improve the site on a daily basis to make your experience here better and faster, we would greatly appreciate your feedback about these changes. Please let us know what we can do for you!

Send feedback

Switch back to old version

LiveJournal Feedback

See a bug? Let us know! Here you can also share your thoughts and ideas about updates to LiveJournal

Your request has been filed. You can track the progress of your request at:
If you have any other questions or comments, you can add them to that request at any time.

Send another report Close feedback form

If you're a LiveJournal user, you will be logged in after submitting your request.

(optional, if you're a LiveJournal user only)

(optional, if you're a LiveJournal user only)

(not shown to the public)

If you have a billing inquiry, please go here to submit your question.

Provide a link to the page where you are experiencing the error

Do not include any sensitive information, such as your password or phone number. No HTML allowed.

If you can't pass the human test, email your inquiry to: support@livejournal.com

Please take a survey

Help us make LiveJournal better! Answer a few questions to share your experiences using LiveJournal with us. It won't take more than 10 minutes!

Take a survey

Welcome to LiveJournal

Create an account